Malankara World

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Church

Christmas Sermon - 2010

by Archbishop Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan

Dearly beloved faithful,

The eight Sundays which come before Christmas Day, were preparation Sundays or a time to know the stages that mankind went through, and who the Holy New-born Child, of Bethlehem is. The first Sunday [Sanctification of the church] and the following Sunday [the renewal of the church], represent the whole story of the love of God to mankind, how God created the man, and when man sinned how God planned to renew him.

Dearly beloved:

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace. There will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice. From that time forward, even forever.” Isa 9:6,7.

The Birth of this Child, the Nativity is about the beginning. Why is a child born?

When it comes to Child and why the world celebrates His birth, a question perhaps arises, “What child is this who is laid to rest on Mary’s lap sleeping?” Why did a birth that took place in an animal cave or stall in a backwater town of Judea, in a corner of the Roman Empire, in a town of no more than around five hundred people make a mark on the world’s history, impacting even the calendar many use today? After all we are describing an event that takes place commonly around the world literally all the time.

The Nativity: Born for God

When we turn to Luke’s gospel, it does not take us very long to see why Jesus was different. Even before He was born, there were signs this child would be unique. The babe that Mary bore had come through an angelic declaration of divine creativity.

The Nativity: Born to Bring Light

Luke has more than an angel to tell us about Jesus.

• In Luke chapter one, the father of John the Baptist Zechariah, upon the naming of his son utters a hymn known today as the Blessing.

• This Child was born to bring light, born for God to show us new views about how to live in light and of how we were created.

The Nativity: Born to Die

A little later in Luke, angels appear again to shepherds in the fields. The glory of God shone around the angel as he came to the shepherds in the night to announce the light.

Again the announcement tells us all we need to know.

The Nativity: Born to Serve

Jesus’ life was different from every other Lord who has walked the earth. Lordship is about power and keeping it for oneself.

The Nativity: Born for Peace for those who embrace the Birth

In a final word to those shepherds the angel had one final note of joy. He told those sheep herders they would find this king laying in a feed trough for animals, a manger.

Here was a king born among the people, the people He had come to serve. Here was the Son of God, not hidden away in elite isolation nor entering the world with the splendor of many heirs to a throne.

Dearly beloved

On this blessed occasion of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, in flesh, we offer our warmest felicitations to our highly esteemed holy father Mor Ignatius Zakka I, Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, supreme head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, and His Beatitude Mor Baselius Thomas I, asking the Lord to keep them healthy and prolong their life, and we congratulate all prelates, clergy, deacons, parish councils, institutions, parishioners, and our whole faithful of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch all over the world.

May the Holy Babe shower His blessings upon you through His Birthday [Christmas], and may He bestow upon your upcoming feasts and New Year His joy, health, and peace.

May His grace be with you all.


Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan

See Also:

Christmas Message - 2010
by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose

What are we searching for?
by H.G. Yuhanon Mor Meletius

The Nativity Sermon
by Saint John Chrysostom

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