January 8, 2014 + St. Romanos on the Theophany of the Lord
by St. Romanos the Melodist, Kontakia I, On the Epiphany, Strophe 3-4.
Adam, sing praise, sing praise to Him; fall down before Him who comes to you;
For He has appeared for you as you come forward to see Him, to grope after Him, and to greet Him.
He who you feared when you were deceived, for your sake has been made like you.
He descended to earth in order that He might take you up on high.
He became mortal that you might be divine, and that you might put on the first beauty.
Wishing to reopen Eden, He dwelt in Nazareth. For this, then, sing, O man, and singing, charm the One
Who has appeared and illumined all things.
When God was seen by Abraham as he sat beneath the oak tree in Mamre
He was seen as a man, but Abraham did not recognize Him for what He was,
for he could not have endured it.
Today He has not appeared in this way to us, but in His own person, for the Word was made flesh.
For this, the enigma is clear: To our ancestors, darkness; to patriarchs, images;
But to the children, Truth itself.
For God appeared to Abraham, but he did not know Him as God.
But we behold Him because He wills it, and we hold fast to Him Who has appeared and illumined all things.
Afterfeast of the Theophany of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
Of old, the river Jordan turned back before Elisha's mantle at Elijah's ascension. The waters were parted in two and the waterway became a dry path. This is truly a symbol of baptism by which we pass through this mortal life. Christ has appeared in the Jordan to sanctify the waters!
Kontakion, Tone 4
Today the Lord enters the Jordan and cries out to John: "Do not be afraid to baptize me. For I have come to save Adam, the first-formed man."