Monday, October 08, 2007

First Paschal Sermon of St. Gregory of Nazianzen called "The Theologian"

Yesterday the Lamb was slain
And the door-posts were anointed,
And Egypt bewailed her Firstborn,
And the Destroyer passed over us,
And the Seal was dreadful and reverend,
And we were walled in with the Precious Blood.
Today, we have escaped from Egypt and from Pharoah; And there is none to hinder us
From keeping a Feast to the Lord our God —
The Feast of our Departure;
Or from celebrating that Feast,
Not in the old leaven of malice and wickedness,
But in the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, Carrying with us nothing of ungodly and Egyptian leaven.
Yesterday, I was crucified with Him;
Today, I am glorified with Him;
Yesterday, I died with Him;
Today I am quickened with Him;
Yesterday, I was buried with Him;
Today, I rise with Him.
But let us offer to Him Who suffered and rose again for us — you will think perhaps that I am going to say gold, or silver, or woven work, or transparent and costly stones, the mere passing material things of earth, that remains here below, and is for the most part always possessed by bad men, slaves of the world, and of the Prince of the World.
Let us offer ourselves,
The possession most precious to God, and most fitting; Let us give back the image that is made after the Image, Let us recognize our Dignity; let us honour our Archetype;
Let us know the power of the Mystery,
And for what Christ died.
Let us become like Christ,
Since Christ has become like us.
Let us become God's for His sake,
Since He for ours became Man.
He assumed the worse
So that He might give us the better;
He became poor,
So that we through his poverty
Might become rich;
He took upon Him the form of a servant
That we might receive back our liberty;
He came down,
That we might be exalted;
He was tempted,
That we might conquer;
He was dishonoured,
That He might glorify us;
He died,
That He might save us;
He ascended,
That He might draw Himself to us,
Who were lying low in the Fall of sin.
Let us give all, offer all,
To Him who gave Himself
As Ransom and a Reconciliation for us.
But one can give nothing like oneself,
Understanding the Mystery,
And becoming for His sake,
All that He became for ours.


Evan and Julia said...

I wanted to share this. It's out of season, I know, but worth while just the same. This is a great melding of Paschal/Pasach stories filled with Christological wonder.

Oh, those Cappadocians are just the best, aren't they?

Also, notice the use of the word Ransom in reference to the Atonement. I've recently started noticing that word a lot in good hymns of times passed.

I hope you all enjoy this.

Joyce Collins said...

Julia, this comment doesn't have anything to do with your posting but I thought I would put my comment here!
I recently posted pictures of the new sanctuary at New Beginnings. A friend who attended St. Paul's as a teen with me did not know we had changed churches and made a comment on MySpace asking if that was St. Paul's. I told her that the St. Paul's sanctuary had changed as well. As I was sharing with Gary about the comment, I told him that my favorite time of the beauty of the St. Paul's sanctuary was when we used your banners! Those were so beautiful!!!! If I had a place in my house for all of those I would ask you to make some for my house to draw me into continuous worship!!!!! :?) Come to think of it...your nativity set is my favorite ever!!!!! Thanks for using you God given talent to turn around and glorify Him.