Eat and Drink

Call it my Christmas present to readers of this blog: here is a collection of some of quotations about Christmas that I have found particularly meaningful (with a note or two added by me): Christ's birth is "the birthday of the whole human race." St. Basil The Great "Only in Jesus Christ do we see the full possibilities of our human nature." Kallistos Ware "Only if Christ is as fully and completely a man as we are, can we men share in what he has done for us." ibid "The unassumed is unhealed." St. Gregory the Theologian "Surely he has born our griefs and carried our sorrows." Isaiah the Prophet "The whole man would not have been saved, unless He had taken upon Himself the whole man." Origen It is right that man should acknowledge your divinity, It is right for heavenly beings to worship your humanity, The heavenly beings were amazed to see how small you became And earthly ones to see how exalted St. Ephrem the Syrian The person of the Son of God distinguished Himself from His divine nature so that He can totally renounce Himself, "which is not a sudden decision, nor an act, but the manifestation of His very being." Vladimir Lossky Perhaps it is only ironic from our perspective that God reveals Himself by veiling Himself, makes His glory known by setting it aside, shows us who He is in His personhood by masking His nature. How can this be? Because that is the sort of Person He is: reaching out to heal, humble, powerful in those who receive Him, respecting the choice of those who do not, one who is willing to become less than He is so that others can be restored to the greatness He gave them in the beginning. For us to know that His arms are open, He has to incarnate His arms. Maybe from His perspective, all of this is obvious. "If God is born and if He dies, it is not because He is born that He dies, but it is to die that He is born." St. Athanasius "It is necessary for us that God become incarnate and die, that we might live again." St. Gregory of Nazianzus "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us." St. Paul "Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." St. John the Baptist "Christ's humanity constitutes the first fruits of a new creation. Through it a force for life is introduced into the cosmos to resurrect and transfigure it in the final destruction of death." Vladimir Lossky "Divinity and humanity, however separated they may appear by that infinite chasm which yawns between created and uncreated, are reconciled in the unity of one person." Ibid "If there is no real unity in Christ [of divine and human natures in one person], a union between man and God is no longer possible. Ibid "To bow down before and to become like anything or anyone but God himself is ultimately for us to begin to be recreated in some other image." Bishop Fitzsimmons Allison "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever." Author of Hebrews
Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us." The Tome of Leo
"Come desire of nations come Fix in us thy humble home." Charles Wesley Now let the gate of heaven be opened: For God the Word, begotten timelessly of the Father, Has taken flesh and is born of the virgin. He desires in all his goodness to call back mortal nature, And to set it at the right hand of the Father Liturgy "As my Father appointed a kingdom for me, so do I appoint one for you that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom." Jesus the Christ (Luke 22)
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Andrew  Kern

Andrew Kern

Andrew Kern is the founder and president of The CiRCE Institute and the co-author of the book,  Classical Education: the Movement Sweeping America

Thanks for significant thoughts about why we celebrate the birth of our Lord