Sometimes I hear from people that they feel nervous and confused on their birthday, counting the years that have passed. For me, the main feeling on this day is gratitude to God Who created me.
Birthday is like a small Easter, a personal resurrection of a person, because on this day God created him. Of course, Orthodox dogma teaches that the Lord creates a person at the moment of conception (this is why the Church firmly stands against abortion, considering it murder). When we celebrate our birthday, we celebrate both our conception and birth from our mother’s womb, i. e. we celebrate our creation by the All-loving Creator. A great miracle takes place on that day. God creates man from nothing and from His mouth (what a holy and pure sacred action!) He breathes life and soul into each of us! Isn’t this truly a small Easter for every person!
Therefore, on this day we need to thank God with special reverence for this great mercy of our birth into His light.
Some people think, “Why does the Lord create babies who die in infancy?” But this is a soul that did not exist, and was created into this world, baptized and then admitted by God into the Holy of Holies, into His kingdom! Isn’t that a worthy cause? Isn’t that God’s great mercy and His grace?
Others think, “Why did God create demons who will be tormented in hell for eternity? But even in hell, personal conscious existence is better than non-existence. Therefore, even the existence of demons and sinners in hell is also God’s mercy.
To this end, I would like to wish all of us to give thanks to God on our birthday. If possible, let us commemorate this day by reuniting with God in Liturgy, i. e. the Eucharist (from the Greek grateful sacrifice), by partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ. Let us offer God a thanksgiving prayer on our birthday and ask Him for deliverance from sins, the Kingdom of Heaven and blessings to live the next year in a way that would lead our souls to salvation. Let us thank God for creating us, lighting the candles of our souls in the darkness of nothingness and leading us to eternal resurrection in the Kingdom of Heaven, to eternal unceasing Pascha in Heavenly Jerusalem. A poet once wrote, “Heaven is always with me”. It truly is, because God, our Creator, is always with us.
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds