With the coming of Advent, we all have the need to focus more on the spiritual, on the things which separate us from the perfection to which our Lord calls us (Mat 5:48).
As I began to consider my own preparation for this season, I thought it might be good to go back and take a "refresher course" in the handbook of the season, Saint Athanasius and his wonderful work, "On the Incarnation of the Word of God."
Within that work, from the very beginning, we are taken back in time to the creation, to the perfection into which humanity was created through our fore-parents Adam and Eve.
We are introduced by Saint Athanasius to the issue of why it was necessary for God to come in the flesh with these words.
You must understand why it is that the Word of the Father, so great and so high, has been made manifest in bodily form. He has not assumed a body as proper to His own nature, far from it, for as the Word He is without body. He has been manifested in a human body for this reason only, out of the love and goodness of His Father, for the salvation of us men.
God the Son has come. He has taken on my flesh, that which He created for me, which I have corrupted by living in and succumbing to the lures of this fallen world. And in His taking on this flesh, He elevates it immediately to be associated with God. He restores the connection to God within the act of His incarnation.
This coming week we will celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Theotokos, a Feast within which we will be witnesses as a child of three years ascends the fifteen steps to the sanctuary of the Temple in Jerusalem. This miracle child, born to aged Joachim and Anna, will dwell within the Temple, and there will be fed by angels, will be taught the word of God, will live within the confines of a place dedicated to God and to prayer. There she will learn other skills, such as that of weaving, as we learn from Holy Tradition that it was she who wove the veil of the Temple which itself was torn in half when the One for whom she will weave a human body not so many years later gives up His life upon the Cross.
Check in tomorrow for day 2 of 40. And pray that our Lord will bless us all with a season of preparation for His coming in the flesh that will fill us not with worldly joy, but rather fill us with the joy of knowing God, of knowing His love for us, of knowing His gift to us. And pray that by our joy which comes not from man but from God He will enable us to enlighten the world around us to the real meaning of the coming Feast of the Nativity of our Lord.
Welcome to Saint Herman's, Hudson, Ohio
This blog is a partial compilation of the messages, texts, readings, and prayers from our small mission community. We pray that it will be used by our own people, to their edification. And if you happen by and are inclined to read, give the glory to God!
The blog title, "Will He Find Faith on the Earth?" is from Luke 18:8, the "Parable of the Persistent Widow." It overlays the icon of the Last Judgment, an historical event detailed in Matthew Chapter 25, for which we wait as we pray in the Nicean Creed.
We serve the Holy Orthodox cycle of services in contemporary English. Under the omophorion of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Bulgarian Patriarchal Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia, we worship at 5107 Darrow Road in Hudson, Ohio (44236). If you are in the area, please join us for worship!
Regular services include:
Sunday Divine Liturgy 10AM (Sept 1 - May 31)
930AM (June 1 - Aug 31)
Vespers each Saturday 6PM
We pray that you might join us for as many of these services as possible!