The Sunday Before Nativity
The Geneology of Jesus Christ
The following is an excerpt from The Winter Pascha, by Fr. Thomas Hopko
The gospel reading for the Divine Liturgy on the Sunday before Christmas is “the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham,” taken from the gospel according to St. Matthew. This genealogy lists the generations of people from Abraham to David, to the Babylonian captivity of the people of Israel, to the birth of Jesus.
It is a selected genealogy, ending in the appearance of “Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ” (Mt 1:16). It differs from the genealogy presented in St. Luke’s gospel which begins with Jesus “being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph,” and goes back all the way not simply to Abraham but to Adam (Lk 3:23-38).
There are many purposes for presenting the genealogy of Jesus in the gospels, chief among which is the affirmation that Jesus, being in truth the Son of God, as all the gospels testify, has come “in the flesh” as a real human being. This affirmation was critically important in the time of the apostles and the first Christian generations because, unlike today, the temptation of the early period of Christianity was not to deny Jesus’ divinity, but to deny His real and authentic humanity.
Read the entire article on the Antiochian Archdiocese website.
Christmas Liturgy at 6pm on December 24
Christmas Liturgy will be held on Christmas Eve at 6pm.
How do we prepare? Light breakfast and nothing else until Liturgy. If you need something for health reasons, eat lightly without any embellishments.
Thank You For Helping with the St. Nick Potluck
Thank you to everyone who helped make the St. Nicholas Pot Luck on December 5 a success. Many people donated their time, food, and decorations to make it a wonderful time of fellowship. A special thank you to Mary Copeland who organized the dinner.
You can see photos of the dinner on the website.
Help the Poor Christmas Eve Day
Cafe of Life, the local food bank that St. Peter’s partners with needs our help. They are short 8 volunteers on Christmas Eve day to serve food at their facility.
Who are the working poor? The working poor are not homeless, but families where the parents do not earn enough money to pay the basic expenses to keep their families together. One area often neglected to keep a roof over their heads and the car running for work is food. Cafe of Life helps bridge that gap and we help them do it.
We need a list of volunteers. Sign up on Sunday (see Anthea Teufel) or on the website. Serving begins at 9am at Leitner Park in Bonita Springs (get directions from Google or the Cafe of Life website)and runs for about two hours.
Please Bring Toiletry Items on Sunday
Toilet paper, toothpase, tooth brushes, soap and any other toiletry items are also needed at Cafe of Life. Please bring some to Church on Sunday. They will be collected and given to the working poor on Christmas Eve day.
Food for the Hungry
As we do ever year, the months approaching Christmas is when we collect foor for neighborhood foodshelves.
Please bring a canned item to Church with you on Sundays. Bins will be set up to collect them.
Cash/check donations work too. Please give your donation to Mary Copeland and notate “Food Donation” on the memo line.
The drive will run through December 29. All donations will be distributed locally.
See more information on the website.
Chior Practice and Orthodoxy 101 Class Continue Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Choir practice begins at 6pm and Orthodoxy 101 at 7pm.
Get the class syllabus and complete information on the website.
Read Chapters 15-16, Pages 215-238 to prepare for class.
For Class on Wednesday, December 23 read:
Read Chapters 17-Conclusion, Pages 239-277.
St Nicholas Pot Luck Pictures
Check out the gallery on the website.
Remember in Your Prayers
Soterios Ninos father of Angela Long.
Tom and Jean, parents of Patty and Jerry.
How should we pray for the sick? Remember them daily. Say their names and ask God to bestow mercy and grace on them.
For the Sunday before the Nativity
Blessed are Thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers.
For Thou art justified in all that Thou hast done for us.
The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (11:9-10, 32-40)
Brethren, by faith Abraham sojourned in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living
in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the
city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, and put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment.
They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
For the Sunday before the Nativity: “The Genealogy”
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (1:1-25)
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, and Aram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.
And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa, and Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, Who is called Christ.
So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ were fourteen generations.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and His Name shall be called Emmanuel” (which means, God with us).
When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called His Name Jesus.