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To the Christ loving Congregation of the Diocese of Melbourne and Affiliated Regions,

Grace and Peace to all on this Glorious Feast of Nativity, praying that the Lord of Heaven and Earth grant us heavenly Joy that surpasses all understanding. St Paul writes:

“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” - Galatians 4:4-5

God the Father, in the fullness of time sent His only begotten Son hat whoever believes in

Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). The coming of the Son of God

into the world as a human being, occurred at the perfect, predetermined moment in

history. God's plan for humanity unfolded gradually and exactly over time and at the

fulfilment of a divine plan—a specific moment when all conditions were right for the

arrival of Christ. The divine purpose behind Christ's arrival at that particular moment,

signifying God's sovereignty over time and history for the redemption of humankind.

The Virgin Birth of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ was conceived in the womb of

the Virgin Mary solely by the power of the Holy Spirit, without the involvement of a human

seed. The Child conceived is uniquely fully divine and fully human.

The Virgin Birth, as affirmed the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies (Isaiah 7:14) and

emphasizes the divine intervention in the incarnation, underscoring Jesus Christ’s identity

as the Son of God. The divine to rescue of humanity from the peril of damnation that was

in the heart and mind of God from the moment of our heart now comes to fruition in the

Incarnation of the Son of God. The divine plan that would restore man to his dominion and

bring forth the realisation that the creature made in God’s image and likeness is distended

to live eternally with God and as St Peter puts it:

“by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” - 2 Peter 1:4

Under this divine economy all of creation bears the potential for revealing God's presence

and grace. As St Paul writes for the Romans (8:21-22) because the creation itself also will

be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of

God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labours with birth pangs together

until now. God’s divine plan will not only save humanity but will return all of creation to its rightful order. Isaiah the profit sees it as (11:6-7) “The wolf also shall dwell with the

lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat.”

The King of Peace will bring us and all creation peace. Awareness of the Incarnation of the

Son of God and the divine love it signifies an opportunity to encounter God in whatever we

do. The Orthodox Church brings this to us in its holy sacraments, in which the divine

presence of God and His saving grace in encountered in material things. Indeed, God visits

His people, daily and continually, in the most mundane of things a manifestation of God's

handiwork and deepen our understanding of God loves us.

Having this in mind we a free to live a life of fullness. A life signified by flourishing that is

transformative, the true life of God in the midst of the false one promoted by the world. A

true life empowered by the Holy Spirit defined by “righteousness and peace and joy”. What

does it mean for life to be led well? It is righteous. What does it mean for life to go well? It

is peaceful. And what does it mean for life to feel as it should? It is full of joy. We are

invited into this life with a promise of the eternal reality in which eternal rejoicing will be.

Having this mindset, we should work to reconcile with our heavenly Father through His

Son by the Grace of the Holy Spirit. A life going well is a set of peaceful relationships—with

God and, on the foundation of relationship with God, with other people and the created

world. This reconciliation extends to all around us and we should celebrate the feast of

reconciliation of the Incarnation by reconciling with one another. The hallmark of peace

found in the flourishing life are people truly reconciled to one another and living in

harmony worshiping together in the church and seeking the common good.

As the Christ loving Diocese of Melbourne and Affiliated Regions reaches its Twenty Fifth

year since its establishment, let us as one people of God committee to a flourishing life of

righteousness, peace and Joy. Let us all, as a people reconciled with God, be reconciled

with one another, furthering God’s Kingdom and eagerly awaiting His return.

Be at Peace, the Peace of the Lord be with you!

6 January 2024


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