Before the Nativity
(Mat. 1: 1-25)
The biggest evil and the biggest of all goods
It so happens that even a lot of christians have not realised that all tribulations, all evil are due to sin, due to the badness within us. It is not the others to blame. And if Christ doesn’t save you, you are not saved; there is no other way to salvation.
If sin is the biggest evil, the biggest of all goods is that Christ is “with us”. Not only does God save man, but He saves man in a miraculous way; because Man Christ is united with God forever and this thread will never be cut. Now, the whole point for every person is to find God for sure, to have and hold God in him for sure. And that happens, when you believe in Christ, when you repent, when you humble yourself, when you obey to Christ, when you strive to do his will.
If you take the decision not to remain a superficial christian but to give your heart to Christ and belong to him, you will experience, while struggling, what it means not having God by your side or what it feels like not being with God. You will see your poverty, your “nothingness”, that you are in shambles and you will realise you are being destroyed, that there is chaos below your feet. At that moment wish to be with Christ, long for Christ with all your might and your whole existence; feel the great need to be united with Christ.
Then, as all support and human comfort give way, you really long for Christ, love Christ; you begin to realise what it means that Christ came to earth, what it means that his name is Jesus-Saviour, Emmannuel, which translates “God is with us”. And the heart fills with faith, hope, love for Christ, even the longing to go through martyrdom, for the sake of not losing Christ.
Let’s hope that God sheds his light on us and helps this present Christmas to have such a life living experience as described.
 Mat. 1: 23
Transcribed talks by Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos
From: Holy Hesychasterion “The Nativity of Theotokos” Publications.