Beyond the Nativity Scene

Do you know who is and what are beyond the scene of Nativity? In Christmas, we remember the miraculous conception and the virginal birth. We remember the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Logos of God in human flesh, from the virgin St Mary. We also remember the scenes and the witnesses of Nativity and many other things.

To remember all of these things is right and blessed. But what is not right is to forget God the Father while celebrating the birth of His Son.

While Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, it is also a celebration of the manifestation of God the Father, in His Son Jesus Christ. “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person…” (Hebrews 1:1-3, NKJV).

In the divine Liturgy of St Basil, the priest prays addressing God the Father, “in the last days you manifested Yourself to us, who were sitting in darkness and the shadow of death, through Your Only Begotten Son. Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ.”

God the Father was behind the scene of Nativity. Christmas is also a celebration of God the Father’s role in the birth and the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, by His Holy Spirit.
God the Father is “the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 1: 3, 2 Corinthians 11:31, Ephesians 1: 3, 1 Peter 1: 3)” He is the One who sent His son, our Lord Jesus Christ, born of a woman [St Mary] at the fullness of time (Galatians 4: 4). He planned the whole Christmas story and revealed it in time.
The baby born in Bethlehem is the eternal Word [Logos] of God, who was in the beginning with God (John 1: 1, Revelation 19:13). He is the “Word of God” who “became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from [God] the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Before the creation of the world, God chose His Son Jesus Christ to be the Lamb of God, who is “without blemish and without spot” in order to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29, 1 Peter 1:19).
After the fall, God the Father promised Eve that Christ would come from her offspring to crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). It was God the Father who spoke, by His Holy Spirit, in the prophets to prophecy the birth of Christ from a virgin (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23), and His birth in Bethlehem (Micah 5: 2, Matthew 2: 5-6), and much more.
The Spirit of God descended with His power on the virgin St Mary and caused her to be conceived with the Holy One (Luke 1:35). He kept the virginity of St. Mary before and after the birth of the baby Jesus (Ezekiel 44: 2).
God called His son “Jesus,” to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). He also called His name, “Emmanuel” to reminds us with His presence among us, through Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:23).
God shone with His glory and the angels glorified on the day of the birth of Christ (Luke 2:14). He guided the Magi by the star to the place of the child born. He also guided them to another road, in their return (Matthew 2: 1-12).
God is the one who sent his angel with a message to Joseph to save the child born from Herod’s massacre of the children of Bethlehem (Matthew 2: 16-21). This was a fulfillment of the prophecy, “Out of Egypt I called My son” (Hosea 11:1, Matthew 2:15).
The love of the Father to His Son Jesus has been from before the creation of the world (John 17:24). God spoke of Jesus to David through Nathan the prophet, “I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him” (1 Chronicles 17:13, NIV). God the Father has declared with a loud voice that the Lord Jesus is His beloved Son (Mark 1:11, Luke 9:35).
The Baby born at Bethlehem was not not just a mere human. He had the fullness of the deity in Him (Colossians 2: 9). The Father dwelt in Him (John 14:10). The Lord Jesus declared His unity with the Father: “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). He also revealed His love to His Father: “The world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do” (John 14:31, NKJV).
It was God the Father who anointed the Lord Jesus Christ with the power of His Holy Spirit to preach the good news to the poor, heal the broken hearts, proclaim liberty to the captives (Isaiah 61: 1-2, Luke 4:18).
Lord Jesus Christ went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him (Acts 10:38). The Father was doing the works in Christ Jesus our Lord (John 14:10). Therefore, the Lord Jesus said: “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves” (John 14:11, NKJV).
It is befitting to acknowledge, love and glorify God the Father as we celebrate the birth of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Everyone who loves the Child of Bethlehem also loves His Father (1 John 5:1). In reality, we cannot come to revere Jesus Christ unless the Father draws us to Him (John 6:44). I wish you a happy and merry Christmas.
Fr Abraam Sleman

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