When Can I See God?

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“How Moses struggled! He asked God to be allowed to see Him, face to face, but God showed him only His back parts (Ex 33.20-23). Many centuries had to pass before Moses was granted a face-to-face encounter with God, and it occurred, not on Mt. Sinai, but on Mt. Thabor, on the day of the Transfiguration (Lk. 9.30-31). Are you better than Moses? Are you able to ascend the mountain of theology, endure the blasts of the trumpets, and withstand the terror of the fire and the lightning? Even if you could do all that, you wouldn’t be satisfied. At some stage, you’ll have to get to Mt. Thabor – which is the mountain of the heart – for only there will you see God as he is (1 Jn 3.2).”

(Archimandrite Aimilianos of Simonopetra, The Way of the Spirit, p. 291)

Miracles: Shadows or Signs?

8186046743_7c12364a5a_nAnd again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” – He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”  (Mark 2:1-12)

Looking at Mark 2:1-12, one question that comes to mind as suggested by the text itself is “What was the purpose of Christ healing the paralytic?”

The answer is that Jesus wanted to prove he had the power to forgive sins.  The miraculous healing was completely secondary for Christ.  Jesus responds to the faith of these men by pronouncing forgiveness of sins to the paralytic.   Jesus only heals the paralytic to prove to the people that He really did have power to forgive sins.  While we often are so impressed with the miraculous and seek out miracles, Christ offers a deeper mystery – the forgiveness of sins so that we can be in union with God.

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We find a similar idea in Exodus with why Moses before the Passover performed miracles both for the Egyptians and for the Jews in Egypt.  The goal was to bring people to faith, to recognize that God in fact had spoken to Moses.  The miracles of the plagues though spectacular for Hollywood were secondary to his goal.

So in Exodus 4:1-9, the miracles God commands Moses to do are not the main point at all. The miracles are to get the Jews to believe Moses really is sent by God and to get Pharaoh’s attention so he will let the Israelites leave Egypt.   Moses did not go to Egypt to be a miracle worker but to be a prophet.  He would use the miracles to accomplish his real goal.   So we read in Exodus 4, Moses pleading with God that he doesn’t want to go to Egypt because he doubts the Jews will believe him anyway.

Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you.'” The LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A rod.” And he said, “Cast it on the ground.” So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it.

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But the LORD said to Moses, “Put out your hand, and take it by the tail” —so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand— “that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.” Again, the LORD said to him, “Put your hand into your bosom.” And he put his hand into his bosom; and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, as white as snow. Then God said, “Put your hand back into your bosom.” So he put his hand back into his bosom; and when he took it out, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh. “If they will not believe you,” God said, “or heed the first sign, they may believe the latter sign. If they will not believe even these two signs or heed your voice, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it upon the dry ground; and the water which you shall take from the Nile will become blood upon the dry ground.”

At first the miracles had the effect on the people God wanted:

Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the people of Israel. And Aaron spoke all the words which the LORD had spoken to Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. And the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped .    (Exodus 4:29-31)

At least at first they believed in  Moses and the Lord, but when things started to get rougher for the Jews in Egypt, they quickly turned against the miracle worker Moses.   Note: God wasn’t telling the people to start chasing miracles.  The miracles were to lead them to believe Moses was sent by God.  But as soon as the people began to suffer they immediately abandoned the miracle worker.  So God tells Moses:

Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment, and I will take you for my people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; I will give it to you for a possession. I am the LORD.'” Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel; but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and their cruel bondage.   (Exodus 6:6-9)

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Moses performed his miracles so that the people might believe that He actually was sent by God.  Jesus does miracles for the same reason, and the people turned against Jesus just like they turned against Moses.     And, often we act like we are only interested in more miracles, not really interested in being disciples of Jesus because that is too demanding and hard.  We behave just like Israel.  We want the miracles but don’t want to follow God if it means life might be difficult.

