When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
John 9:1-38 Jesus gives sight to the man born blind
“St. Irenaeus (second century) interprets “that the works of God may be manifest in him” (John 9:3) as a direct reference to the continuing work of God as Creator of the human person:
‘Now the work of God is the fashioning of man. For, as the Scripture says, He made [man] by a kind of process: “And the Lord took clay from the earth, and formed man.” (Genesis 2:7) Wherefore also the Lord spat on the ground and made clay, and smeared it upon the eyes, pointing out the original fashioning [of man], how it was effected, and manifesting the hand of God to those who can understand by what [hand] man was formed out of the dust. For that which the artificer, the Word, had omitted to form in the womb [viz., the blind man’s eyes], He then supplied in public, that the works of God might be manifested in him, in order that we might not be seeking out another hand by which man was fashioned, nor another Father; knowing that this hand of God which formed us at the beginning, and which does form us in the womb, has in the last times sought us out who were lost, winning back His own, and taking up the lost sheep upon His shoulders, and with joy restoring it to the fold of life…
As, therefore, we are by the Word formed in the womb, this very same Word formed the visual power in him who had been blind from his birth; showing openly who it is that fashions us in secret, since the Word Himself had been made manifest to men: and declaring the original formation of Adam, and the manner in which he was created, and by what hand he was fashioned, indicating the whole from a part. For the Lord who formed the visual powers is He who made the whole man, carrying out the will of the Father.'”
(Daniel B. Hinshaw, Touch and the Healing of the World, p. 38-39)
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The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly,
Next: Psalm 104:23-28
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Next: Psalm 104:16-22
Bless the LORD, O my soul.
O LORD my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
you set the beams of your chambers on the waters,
You cover it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
Next: Psalm 104:11-15
We have had a cold spring in our area. Winter has held on to the temperatures and brought us snow flurries, while the song birds are heralding spring in trees which are budding while flowers have appeared in fields and flower beds.
So when the day seemed even remotely springlike, I took my camera and walked the paths at Cox Arboretum. The weather may not be springing, but I tried to put a little spring in my walk.
I did see my first caterpillar, ant and (my favorite) bee of the season – welcome signs of spring.
In the Orthodox Church we frequently pray for “seasonable weather” which perhaps in our modern minds shaped by media weather reports translates into average or normal weather, though in our hearts we want it to be at least fair weather, preferable good or nice.
But there is an old Arab saying which has it that “All sun makes a desert.” We need the rain, clouds and cool weather to make our gardens grow.
“Unseasonably.” This to me is a strange word in the vocabulary of media meteorologists. In the middle of winter they might say on the coldest night of the year that it is “unseasonably cold.” They seem to mean it is below average in temperature, but in what other season except for winter would we have those bone chilling temperatures?
We seem to have had an unseasonably cold spring this year, though I don’t know if the weather data would affirm that or whether we have been well within what is normal for this time of the year.
A little ditty, I remember from my youth: “Whether the weather be fine, or whether the weather be not, it’s not a matter of weather or not. Whatever the weather, we’ll weather the weather, whether we like it or not.” Searching on the Internet, I see that limerick has many avatars, none of them exactly as I remember it.
You can find all of my photos from my walk at 2018-4-26 Cox Arboretum. Despite the weather, the birds keep singing every morning.
Come, let us greatly rejoice in the Lord; Let us shout aloud to God our savior; 2 Let us come before His face with thanksgiving, And let us shout aloud to Him with psalms. 3 For the Lord is a great God, A great King over all the gods;
4 For in His hand are the ends of the earth, And the heights of the mountains are His;
5 For the sea is His, and He made it, And His hands formed the dry land.
6 Come, let us worship and fall down before Him, And let us weep before the Lord who made us; 7 For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture And the sheep of His hand. Today, if you hear His voice, 8 “Do not harden your hearts as in the Rebellion, During the day of testing in the desert, 9 Where your fathers tempted Me; They tested Me, and saw My works. 10 For forty years I was treated with contempt by that generation, And I said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they do not know My ways’; 11 So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”
The story of Noah taking the animals in the ark mentions at one point taking two of each kind of animal with him.
But the Noah narrative is actually made of two versions of the story woven together in one tapestry and makes no effort to harmonize the two versions. The other version mentions taking seven pairs of clean animals and birds.
When the animals follow Noah into the ark as if he is the chief shepherd to all animals, it is the first time in Scripture that the animals are said to follow the dominion of humans.
The story portrays humans and animals in a harmonious relationship with humans having proper dominion over the animals.
Inside the ark itself the story suggests another paradise with humans and animals living peaceably together, though outside the ark the raging waters will threaten death to all.
“And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.
Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you, to keep them alive.
Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up; and it shall serve as food for you and for them.” (Genesis 6:19-21)
The ark was to be a protective storehouse of plants and animals that God would keep safe from the chaotic torrential downpour that would inundate the world. As destructive as the deluge might be, God was preserving all the species on earth.
What a menagerie of animals was brought together – just like in Paradise.
“… they and every beast according to its kind, and all the cattle according to their kinds, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth according to its kind,
and every bird according to its kind, every bird of every sort. They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life.
And they that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the LORD shut him in. ” (Genesis 7:14-16)
Isaac loved solitude and stillness, but any kind of closing in upon himself, any thought of his own salvation apart from his brethren, was entirely alien to him. He possessed that ‘merciful heart’ which is characterized by having compassion on all creatures, not only Christians, but also apostates, animals, and demons. His personal prayer, like liturgical prayer, grew to a cosmic scale embracing not only neighbors and strangers, but the whole of humanity and the entire universe.