In the days of radiant rejoicing about the coming to the world of the Savior, the Church is not alien to some of the sorrow that St. Philaret (Drozdov) says: "Among the triumph of His birth, the Church is suffering from the birth sickness, so that He" imagines "(in 4, 19) us ». What is this disease?
Reverend Simeon the New Theologian has wonderful words that clarify the image of Christ's "imagination" in us: "In the future life, a Christian ... will thoroughly test whether he had any semblance of Christ as a son to his father" . The whole concern of the Church in relation to Her children is that they become like Christ - a spiritual similarity, which consists in the likeness to Him of virtue. Until this happened, the Church is in the "birth throes": constantly and relentlessly delineates the features of Christ in the soul of every faithful son. And here a big difference between the one in whom this process is being carried out, but not yet completed, and those in whom it has not yet begun.
Imagine that a doctor or teacher known to all has come to a certain city. Every inhabitant of that city has not yet received any benefit from this visit, but will receive it if that doctor or teacher reaches his house and enters it. If the owner of the house does not want to accept this guest, then he will not benefit either, although the guest would be ready to deliver it. So we must also talk about coming to the world of the Savior: only he will receive substantial benefit from Him, who will receive Him into his home (soul) and become a disciple, like the Teacher. And in whom this process has not yet been committed, he, however much he screams about his Christianity, knows about the coming of the Teacher while only "out of the news" ...
I think we should think about this now, so that our joy about the birth of Christ does not acquire the color of a Protestant gaiety, when it is enough to realize and accept the truth of the incarnation of Christ for the sake of saving every human being, and this salvation becomes a "reality". Christianity "without makeup" is characterized by other attitudes and more decent such thoughts: "The teacher came. Thank God! Now you need to "roll up your sleeves" and study hard in the sweat of your face. " Or: "At last the doctor has come! Now, if only not to violate his prescriptions and not omit the timely administration of medicines. " Of these two - gradual recovery and painstaking learning - the process of Christ's "imagination" is in us.
St Philaret (Drozdov) warns that he can prevent this process: "While we live in peace with the carelessness of citizens and enjoy it with the autocracy of the possessors, until then Christ can not imagine ourselves in us". The reason is that "the world ceaselessly tries to impress in its soul its transitory images; satiated desires give birth to other desires, which imperceptibly grow into giants and build "Babylon". "Blessed is he who makes and smashes and breaks the stone" of the faith of the "babes" (Psalm 136, 9) of this Babylon and alienates himself from the hailstones where he dwells, in order to seek the future! ".
The time of life of mankind in its present state is coming to an end
How to understand these words? According to the word of the apostle Paul, the image of this world passes (1 Corinth 7, 31): the time of life of mankind in its present state is coming to an end, and therefore having wives should be like not having; And they that mourn as if they do not weep; And they that rejoice, even as they that rejoice; and buying, as not acquiring; and using the world of sim like not using (1 Corp. 7, 29-31). A man sent to a beautiful country, although he admires her beauties and enjoys her benefits, still does not cling to what he sees and uses, realizing that soon this country will leave and return to his beloved homeland, which he misses. Everything that is really dear to his heart is there, and the desire to return home quickly cools him to everything that is so attractive to the inhabitants of that country. The Apostle calls us to this sensation of our earthly retreat, for we do not have a permanent city here, but we are looking for the future (Gal. 13, 14).
In order that Christ may be imagined in us, it is essential to feel ourselves as temporary messengers or even exiles on earth, since "only arbitrary exiles of the earth are accepted as citizens of the sky. Who wants to be a village of the Son of God, he must have a homeland in a single God and, with all the attachment to the earthly homeland, however, very natural and righteous, to esteem him only as a heavenly barrier ".
Many and still need a Christian for this great art - the creation in oneself of the likeness of Christ. Let us mention the main thing, the image of which we find in a wonderful way in the very circumstances of the Nativity of Christ. A special love for infirmity, squalor and poverty, which has always distinguished the Lord, was already at the beginning of His earthly journey. Not taking anything sinful from this world, the Lord seemed to not want to show the world anything of his own, hiding it up to the time. "He concealed his immeasurable eternity for the day of his birth; The throne of the King of the Kings was made a manger, utensils - shrouds, the first servants of the Kingdom - shepherds of the herd; God's power and wisdom of God are hidden in the infirmities of infancy ". Being an ignorant clan, Christ is a worldly ignorant and despised and meaningless (1 Corinth 1, 28) elects, for only on the foundation of humility can build His house. And this is the last words of Saint Philaret for today: "God creates from nothing: how long do we want and we think to be something, until He begins to work in us. Humility and rejection of oneself is the foundation of the temple of Him in us: whoever deepens this, he builds higher and safer ".
The event of the Nativity of Christ, perceived externally, can not serve our salvation
So, the event of the Nativity of Christ, perceived by us only in an external way, without regard to our own lives, can not serve our salvation. According to one modern preacher, "Christ could have been born a thousand times in Bethlehem, but you do not benefit in any way if He was not even born once in your soul" . The main sacrifice of Christ for us and His main commandment is love. There is no more love than if someone laid down his life for his friends (John 15, 13), - said the Lord, Himself being the model of the fulfillment of His commandment and Himself becoming the Sacrifice for us. This is the difference between Christianity and all other religions: "All religions of the world speak about what sacrifices people should make to their gods, and only the Gospel speaks about what sacrifice God has brought to people" . God became man, so that man could become a god, when Christ is represented in him, the holy fathers teach us. And Christ incarnates on earth so that the whole future history of mankind will be embodied in the hearts of those who believe in Him. And He is embodied in hearts He also through love - through the love of a Christian to His commandments. The main commandment about love can be performed every day, for the words "to put one's own soul" do not speak only of the death of the physical. Christ calls the Christian to die for himself, forget about himself and remember about the neighbor and for him to live. Our consciousness - I recall the textbook formula - should be Christocentric, that is, in any person we must first of all see Christ, His image, and accordingly treat it, trying to be close, if our help is needed. Such an attitude towards our neighbor will become our work for the creation of Christ in our soul. The birth of Christ will take place in our hearts.
For two thousand years, God has been telling each of us: "For your sake, I sent My Son to earth. I believe that you will appreciate this gift and use it for your own good. I long to be with you always. Moreover, I want you to become like me, for I want to be your Father. It is so dear to Me that for this I sacrificed my only Son. But I do not want you to force anything: whether you want it or not, it all depends on you, for you and the choice. "
 Filaret (Drozdov), prelate. A word for Christmas.
 Simeon the New Theologian, Reverend. The word 2.
 Filaret (Drozdov), prelate. A word for Christmas.
 Andrey Kuraev, deacon. Answers to the young. S. 284.