“And the wolf shall feed with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the young calf and bull and lion shall feed together; and a little child shall lead them. And the ox and bear shall feed together; and their young shall be together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And an infant shall put his hand on the holes of asps, and on the nest of young asps. And they shall not hurt, nor shall they at all be able to destroy any one on my holy mountain: for the whole world is filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as much water covers the seas. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall arise to rule over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust, and his rest (ἡ ἀνάπαυσις αὐτοῦ) shall be honor (τιμή).” (Is 11: 6-10, Septuagint-translation)

The coming of “a little child,” Jesus Christ, into my world makes true “rest” and true “honor” accessible to me, under His leadership. No longer do we need to fight undignified, pointless battles against flesh and blood, but hand things over to His mercy and grace, as He calls us to: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…” (Mt 11: 28)

As those of us on “the holy mountain” of the Church approach the celebration of the Lord’s birth in Bethlehem, (whether now, on the NC, or in two weeks, on the OC), let me let myself be led, by “a little child,” into His kind of rest and His kind of dignity. Today, as “the whole world is filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as much water covers the seas,” I open up to this life-bringing knowledge in gratitude and humility. “Your nativity, O Christ our God, has shone to the world the light of knowledge (τὸ φῶς τὸ τῆς γνῶσεως / свет разума)!“ O Lord, glory to You!

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