Jesus comes and asks us to follow Him, and He shows us miracles as a sign to follow Him as He is leading us to God’s Kingdom.  But so often we are more interested in the miracles than in following Christ.   Christ opens the kingdom of heaven to us and we don’t care as long as we have some miracles and magic in our life.   Christ’s miracles however are meant as signs pointing to the important reality which is God’s Kingdom.

3917200039_015b3e655a_nJust as Moses would lead Israel out of Egypt into the desert on the way to the promised land, so Jesus calls us to follow Him, and to turn away from all of the allurements and attractions and pleasures of the world in order to find our way to the Kingdom of Heaven.  Jesus offers us the forgiveness of our sins as a sign to follow Him in a new direction, to become the human beings God has created us to be.

When we come to confession, Christ asks each of us:  “what do you want me to do for you?”   This is a question He asked several people before healing them.  Ask yourself: What do I need from Christ?   What do I want from Christ as I confess my sins?    If the answer is “nothing, I’m just fulfilling my obligation”, then we will receive nothing for sure.   Do we want forgiveness of our sins?  Do we want healing of our souls?  Do we want to be cleansed of our sins?  Do we want Christ to abide in our hearts?  Do we want  to be able to forgive others?   Do we want to move in a new direction in life?  Do we want to move toward the Kingdom of God?  Do we want to be able to love others as Christ loves us?

8603198517_a0b81057f4_nSt Gregory Palamas taught that our heart is a mirror, but a very special and unusual mirror for if we look into the mirror of our heart it is possible to see God.  Partially it is possible since each of us is created in God’s image and likeness.

The search for God thus begins in our own heart  we don’t have to go somewhere to see God, not to Jerusalem or Mecca or  Kathmandu or Mt Athos.  The journey to God is accessible to each of us because as it turns out being created in God’s image means we carry God within ourselves.  We actually also carry the journey to God in our own hearts.

In this thinking,  sin is our ceasing to look for God in the inner mirror of our heart.  When we cease looking into the mirror of our heart to see God,  what do we see?  We gaze upon our self.  We find a selfish joy of making our self the object of our spiritual search, our vision, our dream.  We become self-centered narcissists.  What’s good for me?  What’s in it for me?  What do I get out of it?  What do I want?  How will this affect me?

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I remember a number of years ago reading the story of a student whose best friend had died.  And what question did this young man ask?  . . . . . . .  – how could God let this happen to me?    He wasn’t even concerned how the death affected his best friend, he was only concerned about how his friend’s death affected himself.   That is certainly what happens when we cease to carry God in our hearts.

As we continue our sojourn through Great Lent, we are to remember our search is for God.  We began Great Lent forgiving each other so that God would forgive us our sins.  And then we realize that the forgiveness of our sins is a sign that Jesus Christ is Lord and He has opened the Kingdom of Heaven to us, so we should follow Him.  Miracles are given to us as a sign pointing to the kingdom of God.  We aren’t seeking signs, we are seeking the Kingdom.

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Christ-like Mercy

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”   (Matthew 5:7)

“He is merciful who shows compassion to his neighbor not only with gifts, but also when he hears or sees anything that causes suffering to someone, he does not prevent his heart from burning. And even if he is struck a blow by his brother, he does not presume to retaliate against him with so much as a word and cause him mental suffering.”

(St. Isaac of Nineveh, On Ascetical Life, p. 66)

Did Moses Foresee the Theotokos?

It seems to me that, already, the great Moses knew about this mystery by means of the light in which God appeared to him, when he saw the bush burning without being consumed (cf Ex 3:1ff). For Moses said: “I wish to go up closer and observe this great vision.” I believe that the term “go up closer” does not indicated motion in space but a drawing near in time. What was prefigured at that time in the flame of the bush was openly manifested in the mystery of the Virgin, once an intermediate space of time had passed.

As on the mountain the bush burned but was not consumed, so the Virgin gave birth to the light and was not corrupted. Nor should you consider the comparison to the bush to be embarrassing, for it prefigures the God-bearing body of the Virgin.

