theophany

 

This is the GREAT MYSTERY of the Incarnation: God descends into a material body in order that we may ascend to God.  God becomes flesh that we might become temples of the Spirit once again.  The material creation in Christ IS the vehicle for our salvation. We are saved BY THE MATERIAL BODY OF CHRIST.   In descending into water, Christ sanctified water and Christ’s union with humanity and our union with His divinity was revealed by material creation. Thus the entire cosmos was proclaimed to be God’s Temple, and all of creation as having the power to bring union between God and man, or as St. Gregory of Nyssa stated in The Great Catechism “…it is the property of the Godhead to pervade all things and to extend Itself through the length and breadth of the essence of existence in every part”.  “But we know that the water did not cleanse Him, the most holy and sinless One; but it was He who sanctified the water by deigning to be washed by it, as was sung today during the sanctification of the water: “Today the nature of the waters is sanctified.”

(St. John Chrysostom)

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