My dear sisters in Christ,
My beloved ones, the ladies of the Philoptochos in the Metropolis of Atlanta, Greetings in the Name of our Incarnate Lord and Blessed Savior Jesus Christ! At this joyous and blessed time of year when we receive the Divine Gift of our Savior, I send you greetings and best wishes with all of my heart.
I believe that the Mother of all Greek Orthodox Christians is our Church. In the Church, there are many events that take place in the course of the year, all because of the birth of our Lord and Savior. St. John Chrysostom said that if we do not celebrate Christmas, there would be no Easter to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, nor Epiphany to celebrate His baptism. For this reason, Christmas is a very important celebration for us as human beings. As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, I would like to share the true meaning of life that God has created for us, and the spirit we should focus on having this Christmas.
In today’s society it seems like we are doing things so fast, that we are not taking the time to understand the precious gifts that God has given us. Because we are running in the society in which we are living, we are missing the beauty of nature, relationships, and the understanding of what life is all about. As a wonderful figure used to say, “We have lost the light of the world, and we have found ourselves in the deepest darkness.”
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
As we approach the magnificent celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God, we should think about God’s Gift of our Savior. According to Saint Paul, He gave His only and Begotten Son out of love for mankind so that we can enjoy the beauty in the world He created. And eventually, His Only and Begotten Son gave his own life out of love and for our salvation. God has built us a palace, and we have to appreciate its beauty. We have to find this light in the world again in order to maintain the beauty God has created for us human beings in the universe in which we are living.
Jesus said of Himself that He was the Light of the World. In the Holy Scriptures, in Isaiah, we see many references to Christ as light. We have been called by Him out of the darkness and into the light of His Holy Nativity, so that the light of Christ may shine out of our own hearts and lives.
The wonderful ladies of the Philoptochos Society of our Metropolis, I share these thoughts with you because, you the ladies, have given your life to the Church and have shown constant understanding of God’s gifts and this important message. You have shown understanding through your selfless acts, your kindness, and doing all that is possible to bring peace and harmony to the people who face society’s hardships. I pray that you ladies always find the strength to be lifted from the light that is coming from the star that guides the wise people to the life of Jesus Christ; His birth and the Christian way.
As we approach the Nativity, once again, I wanted to send you my Christmas greetings and best wishes. Praying that God will bless you and your loved ones with the gift of His grace, the peace of His presence, and the joy of His love, I remain,
Paternally yours with love in our Incarnate Lord,
+ Metropolitan Alexios
+ ALEXIOS Metropolitan of Atlanta