September Nativity

On September 8, we celebrate the first great holy day of the Orthodox liturgical calendar (the Church Year begins in September). The Nativity of the Mother of God celebrates the birth of the woman called to be the mother of the Messiah.

The Lord tells the Prophet Jeremiah:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. (Jeremiah 1:5)

If this is the case for the prophets, it is so for all God’s People. God did not choose Mary arbitrarily to be the woman who would bring his Son into the world. Mary’s ministry as “Theotokos”– “Birth-giver of God” – was in the Lord’s mind before he formed her in her mother’s womb. Before she was born, Mary was set apart, consecrated, for this great calling.

Indeed, none of us is here by accident. Like Mary, we all have a part to play in God’s great plan for his creation. What is required of us is the trust, courage, and resolve of our Lord’s Mother, to echo her words:

I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be to me according to your word.

Happy Incarnation Day!

We think of Christmas as the feast of the incarnation. But, since Orthodox Christians believe that life begins at conception, the incarnation really begins at the Annunciation, when Mary accepts the archangel’s news that she had been called by God to give birth to the Messiah.

What happens on December 25 is the fulfillment of something that begins nine months earlier, on March 25.

More info on the feast of the Annunciation of the Mother of God here.