NB:The barren desert will bear many children.

The great power of the holy services of the church and especially the deeply theological and devotional content of matins is that it presents the important dogmas of our faith in startling and understandable ways. In every matins service, there is something that is too beautiful for words, and yet, the words being sung warm the soul and comfort it.

This sticheron above contains such words. A dogma of our faith is that Christ came so that human nature could change, be renewed, become holy. We know this (or should know this – many Christians do not understand this dogma), but in order for it to be completely active in us, we must experience it.

Here, the bearing of many children is used …

Ambvon Prayer on the Feast of the Nativity of the Savior

Ambvon Prayer on the Feast of the Nativity of the Savior, translated by Bishop Jerome.

O Master, Christ our God, Who from before all ages didst shine forth from the Father [Greek: “from Thine unoriginate Father”] without passion, and in the latter days wast ineffably incarnate and born of the most holy Virgin;

Who for our sakes wast made poor, that by Thy poverty we might be enriched; …