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Theophany

January 7, 2012

 

Baptism of Jesus (Bogojavlenie, ortodox icon)

“When Thou, O Lord, was baptized in the Jordan, worship of the Trinity was made manifest. For the voice of the Father bore witness to Thee, calling Thee His Beloved Son. And the Spirit, in the likeness of a dove, confirmed the truth of His word. O Christ our God, who hath appeared and enlightened the world, Glory to Thee.” – Troparion for the Feast of Theophany.

This was the first feast of the Church I have celebrated as a newly illumined Orthodox Christian. What a joy to be present for the First Blessing of the Waters, the Vesperal Divine Liturgy and the Divine Liturgy on the morning of the feast.

During the short homily at the Vesperal Liturgy Fr Patrick was telling us how the blessing of the waters is like a reminder to us of our baptism. I know that I  JUST got baptized last week, but in the future this will be true. I later noticed that the phrase, “You created us out of the same elements as the earth…” was in both the prayer of the blessing of the waters and one of the pre-baptismal prayers. One of the things I appreciate about Orthodoxy is how everything is connected. There is nothing that is done for its own sake. Everything we do is somehow connected to our Savior.

On the morning of the feast (again during the homily) it was pointed out that this was the first time in history that it was made known to mankind that God exists in Trinity. I have heard it said that the Old Testament was a progressive revelation about the nature and character of God. In fact, Hebrews speaks to this fact in it’s opening verses, but then goes on to say that in these “last times” He has spoken to us by His Son, indicating a kind of finality to His revelation of Himself to mankind in this present age. Later, my sponsor came over and whispered to me that without the events of the Baptism (the Theophany) we would never understand the significance of the Nativity. He marveled at the wisdom the Church has in the way it has ordered its feasts days, so as to instruct us in our salvation. What a spiritual treasure that this feast day is!

Now comes the joy of having the annual house-blessing. In a sense, not just myself, but everything that I and my family have is baptized into Christ. No longer “alive” unto itself, but in Him, by Him and for Him. What a joy!

A Blessed Theophany to you all.

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