Joining in the Joy of the Magi
Saint Gregory Nazianzen
Christ is born, give glory; Christ is from the heavens, go to meet him; Christ is on earth, be lifted up. Sing to the Lord, all the earth, and, to say both together, Let the heavens be glad and let the earth rejoice, for the heavenly one is now earthly. Christ is in the flesh, exult with trembling and joy; trembling because of sin, joy because of hope. Christ comes from a Virgin.
Who would not worship the one from the beginning? Who would not glorify the Last?
Again the darkness is dissolved, again the light is established. Let the people sitting in the darkness of ignorance see a great light of knowledge. The old things have passed; behold, all things have become new…. All nations, clap your hands; for to us a child is born, and to us a son is given, the power is on his shoulder, for he is lifted up along with the cross. Let John proclaim, prepare the way of the Lord. I myself will proclaim the power of this day. The fleshless one takes flesh, the invisible one is seen, the impalpable one is touched, the timeless one makes a beginning, the Son of God becomes Son of Man, Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today and for the ages.
This is our festival, this is the feast we celebrate today, in which God comes to live with human beings, that we may journey toward God, or return—for to speak thus is more exact—that laying aside the old human being we may be clothed with the new, and that as in Adam we have died so we may live in Christ, born with Christ and crucified with him, buried with him and rising with him. For it is necessary for me to undergo the good turnaround.
Now welcome for me his conception and leap for joy, if not indeed like John in the womb, then like David when the ark came to rest. Be awed at the census record through which you have been recorded in heaven, and revere the birth through which you have been released from the bonds of birth, and honor little Bethlehem, which has brought you back to paradise, and bow before the manger through which you have been fed by the Word. Run after the star, and bring gifts with the Magi, gold and frankincense and myrrh, as to a king and a God and one dead for your sake. With the shepherds give glory, with the angels sing hymns, with the archangels dance. Let there be a common celebration of the heavenly and earthly powers. For I am persuaded that they rejoice and celebrate with us today.
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