For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, ‘I will proclaim your name to my brethren, in the midst of the congregation (ἐν μέσῳ ἐκκλησίας) I will praise you.’ And again, ‘I will put my trust in him.’ And again, ‘Here I am, and the children God has given me.’ Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same (τῶν αὐτῶν), that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage. For surely it is not with angels that he is concerned but with the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.” (Hebr 2: 11-18)

Christ is “not ashamed” to call us His “brethren” and “children.” He stands up in our midst, having “partaken” of our nature, our “flesh and blood,” in His incarnation, and says: “Here I am, and the children God has given Me.” He is “not ashamed” to stand up and be counted, as one of us.

Let me also not be ashamed, to stand up and be counted, as one of His. “Here I am, Lord,” I say to Him today, given to You, as one of Yours. I am no longer “nowhere,” floating about in meaninglessness and in purposeless, “lifelong bondage” to self-centered fear. Today I draw close to You, as You have drawn close to us, as I make my way toward Bethlehem, to share in Your flesh and blood, and in the vision of Your Nativity. “Bethlehem! Prepare yourself, O Ephratha! The Lamb is on her way to give birth to the Chief Shepherd she carries in her womb…” (Kontakion-hymn, Sunday before Nativity)

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