“Behold, now is the acceptable time, behold now is the time of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
Sebastian Brock in THE LUMINOUS EYE: THE SPIRITUAL WORLD VISION OF SAINT EPHREM THE SYRIAN describes an understanding of ‘time’ in Patristic writers which is different from the modern sense that time is always and only linear:
“Ordinary time is linear and each point in time knows a ‘before’ and an ‘after’. Sacred time, on the other hand, knows no ‘before’ and ‘after’, only the ‘eternal now’: what is important for sacred time is its content, and not a particular place in the sequence of linear time.”
Thus in the hymns of the church we often encounter ‘sacred time’ as in the hymns of Christmas in which the birth of Christ is spoken about as happening “today”. We are not celebrating past history, but entering into the experience of the birth of Christ.
Today heaven and earth are united, for Christ is born.
Today God has come to earth, and man ascends to heaven.
Today God, who by nature cannot be seen,
Is seen in the flesh for our sake.
Let us glorify Him, crying:
Glory to god in the highest, and on earth peace!
Your coming has brought peace to us: Glory to You, our Savior!
In the Feast of the Nativity of Christ, we are always living in the present, not in the past. Christmas is not a remembering of or recreation of the past, but making salvation present the current moment of our existence. Today Christ is born regardless of whether it is 2012, 2013, 2011 or the year 3, 11 or 1012.
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law…” (Galatians 4:4)
You can find links to all the blogs I have or will post during this year’s Christmas season at 2012 Nativity Blogs.
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