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September 3, 2014 + The Tilling First Given by God to Adam

by St. John Chrysostom

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till and to keep it (Gen. 2:15).

'To till.' What was lacking in Paradise? And even if a tiller was needed, where was the plow? Where were the other implements of agriculture? The "tilling" [or "working"] of God consisted in tilling and keeping the commandment of God, remaining faithful to the commandment... Just as to believe in Christ is the work of God (John 6:29), so also it was a work to believe the commandment that if he touched (the forbidden tree) he would die, and if he did not touch it, he would live. The work was the keeping of the spiritual words ... "To till and to keep it," it is said. To keep it from whom? There were no thieves, no passersby, no one of evil intent. To keep from whom? To keep it for oneself; not to lose it by transgressing the commandment; to keep Paradise for oneself, observing the commandment.

St. John Chrysostom, On the Creation of the World 5.5, Tvoreniya 6, p.791 [trans. Robert C. Hill, p. 67], taken from Genesis, Creation, and Early Man: The Orthodox Christian Vision, by Seraphim Rose, 2nd ed., p. 226.

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Hieromartyr Anthimus the Bishop of Nicomedia

Troparion, Tone 1

You protected your flock with your blood, not fearing your adversaries. Now you rejoice in heaven standing before the throne. Glory to Christ who has strengthened you; glory to your courage; glory to your endurance, O holy Hieromartyr Anthimus!

Kontakion, Tone 4

Illustrious priest and steadfast martyr, Anthimus, worthy of praise: you assailed the worship of idols, and championed your flock which fervently cries to you: by your prayers deliver us from dangers!