December 25, Christmas Day, is the Feastday that rejoices in the greatest gift offered to humankind - God humbles Himself and takes on flesh, it is the Incarnation of the Son of God, so that you and I may be saved. In commemoration of this day, we exchange gifts with one another.
Contemplating the icon of the Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ we realize the great love that God offers to His people through His Son. God loves us so much that He has sent His Son to show us a new way of life. The Birth of Christ is a celebration of joy, for we have been granted eternal life.
The truth that God became man and entered into history is seen in the icon of the Nativity. Wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger is the Christ Child. All the details of the icon relate to the Lord’s presence among us. The icon of the Nativity calls us to praise and glorify the Birth of Christ.
Orthodox Church Iconography and Hymnology teach us wonderful lessons about ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN STEWARDSHIP. The following hymn, taken from the Vespers of the Nativity, invites us to recognize the offerings made in celebration of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We sing: "What shall we bring to You, O Christ, Who, for our sake, was born on earth as man? Every creature brings thanks to You: Angels their songs; the heavens a star; Wise Men gifts; Shepherds amazement; the earth a cave; the wilderness a manger; but we - the Virgin Mother."
All creation has acknowledged the Birth of the Redeemer of Humankind through the act of STEWARDSHIP. We, too, must offer our Time, Talents, and Treasure so that His Church may truly glorify Him and confess: Christ is Born!
See: Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 2:1-20
To learn more, visit the Department of Stewardship.