The true presence of God
NATIVITY AND THEOPHANY - DAY 7
In the Old Testament, the Temple was considered the place of God’s dwelling place on earth. And yet, King Solomon, after building the Temple, said, “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!” (1 Kg. 8:27).
The true presence of God, which cannot be confined to stone or wooden structures, dwelt on earth in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Apostle Paul says, “For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). Thus, when the second person of the Holy Trinity, the Only-begotten Son of God, came into the world and became incarnate, heaven was rejoicing and the earth was cheering, because “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
In ancient times, a pious king is said to often walk among the people in disguise so as not to be recognized. When his officials, for security reasons, asked him not to do so, the king answered: “I cannot rule my people if I do not know how they live.”
How true! And indeed, the greatest doctrine of the Christian faith is that our God, the Lord Jesus is not a stranger to us. He knows how we live, he understands our pain and suffering, because he came into the world, lived among humans in every aspect except sin, was hungry, wept, suffered, was persecuted, and crucified for us. Even today, we enjoy the full presence of God, and Christ our Lord walks among us because, as he promised, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matt. 18.20).
Magnificat Hymn, Tone VII.
The wondrous dawn was concealed from us,
And the word of the Father was incomprehensible;
The blazing fire dwelt amongst us in the flesh
to protect all creatures from harm.
Miraculous birth that dawned from the Virgin,
shining light on all creatures;
heaven was delighted and earth rejoiced;
and Christ God walked among humans.
We take refuge in you, most holy Lady,
Supreme and wondrous, and giver of good things;
You are the fountain for the thirsty, and the resting place for the weary,
And you became the vessel for the divine Word.