The Coptic Church says a few things about Christmas time:
Coptic Orthodox Church
The Feast of the Nativity 2008
It is my pleasure to wish all of you a blessed Feast of the Nativity in which we celebrate the Incarnation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Today we rejoice because of the birth of Emmanuel our God. St. Matthew the Evangelist wrote that the name Emmanuel means God is with us, as a fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which is translated, God with us.” (Matthew 1:23; Isaiah 7:14). Today, we rejoice because God is with us.
God wishes to be with man, because He loves him and said, “My delight was with the sons of men.” (Proverbs 8:31). In His love for man God created him out of nothing and gave him the grace of being. Furthermore, He created man in His image and likeness.
The entire history of humanity revolves around God’s presence with man; it is the story of God’s love for man, as well as the story of eternal life, as it is written in the Holy Bible regarding the Heavenly Jerusalem, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3).
Our feeling that Emmanuel is with us, that is to say God is with us, is what gives us courage, so we can say with the Psalmist, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6).
Let us rejoice today, because our God Emmanuel is with us. Our joy will be even greater when we are with Him.
Let us joyfully present to God repentant hearts, so He can dwell within us and we can be confirmed in Him and He in us.
Let us pray that the Lord may grant us to feel that we are always in His presence, leading us to a life of holiness and righteousness.
May God bless Australia, its government and its people. Wishing you and your families a blessed Christmas and a joyful 2009.
Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of NSW, QLD & NT