NOW THAT GRACE HAS COME


The shadow of the law has passed now that grace has come, / for as the Burning Bush was not consumed, / so did you bear a Child O Virgin / and remained a Virgin; / instead of a pillar of fire, the Sun of righteousness has dawned, / instead of Moses, Christ, the salvation of our souls.” (Theotokion Dogmatic-Hymn, Byzantine Sunday Vespers, Tone 2)

Here’s an example, from this weekend’s church-services, of how we “see” the Old Testament. As Church, we illuminate it in the grace-filled light of the New, thus bringing it out of its “shadow.” We are given to look at the frightening vision of the burning-yet-not-consumed bush, presented at Horeb to Moses, who “hid his face” at this point, because “he was afraid to look at God” (Ex 3: 6). But we don’t hide our faces, because we see, “now that grace has come” in the flesh, God-bearing virginity, burning-yet-not-consumed. We are given to “see” in the midst of our “night,” and we are led through our “wilderness” not by a pillar of fire (Ex 13: 21-22), but by the Word Incarnate, “Christ, the salvation of our souls.”

So let me open my eyes today, and gratefully “see” as God gives me to see, in the wholeness of His revelation of Himself to us, throughout history. There is much more to be “seen” in my “wilderness” today, if only I have the eyes to see.

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