From Birth to Baptism: The Glory of Christmastide

An Orthodox Reflection on the 12 Days of Christmas

A wonderful part of the Orthodox celebration of Christmas is the period of Christmastide or the 12 Days of Christmas. This is one of those rare times in the life of the Church where all fasting is suspended, and the impact of Christ’s Incarnation is on full display. Thankfully, people have come to understand more and more that the feast of Christmas was not established as a replacement of a “pagan holiday” (as is proposed in popular discussion), but is rather … MORE ›

Did You Know that Jesus Was Born in a Cave?

Did You Know that Jesus Was Born in a Cave?

As a child, the day after Thanksgiving was the day our Christmas decorations were brought down from the attic. My grandmother is skilled in ceramics, and she long ago gave us a Nativity scene that she lovingly made herself. I fondly remember taking these pieces out of storage and arranging them on our coffee table. Most Nativity scenes today look much the same, with similar animals and people. And yet, it never really occurred to me that Jesus could have been born … MORE ›

Gospel Meditations on the Incarnation: Luke

Gospel Meditations on the Incarnation: Luke

The Wisdom and Power of God—Born as David’s Son, Yet David’s Lord Having been a missionary companion (Acts 16:10), and disciple of Paul (2 Timothy 4:11) Luke reflects Pauline concerns and themes in his writing (Luke-Acts). One such theme is that Jesus is the promised Savior of the Davidic covenant (Acts 13:22-38). In particular, Luke has the goal of showing that Jesus is not only of, but also before, David – both in honor and existence. In order to lay … MORE ›

Gospel Meditations on the Incarnation: Mark

Gospel Meditations on the Incarnation: Mark

The Son of God, Without Beginning Of all the Gospel accounts, Mark is the one that seemingly would offer us no material upon which meditate concerning the Incarnation of the Son of God. Both Matthew and Luke offer infancy narratives. John gives us explicit pre-incarnate information. Mark however, starts with what seems to be a mere assertion, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (Mark 1:1) Yet in those words I believe Mark does, in … MORE ›