In the Beginning: Reflections on the Nativity Fast

Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. And God said “Let there be light”; and there was light. (Genesis 1:1–3)

Unlike our American culture, which celebrates from now until Christmas, with celebrations ending promptly on December 26, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Nativity throughout the year. Our joyful part of the celebration in this season is supposed to be from December 25 through January 7. November 15 through December 24 is a period of fasting and reflective preparation. The focus is neither shopping nor decorating, but meditating on the awesome miracle of the Son of God taking on flesh and becoming one of us. This is why we call the holiday either the Nativity (to commemorate an historical event) or the Incarnation (to recognize the spiritual significance of the Nativity). Each day of the forty days, we examine the scriptures of the Nativity. My hope is that we’ll take this journey together in a prayerful and purposeful way.

Why did God send His Son to be among us? To answer this question, we go back to “the beginning.” Read More

Source: The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, "In the Beginning: Reflections on the Nativity Fast",