The only begotten Son of God, born from Ever Virgin Mary came to this world for our salvation. Not departing Heaven, He became incarnate, wholly uniting with human nature and receiving its fullness in everything except sin [see The Creed]. Through this immaculate birth, Son of God also became Son of Man, beginning the spiritual birth and renewal of mankind. Christ’s Nativity was the symbol of His unspeakable humility, through which He ascended from heavenly glory to reside in the world desecrated by sin. He was born at a cavern in Bethlehem, in a manger for meek animals [Luke 2:7
], since the Creator of universe came not to reign, but to serve the fallen mankind, in order to restore the darkened image of God in it. According to the teaching of Church fathers, He was born in an unknown and wretched shelter, in order to conceal the shame and wretchedness of our sinful nature by His heavenly glory and fill us with fullness of grace. As unknown and unremarkable His birth was for men at first, so enormous was the echo of this cosmic event among the celestials, where a multitude of heavenly host praised God saying “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” [Luke 2:14
] as to earth came He, Who would atone the sins of men and reconcile them with God the Father.
Yerevan, man. No 10675, f. 177,
Gospel of Melitene, 1267-1268 A.D.
Written and illustrated by Toros Roslin
Only a few shepherds witnessed the praise of angels and came to worship the newborn [Luke 2:8-2:20
]. Also able to perceive the Son of God were the magi – wise men from east, who came to Israel following a leading star. They bowed before the newborn Messiah and worshipped Him, then opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh [Matthew 2:1-11
According to ancient tradition, Christ was born on January 6. Armenian Orthodox Church is the only church that has held strong to the tradition of celebrating the Nativity and Baptism of the 30-year-old Christ on this day, refusing to separate Baptism and Nativity by celebrating Nativity on December 25.