The Meeting of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, in Church Tradition, signals the perfect fulfillment of the Law with Life itself. A Great Feast, indeed, and pivotal even, ranking closely with Nativity and Pascha, the Meeting is the culmination of the Nativity/Theophany cycle of services. Of course, only the Incarnation and Resurrection are as great as our Lord offering Himself up for all in the most perfect love imaginable, sacrificial love. Nevertheless, on this day we receive in the Church limitless joy at His kenotic condescension in the flesh to our level in the first place, as the newborn Savior is presented in the Temple on the 40th day along with a sacrifice of two turtle doves, in His family’s perfect fulfillment of the Jewish law. The humble offering of two doves sufficed then instead of the more perfect offering of a lamb, an allowance for those who could not muster. But in this case joy is received through such humility, joy which outstrips even death as the Christ Child is the unblemished Lamb of God, begotten, offered up, and resurrected-resurrecting unto/for the whole world. Instructive here is bodily presence in full dedication to God, as where God and man authentically meet the flesh is deified. Exemplary here is our father among the saints the Elder Symeon (of the Seventy) who fully receives by the grace of God illumination by the Word of the way of salvation (mine eyes have seen), who lives by His Commandments (according to Thy Word), and who upon receiving Him in his arms is purified by the Spirit of peace. And in these, as has been revealed to him aforetime, he at last can find eternal rest. With the Prophetess Anna who witnessed this, then, may we announce, Glory to God for this most awesome feast through which is given for all ages the fullness of the prophecy of our Savior’s birth in the flesh, His having appeared (Theophany), and His achieving victory for all over death!
Published by ephraimbee
Reverend Deacon of Russian Church Abroad, Pastoral Theology seminary graduate of The Orthodox Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America, Master of Arts in Philosophy: Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and Bachelor of Arts in English-Professional Writing: Webster University. College Instructor and Licensed Property & Casualty Insurance Agent. Husband and father. View all posts by ephraimbee