The Glorious Nativity
When Eve was seduced by the serpent in Paradise she looked at the banned fruit and she “saw that the tree is good for food, and that it is pleasing to the eyes to behold, and is beautiful for contemplating,” she ate and fell immediately.
It fascinates me that when she offered her husband to eat with her, when he had not yet fallen(1) and by his still illumined nous (his mind) through grace, he recognized that she fell and was coming out of paradise. He then imagined himself alone once again, in paradise with animals, which he named but did not find a comparable partner among them. So Adam decided to adhere to Eve, as he could not bear the thought of remaining in paradise with these animals and without her. His love for Eve was so great, that he too, ate the fruit and was expelled from paradise.
The love of God and His absolute obedience must come first, before the love of any human being(2). Adam fell and his love for Eve changed from pure love into carnal love. When God asked Adam why he ate from the tree, Adam immediately accused Eve for his partaking of the forbidden fruit in order to undermine his punishment. Nevertheless, to this day, the Jews despise Eve and belittle women.
As Adam exited his comfort zone, so did our Lord. The title given to our Lord: “Who lovest mankind”, is deserved and not befitting of anyone else but Him alone because of His Love for us. He did not bear to stay away from His creature, in front of which was “placed at the east of the garden of Eden, Cherubims and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life”. He jumped above the Cherubims and above the flaming sword. Through that jump, He did not lose any of His Grace nor His Divinity, nor His Divine Qualities, but He transferred the entire heavenly kingdom (not only Paradise) with Him to where the humankind was expelled. He made His New Kingdom of Heavens inside the human heart whenever any human introduces Jesus into his heart(3). Furthermore, He transferred the tree of life and planted it as The Cross and made of His Body and Blood The fruit that grants eternal life.
This is how our church understood the Incarnation and connected the Birth of Christ to His crucifixion; the church portrayed the newborn Child in burial shrouds and drew the manger as a tomb from stone associating His Birth to His Death and to His Life Giving Resurrection. Upon His incarnation, He restored dignity to the woman of whom He was born, as He took from her his own body and restored dignity to the man by taking on his nature and the masculine attributes of humanity.
The evangelist leaning on the chest of the Lord was listening and meditating and therefore understood from the beating of God’s heart. He therefore informed us that the first miracle done by Jesus was at the wedding in Cana of Galilee. And it was at the request of His mother, to help us understand that the Lord restored the love of Adam and Eve to its fullest through the blessed wedding. Marriage does not conflict with virginity at all because the Virgin (the Theotokos) is a permanent trusted advocate for her children, married couples as well as virgins.
Christ was born, glorify Him. Christ is on earth, rise from your land to His skies. Our God is with us to hold us close to Him and to lift us up to Him. He became man to make us gods. He became something He was never before (a human being) so that we become something we were never before (gods through Him and children of God in His Grace).
Let the Theta to each other be: Christ is born, Glorify Him… Truly born Hallelujah, be lifted up
Merry Christmas may God grant us all many returns with great Heavenly Blessings!
+Rev. Father Mansour Azar
(1) 1 Tim 2: 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
(2) Mat 10: 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
(3) Luk 17: 21 behold, the kingdom of God is within you.