Post date: Jan 29, 2014 3:14:29 AM
Continuing with the katavasiae of the Presentation
Ode iv. The heavens were covered by Your virtue, O Christ. * For coming forth from the Ark of Your holiness, Your Mother who sustained no corruption, * You appeared today in Your glorious Temple, as an infant held in arms. * And the entire creation was filled with Your praise. The icon at the back of our altar is known as the Theotokos who is wider than the heavens. Both it and this hymn remind us that the heavens are not enough to contain God, yet the Theotokos carried the Son of God within her womb. We also have a parallel here to the Ark of the Covenant: the Theotokos contained the Word of God Himself, just as the Ark contained the word of God as received by Moses: the Ten Commandments. Finally, we see that with God glory is found not in power, but in humility: creation is filled with the praise of Christ seeing him as a little infant, fulfilling His Law.
Ode v. Isaiah once symbolically saw God *seated on an elevated throne * with a host of glorious Angels standing with Him. * He cried, "Woe is me; I am lost! * With my eyes I have foreseen incarnate God, * and He is the Master of never-setting light and peace." The direct encounter with the living God leaves the prophet awe-struck. He realizes that he has been granted a gift, and at the same time he realizes his unworthiness of the gift he has been given. Of course, as a result of the vision, Isaiah can be said to become the preeminent foreteller of the incarnation.
With love in Christ,