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#14 The Wonder of Christmas

Summary:

The universe is full of wonderful things. But perhaps nothing is more wonderful than Christmas, when God became man!

Questions:

As you watch the episode, consider:

1. In today's day and age, Christmas has taken on a different meaning than what its original meaning was.  Why do we celebrate Christmas?  Why is it such a magnificent and wonderful feast for us?

2. Today, many people say that the date of Christmas coincides with an ancient pagan holiday and therefore should not be celebrated then.  Similarly, others say that the Christmas tree is a symbol of pagan worship and therefore should not be used.  How can we "Be the Bee", #liveorthodoxy, and still celebrate this magnificent feast while keeping the same customs?

3. In addition to being the Mother that gave birth to Christ, what significant role did the Theotokos have in this event?

4. Why are the shepherds and magi so important to us?

Check out these model lesson plans / retreat sessions for JOY and GOYA!

Links:

And here are some articles you may find to be helpful:

1. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, "Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ"

2. Mystagogy, "Celebration of Christmas"

3. Mystagogy, "The Byzantine Origins of the Christmas Tree"

Script:

Hey everybody this is Steve, the universe is a wonderful place! From incredible landscapes on earth, to beautiful scenes in space there's so much beauty in the universe, so many things to inspire wonder. And perhaps there's no greater wonder than what happens on Christmas Day. Take a look at the hymns of Christmas, there's a link in the description. They beautifully show how the Nativity of Christ turns the whole world upside down. "He whom nothing can contain has been contained in a womb."

God who created the universe, who is infinite who can't be contained by the universe suddenly allows himself to be contained in the womb of the Virgin Mary. "Fleshless as He was He willingly took flesh." God who is beyond even spirit who is invisible, who is infinite, decided to take on flesh; to be hungry with us, to be cold with us, to bleed with us, to die with us. 

"And while departing not from His own nature, He shared in our natures substance." The Son of God, the second person the Holy Trinity became man, and never stopped being God. He was weak as man and strong as God, finite as man, infinite as God. I... I mean what?! There is nothing I can say that we do this justice. Nothing. All we can do is cry out from the depths of our souls Christ is born! Glorify Him! Christ is born! Therefore glorify! Christ is come from heaven, encounter Him! Christ is on earth, arise to Him! Sing to the Lord all you who dwell on the earth and in Mary's spirit. All you people praise His name for He is Glorified!

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1. What are Vestments?

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