His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
Greetings to the Long Island Archdiocesan District Christmas Show
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
Hicksville, New York
December 18, 2021
Beloved Children in the Lord,
What a joy it is to be with the dear children of our Long Island communities. We are just one week from the actual day of Christmas, but we are already in the midst of the Nativity Season.
Truly, we are like the Magi (whom I believe we will hear something about this evening), because we are traveling in spirit to the City of David – Bethlehem of Judea – to behold the Christ Child.
This is our third Christmas show that invites our Parishes – in and around Long Island – to come together as one family in Christ. For Christmas is surely our preeminent “feast of the family.”
And we are a family – a family of Parishes, a family of communities, a family of families.
That night in Bethlehem so many centuries ago, the Holy Family was a small one – the Virgin, her guardian Joseph and the Little Child, Who leads the entire universe! They were huddled together with a few animals, creaturely witnesses to the greatest birth the world has ever known.
The Lord had not yet even received His Name – “the Name that is above every name, to which every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth,”[*] as the Apostle Paul says.
In this most humble and lowly of circumstances, the Lord of the Universe chooses to visit our world, and to bring us back to life through His Resurrection.
I say, “bring us back to life,” but this is not just a reality after we have lived – hopefully – a long and productive life.
The Lord came to us in this humble way, to bring us back through humility.
The Lord came to us in this small yet loving family, to bring us back to loving relationships that are healthy, balanced and mutually beneficial.
The Lord came to us in Bethlehem, was raised in Nazareth, and finally died and rose from the dead in Jerusalem, in order to teach us a way of living that could be experienced anywhere in the world and at any time.
* * *
I thank and commend all of you for coming here today to demonstrate to our children the importance of family and what it truly means.
I also express our gratitude to today’s host, the wonderful community of Holy Trinity in Hicksville, for their warm hospitality and welcome.
I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy and Healthy New Year of 2022! May good Lord bless us all!
[*] Philippians 2:10.