Amidst wars, violence, refugee crises, terrorism, upheavals and worldwide Christian persecution, Christmas 2015 is so similar in so many respects to the very first Christmas and to the dark, hostile, unfriendly world Christ was born!
“This has been such a tough year – not only for so many of us, but for the world as a whole. Like never before, I long for Christ to come and turn this dust we are made of into Divine Flesh once again. The Nativity Fast never felt so difficult for me, I went through it with such a heavy heart. Everywhere you look, you see war and terror, bombings, torture, extremism of all sorts.
Now, Christmas is almost here. Christ will descend again upon the world, and the world will once again open up to His presence. Deep down, the earth changes. Deep down, we all change. I have never longed for Him as I do now. I have never felt as thirsty for His presence as I am now. The world itself never felt so dry and empty and lost without Him.”(*)
For detailed data on how Christians clearly represent the most persecuted people on earth in the 21st century, go to 2015 World Watch List, Overview
And we are not talking here of a bit of ridicule or silly marginalisation. We are talking about men, women and children being singled out because of their Christian faith or identity and put to an unimaginably cruel death. Or being driven out of home, away from livelihood, deprived of identity and dignity. Or, for women and girls, being forced into sexual slavery and subjected to rape-at-will. … http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/thunderer/article4649135.ece
(*) For Father Seraphim’s moving blog entry in full, go to http://www.mullmonastery.com/monastery-blog/waiting-for-christ/