SHINE, SHINE, NEW JERUSALEM!

Saturday, May 4, 2019

     “David, the divine forefather, leapt and danced before the ‘shadowy’ Ark (πρὸ τῆς ‘σκιώδους’ κιβωτοῦ / пред ‘сенным’ ковчегом, i.e., before the Ark that was a fore-“shadowing” of things to come). Let us also, the holy people of God, beholding the fulfillment of the symbols, divinely rejoice; for Christ has risen as Almighty.” (Paschal Canon, Ode 4)

 

      The Ark of the Covenant was a gold-covered wooden chest, containing a jar of manna (the heavenly bread), the two stone tablets with the ten commandments, and Aaron’s rod (Hebr 9: 4). In light of New Testament revelation, we traditionally “see” the Ark as a fore-shadowing of two mysteries: 1. The Theotokos (because she had in her womb the “heavenly bread” and Fulfillment of the Law, Jesus Christ), and 2. The Church, i.e., all of us (for those same reasons). King David “leapt and danced” before the Ark, when he brought it to Zion in the City of David, Jerusalem (also a symbol of the Church), where it was henceforth to be kept (2 Kings/2 Sam 6: 14-15). Note that David’s wife, Michal, “despised David in her heart” because of his politically-incorrect or “un-kingly” behavior on this occasion (2 Kings/2 Sam 6: 16).

 

  How does David’s “leaping and dancing” relate to our celebration of Christ’s resurrection? We are “divinely rejoicing” as the Lord, our “heavenly bread,” (re)-enters our “city” at His resurrection. He is henceforth in our midst, bringing us New Life and Light in His Self-offering Presence. So we throw political correctness to the wind and celebrate, like children, leaping and dancing. “Shine! Shine! O New Jerusalem! The Glory of the Lord has shone on you! Exalt now and be glad, O Zion! Be radiant, O Pure Theotokos, in the Resurrection of your Son!” (Paschal Canon, Ode 9) 

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