On January 8 at the Sunday service of "Philadelphia" church, Izhevsk, pastor Oleg Malykh brought the angel’s words from Luke 2:10-11 into focus. Appearing to shepherds the angel revealed the truly good news. Nevertheless people cannot feel this joy entirely since their hearts are hardened by sin. This can be improved only through reconciliation with God that happens after a person asks God  for forgiveness. The pastor also highlighted the fact that the angel spoke about the birth of the Savior. Only Christ can save a person from their sins. Another important element of Christmas joy is fulfillment of God’s commandments. Obedience can fill every day with the joy about which the angel was talking.

Senior pastor Pavel Zhelnovakov continued talking about Christmas. He drew attention to a common situation when people consider this holiday as the time for carols, presents and a festive dinner. Only few realize that Christmas is primarily the mystery of incarnation of God.  Reflecting on this issue we should answer the following question: where and how did our salvation start? We should turn to the Old Testament to get the answer. Once a year Israelite priests entered the sanctuary with the blood of sacrificed animals for sins of their people. However sacrifices did not please the Lord because the hearts of people did not change (Hebrews 10:4-7). The icarnation of God was necessary for solving the problem of sin. There were two main reasons for this great event: enormous love of God to all people and sinful nature of mankind. The decision was made at the highest levels. In addition we should know how Christmas changes our life today. Living an earthly life Christ faced tiredness, pain, injustice and mockery. He experienced everything except sin. This is the reason why Christ can understand people as no one else can do. He went through everything, did not give in and preserved the truth. Pavel Zhelnovakov underlined that special greatness of Christmas is in the fact that Christ became a man to give us back the lost image of God. There are lots of people in this world who are afraid of going to church or giving a loaf of bread to a pauper but Christ was not afraid of becoming a servant. He did his part and it is our turn now. Our task is to reach our relatives and friends with God’s Word. This is the essence of Christmas.

Irina Konovalova



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09 Jan 2017
Christmas concerts of ensemble "Inkrezh" held in Izhevsk and villages of Bashkortostan