Saint Athanasios the Great, a marvelous fourth century writer and father of Christendom wrote a magnificent treatise called, “On the Incarnation.” He says, God became “sarkophoros” so that we could become “pneumatophoros .” God bore our flesh so that we could bear His spirit. In Orthodox liturgical theology Christmas and Epiphany go hand in hand. Christmas is the prelude. On Christmas God enters our world. On Epiphany He makes manifest His Plan of salvation for us. How can God make manifest His plan of salvation for us if we do not allow the Infant Baby Jesus to grow into full manhood? How can we grow into Christian maturity to recognize and receive the grace of God, if we remain at our infancy?
St. John reminds us in his Gospel, “But to all who receive Him (Jesus), who believed in His Name, He gave power to become Children of God.” (1:12)
Christmas is a joyous journey but it is also one of responsibility and commitment. This is why we must approach the whole Christ, not just bits and pieces of Him.