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Blessed Feast of the Meeting of our Lord in the Temple

Watercolor painting by Jennifer Bascom, Copyright 2017, all rights reserved

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. Luke 2:29-32

Blessed Feast! May the peace of our Lord be with you.

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May Christ the Incarnate God be with You

This week Morningtide friends who signed up for our Advent Read-along will finish our study of On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius of Alexandra.  Going into this I didn’t know what to expect. The book looked thin enough to finish during the season of Advent. Reading the first few paragraphs made me think that the task would not be too difficult. Finding an audio version on You Tube, I knew I had a means to get the material into me should reading fail me. However, it’s never as easy or as doable as you think when you set out to do something, is it?  At least for me my eyes are always bigger than my stomach so to speak.  Thanks to my Morningtide friends I got through it, as imperfectly as it was, and the experience drew me closer to God.  I saw Jesus in a new way. I saw myself in a new way. I saw others in a new way. To God be the thanks, and to my Morningtide friends for taking this journey with me.  Here are a few thoughts from the book that I will meditate on for a very long time.

On our Facebook group, Nov. 27, 2017, I shared, ” I keep thinking about the theme of re-creation, that Jesus is Creator and Re-Creator, that He didn’t just come to wipe away my sins (which He did) but also to re-create me in His image. I also keep thinking about in which ways I am participating in that re-creation process and in which ways I’m of no help at all, actually working against it. Oh Lord, help me to participate with re-creation and not to work against it.”

On Dec. 4th I shared, “I was pretty blown away with the idea that the Creator was contained in a body, yet not constrained. He continued to hold all things together and was everywhere present while in His body. That’s mind blowing. My understanding of Jesus is becoming much more than it was before I began reading On the Incarnation.”

On Dec. 11th I shared, “I’m struck by the matter of fact statement that St. Athanasius shares about the courage of the faithful in the face of death, that even children and women bravely faced death rather than deny Christ. I find myself facing many trials right now, and I’m not at all brave about them.”

Later in December, “My favorite portion of this section was the illustration of the stubble, fire, and asbestos. Though I don’t know the science behind what he’s talking about I imagined what he said and it gave me a good picture of death being soaked up by Life, the Life of Christ in me. This was very helpful, especially when I don’t “feel” the Life, I can imagine the Life of Christ soaking up everything that is vulnerable to death in me. This is a very helpful illustration.”

Finally today’s share, “In the feats of the saints St. Athanasius recounts, I am reminded of what it looks like to be a Christian, one worthy of the riches of the Kingdom of God. My prayer, “Lord have mercy on me a sinner, and God grant me many years that I may repent. Lord, I want to be like you but the road is so long. Be with me on the journey and finish the work that You started. Amen.”

May Christ the Incarnate God be with you in 2018. Happy New Year! “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

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The Presentation of Mary

I would like to send my greetings to my Morningtide friends for a blessed feast of the Presentation of Mary.  I love this story of the Blessed Virgin so much, and this hymn.

Today the Theotokos, the Temple that is to hold God,
is brought into the Temple of the Lord,
and Zachariah receives her.
Today the Holy of Holies is glad,
and the choir of Angels mystically keeps the feast.
With them let us celebrate the feast today,
and with Gabriel let us cry aloud:
“Rejoice, O full of grace, the Lord is with you,
He Who has great mercy!”

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The Falling Asleep of the Blessed Virgin

Oh, the marvelous wonder!

The source of Life is laid in a grave,

and the tomb becomes a ladder to heaven.

Rejoice, Gethsemane, holy shrine of the Theotokos!

Let us, the faithful, cry out with Gabriel as our captain:

“Rejoice, O full of grace, the Lord is with thee,

He that grants the world great mercy through thee!”

-Hymn for the Feast of the Falling Asleep of the Blessed Virgin

Today we remember and give honor to The Virgin Mary, who carried within her God Incarnate, making her the source of Life. Her tomb became a ladder to heaven, as she passed from death to life at her falling asleep.

On this feast we read from the book of Ezekiel, “And the Lord said to me, ‘This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because the Lord God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut,'” which reminds us to honor the Virgin Mary for her saving dedication to our Lord as she saved herself and wholly dedicated herself to God as an honorable vessel and throne for our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ.

In this image you see that the Virgin Mary has fallen asleep and Jesus is holding a little baby.  The little baby represents Mary’s soul. Just as Mary carried within her Jesus, now Jesus carries the soul of Mary. This is why we call Mary the greatest example of a Christian because we as Christians are called to carry the Lord within us, and Mary shows us that we can follow her example.

Morningtide to Eventide would like to wish all our followers a blessed feast.