“When the set time had fully come”. This is a phrase that could be understood through what precedes it which is a talk about the heir that is subject to guardians and trustees. However, when he matures, the reign of the guardians ends. But after the end of the guardianship period, the set time fully came. Therefore, God sent his Son born of a woman, and we became directly under the Son’s authority or reign, and then, the reign of Moses’ law and its statutes was invalidated.

Paul assured that we became sons. Therefore, “God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, Abba, Father”. Here, Paul wrote in Greek letters the Aramaic word and then explained it as “Father”. “So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child”, in a sense that the guardianship system is vanished and you have become as the only beloved son for the Father and you have the same love that this Son has from the Father and this is what explains that you are adopted.

“God has made you also an heir”; God doesn’t treat you anymore as a person from the Old Testament put under guardianship. Your direct relationship with God is “through Jesus Christ”. The sonship of the latter to the Father made you a son. This chapter from the Epistle to the Galatians was taken in order to understand the meaning of the Nativity. In the early Church, this day was celebrated with the Theophany and the meaning of the two remembrances is God’s manifestation through the Nativity and Baptism.

Then we separated the two remembrances and we kept the remembrance of the Lord’s Baptism on January 6th. However, when we read this passage from the epistle to the Galatians, we started to understand what wasn’t very clear in the common feast, which is the fact that we became sons through Jesus Christ’s sonship.

And our sonship started carrying the meaning of the children’s boldness towards their father. A Child talks to his father and mother in the spirit of filiation.

It is true that this feast was called “the small feast” by our fathers, and they called Easter “the great feast” because it is the feast of salvation. However, the divine incarnation launches the salvation. Also, salvation appears in all the feasts of Jesus Christ and his miracles and also Jesus’ teachings show the mystery of salvation.

It is sad that Christmas is confused with idolatrous traditions such as eating and drinking before the Liturgy or on its eve, and it is almost turned into a worldly season. It is time to live it as an ecclesiastic season full of divine meanings in which we are renewed every year.

Do we receive Christ as Mary, the manger and the cave did? Do our poor hearts open for him and we sense the warmth of his love? Do we celebrate the feast in our Churches and not only at our homes?

The feast is not the decoration. It is sharing with the poor so that they know that God loves them through their richer brothers. Christ was poor when he was born and stayed poor. As an honoring and love for him we will ask about the in need so that we satisfy him and get closer to his heart.

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “تبنّانا الله بالمسيح” –Raiati 52- 25.12.2011