Christ is Born! – St. John Chrysostom

A strange and mysterious wonder I see before me. The sounds of shepherds reach my ears. But today the flutes are not playing some chance tune; their lips are singing a heavenly hymn.

The angels are singing hymns, accompanied by the Archangels, the Cherubims are chanting and the Seraphim are singing glories. They all celebrate the feast, seeing God on earth and men in heaven.

Today Bethlehem imitated heaven: Instead of stars it received the angels; instead of the sun, it received the Sun of Righteousness. Don’t ask how. God can overturn natural law anyway he wants to.

He wanted this, and it came to pass. He came down to earth and saved Man. Everything worked in unison with him, for this single aim.

Today He Who Is, is born. He is God and he becomes Man! He becomes Man and yet at the same time, remains as God!

When he was born his fellow Jews did not accept this strange birth. On the one hand the Pharisees misinterpreted the sacred scriptures and on the other the Scribes taught different things completely. Again, Herod, wanted to find the newly-born Infant, not to honour Him, but to kill Him.

Well, today they are rubbing their eyes seeing the King of Heaven on earth with human fleah, born of a Virgin mother.

And the Kings came to worship  the heavenly King of glory.

The soldiers came to serve the soldier in chief of the heavenly hosts.

Women came to worship  the person who transformed female sorrows into joy.

The maidens came to worship Him who created breasts and milk and was nursed by a Virgin Mother.

The infants came to worship the One who became an infant, to compose a glorifying hymn “out of the mouths of babes”.

The children came to worship the person for whom Herod’s madness turned them into the first martyrs.

The shepherds came to worship the Good Shepherd, who sacrificed his life on behalf of His sheep.

The priest came to worship the One who became an Archpriest in the order of Melchisedek.

The slaves came to worship the One who took on the form of a slave, to turn our slavery into freedom.

The fishermen came to worship the person who turned them into fishers of men.

The publicans came worship the person who turned one of their kind into an evangelist.

The harlots came to worship the One who gave his feet over to the tears of a harlot.

In short, all the sinners came to see the Lamb of God, who lifts the sins of the world upon his shoulders:

“The Magi to worship

the shepherd to glorify

the publicans to preach

the harlots to offer myrrh

the Samaritan woman to quench His thirst

the Canaanite woman to receive mercy”

Since they are all leaping for joy, I also want to leap and dance and celebrate. Without strings, or flute, without glowing torches in my hand. I celebrate by holding the swaddling clothes of Christ in my hands. They are my hope, my life, my salvation, this is my flute, this is my guitar. This is why I have them with me, so that I can gain strength from their strength, so that I can shout out together with the Angels, “Glory to God in the Highest” and with the shepherds, “and on earth peace and goodwill towards men”.


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