Galatians 1:11-19; Matthew 2:13-23

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Christ is in our midst! He is and shall be!

St. Paul makes a very important point in the Epistle reading this morning regarding man’s knowledge of God. He says that the Gospel he preaches is not of man, nor revealed by man, but the Gospel came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. All of the things that we profess and believe and live are the product of God revealing Himself to man. The Nativity is a perfect example of this: by purely human reason and logic the birth of the baby Jesus is simply the birth of another child. There’s nothing special, in a human sense, about the Feast we celebrated yesterday.

We worship the Birth of God in the Flesh because knowledge of Who this baby was was revealed to various people by God. The Angel appeared both to Mary and Joseph to prepare them for the birth of the Messiah. God worked in the hearts of the pagan Magi to inform them of this miraculous birth, and to bring them to Bethlehem bearing gifts worthy of a king. They came and worshipped Him. The Angels appeared to the shepherds, singing the praises of this birth, and the shepherds came to worship Him. When our Lord is taken into the Temple, the righteous Symeon and the prophetess Anna are enlightened by the Holy Spirit to recognize this Child as the Saviour. None of these first people had any reason to think this Child special – knowledge of the Truth was revealed to them by God.

And when we sit to read the Scriptures, Old Testament or New, or when we sit and read the writings of the Saints of the Church, we can very quickly see that their knowledge of God doesn’t come from human learning. They know God personally (person to person), and their knowledge of Him comes from experience and revelation. We do ourselves an enormous dis-service if we think that our knowledge of God comes simply from things we hear or things we read or things we’re taught in Church. All of these things lay a foundation for us – but as Christians all of us are striving to get to the point in our walk with Christ where we can say with St. Paul that the Gospel we believe is revealed to us by God.

God wants us to know Him, He wants to be in a relationship with us. All of His dispensation, from Creation to the Prophets to the Judges to the Kings and finally to the life and death and resurrection of Christ, the Apostles, the Church – all of human history is for us. God pursuing man – He wants to come and make His home in us, our Lord teaches. All He asks is that we desire Him, and the rest will come with time and grace.

This Feast of our Lord’s Nativity offers us a perfect opportunity to reflect on all that God has done for us, collectively as the human race, and individually, to give thanks to our Creator for never giving up hope, but for continuing to pursue us and offer us His life. This kind of reflection will make us feel thankful, it will increase our zeal for our God, and it will make our hearts tender, so we can continue to know the God Who dwells in us person to person.

We thank God for His great love for us, and particularly for His birth of the Ever Virgin Mary for the salvation of the human race!

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!