The Ethics of Christmas – The Nativity Sermon of Isaac the Syrian

Rublev, Nativity Icon, Isaac the Syrian, Christmas, Ethics

Icon of the Nativity (detail) by Andrei Rublev (Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons)

This Christmas night bestowed peace on the whole world;
So let no one threaten;

This is the night of the Most Gentle One –
Let no one be cruel;

This is the night of the Humble One –
Let no one be proud.

Now is the day of joy –
Let us not revenge;

Now is the day of Good Will –
Let us not be mean.

In this Day of Peace –
Let us not be conquered by anger.

Today the Bountiful impoverished Himself for our sake;
So, rich one, invite the poor to your table.

Today we receive a Gift for which we did not ask;
So let us give alms to those who implore and beg us.

This present Day cast open the heavenly doors to our prayers;
Let us open our door to those who ask our forgiveness.

Today the Divine Being took upon Himself the seal of our humanity,
In order for humanity to be decorated by the Seal of Divinity.

– St. Isaac the Syrian (7th century), Nativity Sermon


Related Post
: He and Us – Thoughts On the Nativity from St. Ambrose

10 thoughts on “The Ethics of Christmas – The Nativity Sermon of Isaac the Syrian

  1. Thank you, Fr Mike, for this challenging message! Michael and I think of you and Cyndy really often and wish you an exceedingly blessed Christmastide.

    On Dec 24, 2016 8:46 AM, “Interrupting the Silence” wrote:

    > Michael K. Marsh posted: ” This Christmas night bestowed peace on the > whole world; So let no one threaten; This is the night of the Most Gentle > One – Let no one be cruel; This is the night of the Humble One – Let no one > be proud. Now is the day of joy – Let us not revenge; No” >

    Like

  2. This was used tonight at our midnight service in the middle of rural Wales after I picked up your post. Many thanks for the inspired posts.

    Like

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