THE LIGHT OF KNOWLEDGE


“Today You have shown forth to the world, O Lord, / and Your light (τὸ φῶς σου) has been marked (ἐσημειώθη) on us. / In knowledge (ἐν ἐπιγνώσει), we sing Your praises. / You have come and revealed Yourself, / O unapproachable Light.” (Kontakion-Hymn, Theophany/Epiphany)


For those of us on the Older Calendar it’s Christmas Eve today, while New Calendar-people celebrate Epiphany/Theophany, which in Byzantine tradition commemorates the Lord’s Baptism in the Jordan, and in Latin traditions – the adoration of the Magi or “Three Kings.“


And despite the rather different customs and “flavors“ of our different feasts today, what strikes me this morning is a common theme of divine “knowledge,“ both in the above-quoted Kontakion of Theophany, and in the Christmas-Troparion that we OC-people will be singing today: “Your Nativity, O Christ our God, / Has shone to the world the Light of knowledge (τὸ φῶς τὸ τῆς γνώσεως)! / For by it, those who worshipped the stars, / Were taught by a Star to adore You, / The Sun of Righteousness, / And to know You, the Orient from on High. / O Lord, glory to You!”


Let me be teachable, and open to the kind of “knowledge“ Christ shines upon me today, in the feast at hand. “I am the light of the world,” He says to me today. “Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Jn 8: 12)

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