What's in a Name?

Why Holy Nativty:


In the Orthodox Christian tradition, Churches are named after a patron saint or a significant event in the life of Christ or the history of the Church.  By carrying the name, Holy Nativity, we seek to manifest through our community that exact same revelation in the flesh of our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ that took place at His Nativity (birth).  Just as Christ's Incarnation (which began nine months earlier at the Annunciation) began to be manifest at His Nativity, so we too seek to have Christ conceived in us--in a hidden way through prayer and the sacramental life--and manifest through our daily life in the world. ​


The birth of Christ is about much more than a baby in a manger.  It is about the joining of divinity and humanity in one Man, Jesus Christ.  Without confusing or mixing the two distinct natures, Christ joined in Himself humanity and divinity, thus making salvation possible.  As many of the Church Fathers have said, God became man so that man might become god (see Jesus' interpretation of Psalm 82 (81):6 in John 10:34; and 2 Peter 1:4).  He who is God by nature, the Logos, humbled himself and took on human nature and became the Man, Jesus Christ.  Human beings who are born again (born from above), put on Christ--the new Adam, the new Man--and by Grace participate in the very divinity of God.  By the Holy Spirit, those in Christ participate in the continued life of Christ on earth as members of Christ's Body, the Church. 


Holy Nativity Orthodox Church, on the one hand, is already the manifest body of Christ.  On the other hand, Holy Nativity Orthodox Church is called to manifest the body of Christ.  Already and not yet; or to use an expression from St. Paul, the saints are called to be saints.  However, while Jesus Christ was the perfect human being, we are repenting human beings.  Furthermore, it is only together that we manifest the whole Christ.  Each of us (at our best) has only a portion, a part, a gift which together with all the gifts manifests Christ's continued ministry on earth.  Individually we have weaknesses and strengths and are torn by sin and confusion and death.  But as persons humbly submitted to Christ and one another, it is possible to manifest Christ, to be bearers of Christ.