In every facet of our modern lives, we are drowning in things we think of as "new".

Consumerism has reduced much of our life to a search for some new material possession, new technology, or some stylish fashion that can provide us with a small whiff of a new life - at least, while the illusion lasts.

Increasingly, human relationships have also been reduced to this quest for newness. Parenting magazines offer the latest trends on raising our children, implicitly rejecting timeless wisdom. The search for love - and for a spouse - so often leaves behind the goal of finding a self-sacrificing co-struggler, and substitutes the convenience of speed dating, or more tragically, anonymous physical affairs.

Sadly, even the spiritual life of most people is caught up in this obsessive search for a false newness - which in fact settles for mere emotional feelings and exotic experiences, instead of reaching higher, toward the Truth that can only be reached by leaving our ego behind.

At Christmas, we mark the moment God took on human flesh, to make it entirely new. Despite our tendency to fight against Him, Christ continues this work in us, each day up unto the present day. We see His renewing of our flesh through physical miracles; we experience His renewal of our heart through peace and stillness in the midst of sorrows and temptations. And most importantly, we can see the full effect of His Incarnation when we face Death, whose permanent, sorrowful end Christ sweeps away, if we indeed allow Him into our lives through repentance and the Holy Mysteries.

At Christmas, Christ offers us the renewing of the whole world, and of ourselves. Why on earth would we settle for anything less?

- FrG+

"Ours must be an orthodoxy of the heart, not just the mind."

-St.Tikhon of Zadonsk