Archpastoral Greeting on the Nativity of Our Lord. | Russian Oldbeliever Church

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Archpastoral Greeting on the Nativity of Our Lord.


By the grace of God, Kornily, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia, to the Archpastors, the faithful clergy and all the children of the holy Russian Orthodox Old Believer Church

Archpastoral greeting on Nativity of Christ
Right Reverend bishops, holy fathers
and all beloved brothers and sisters in Christ!

The radiant feast of the Birth of the Lord God and our Savior Jesus Christ has come — I congratulate you on this great celebration!

The Day of the Birth of Christ has since ancient times been ranked by the Holy Church among the great twelve holidays and is described in the Gospel as a great and wonderful event. About the greatness of this holiday saint John Chrysostom has said: “Here comes the most honest and most important holiday of all holidays. Whoever calls him the mother of all holidays will not make a mistake. The Epiphany and Holy Pascha, the Ascension of the Lord and Pentecost are based on this holiday. If the Lord had not been born in the flesh, He would not have been baptized, and this is the feast of the Epiphany; and he would not have suffered, and this is Pascha; and he would not have sent the Holy Spirit, and this is Pentecost. Our holidays began, as different streams came from the source.”

Our Lord Jesus Christ brought His benevolence to earth — peace and joy, which He gave first to the apostles, and through them to all His true followers. Even in the Old Testament, He is represented as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9, 6), that is, a peace-loving King. This proclaimed world is a special one, the world of holy people cleansed from sin.
The peace proclaimed by the angels cannot be understood as the immediate cessation of all wars and conflicts, as the reconciliation of all people living on earth. Christ gives His disciples the commandment of love: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another ” (John 13:35). But at the same time, He warns that His teaching will give rise to strife: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth, I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). Consequently, peace is not given to everyone living on earth, but only to those who are rightfully called his disciples, who faithfully fulfill His commandments. This is peace in the soul of a person who lives according to God’s commandments.

Christ has given us the opportunity to find peace in our soul, and we must become worthy to accept this gift in order to have peace with God, and we must be at enmity against sin in our soul!
Christ reconciled man to the Heavenly Father, opened the way to His Kingdom of love, peace and unity with God: “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble in heart: and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:29). But many people have not accepted this gift and, even being called Christians, worship pagan idols of sinful passions in their souls. Enmity continues on earth, violent bloody wars are taking place. And now the Christmas holiday coincided with the tragic events on the battlefields.

About the fact that wars will continue on earth, Christ Himself has warned: “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, ” (Matthew 24, 6). Why does the Lord allow wars? The ways of the Lord are unknown to us… Maybe this is a terrible warning to those who, through their sins, bring the kingdom of the Antichrist closer, reveling in the freedom of a fallen man, losing spiritual values, taking on an animal form. St. John Chrysostom explains that wars on earth are allowed by God in order to separate those infected with enmity and to protect the God-loving and humble from this evil: “Therefore, do not be confused by the fact that there will be battles and evil thoughts on earth. When the worst is cut off, then heaven will unite with the best.”

Now we celebrate the birthday of our Savior. On the day of the Nativty of Christ, the magi brought Him gifts. we will also bring gifts to Him. Let us do works of mercy for Christ’s sake. A wide field of virtue is open to us: how many destitute, suffering, wounded, refugees, families who have lost their breadwinners are around… All of them need our help and support — material and moral. The born Christ is waiting for us to bring Him through these unfortunate gifts of his prayer, love and mercy, this will be the best gift from us. Let us respond to the call for help and perform this holy work, so that peace may be established in our soul, sung by heavenly angels, so that together with them we sincerely and God-pleasing sing the sacred song: “We magnify Thee, Giver of Life, for our sake, now we are born in the flesh from the immaculate and Most Pure Virgin Mary.”

The grace of the birth of the Blessed Virgin Christ in Bethlehem today, and the prayers of His Most Pure Mother, and my archpastoral blessing, may they be with you all. Amen.

Humble Kornily, Metropolitan of Moscow and of All Russia

City Moscow. The Nativty of Christ 2023