(St Gregory of Nyssa, in Luigi Gambero’s Mary and the Fathers of the Church, p. 155)

Most amazing in the quote is that St. Gregory is way “ahead of his time” in thinking that Moses is able to foresee the incarnation in the Virgin because of a miraculous condensing of time which enabled him to experience a prefiguring in the burning bush of what was to happen in the womb of the Virgin.  It is not that Moses got closer physically to the burning bush, but somehow he crossed through time to get a glimpse at what God was planning.  This relativity of time that St. Gregory describes predates Einstein by 1500 years.

Adam, Moses and Christ: Denying Salvation Alone

Exodus 32:9 (NRSV)
The LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are. Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.”   . . . On the next day Moses said to the people, “You have sinned a great sin. But now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” So Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Alas, this people has sinned a great sin; they have made for themselves gods of gold. But now, if you will only forgive their sin—but if not, blot me out of the book that you have written.”
(Exodus 32:30)

Holy Moses!  There are many great events in the life of Moses which are wonderful to contemplate.  Exodus 32 describes one such stunning moment.  God is fed up with Israel and tells Moses to stand aside as God intends to destroy Israel.  Moses puts his own life on the line in defense of Israel – a people who have done nothing but rebel against Moses and blame him for all their troubles.  Yet, Moses tells God, he won’t separate himself from Israel – whatever Israel’s fate is to be, Moses demands that he should share their same judgment.  Even though Moses did not sin against God on this occasion and God tells Moses that he alone is to be made into a great nation, Moses tells God: “If you won’t save Israel, then don’t bother to save me either.”  God is not willing to destroy His faithful servant, so chooses to spare Israel rather than lose Moses.  The notion of salvation being a social construct is an idea revealed in Scripture.  No one is saved alone.  In Christianity all  are saved as part of the Body of Christ – and thus together with all of God’s redeemed people.  Moses shows us to choose that communal way of thinking – even if I’m the only one not sinning, still I choose to be identified with all of the people of God, to share with them whatever judgment they deserve.  Moses tells God: Do not look at me and see me as the lone righteous person.  I’m either part of the people, or I am nothing.

The idea that we are saved in, through, with and because of community is not one that meshes well with the extreme individualistic thinking of the modern West.  It does, however, remind us of what it is to be truly and fully human – to share in a common human nature, to be part of social history, to be lovingly united to one’s fellow humans.

We encounter this same thinking in a rather rare, yet beautiful interpretation of Scripture found in the writings of Johannes Duns Scotus, a prominent Franciscan theologian of the 13th century.  Going against the Augustinian tradition which dominated Western Christianity, Scotus has the first human, Adam,  choosing to eat the fruit God forbade them to eat, not in rebellion against God but rather choosing to be united with his wife Eve, who had already fallen in sin and become mortal.  For Scotus, Adam commits not the original sin, but rather chooses self-denial, kenotic love.  Instead of being separated from the woman whom God gave him because of her sin, Adam decides to share Eve’s fate, showing his true humanity.  Adam may think the whole mess is God’s fault (“the woman YOU gave me...” – Genesis 3:12), but he denies himself in order to remain united to God’s gift to him – united to “the bone of his bones and the flesh of his flesh” (Genesis 2:23).  All humans share the same life, a life which God in the incarnation chooses also to share with us.   Scotus says:

“Adam saw perfectly clearly that his wife had been deceived and that the serpent had lured her into a trap from which she could not now escape. She will have to die, he thought, and God will offer to create a new companion for me, either from another one of my ribs or from some other source. But I do not want a new companion. I want this one and only this one. There is but a single way in which I can remain with her, and that is by conjoining my fate to hers. We will live — and, when the time comes, we will rot together.”   [quoted in Stephen Greenblatt’s The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve, p 308]

Scotus has Adam thinking like Moses – I do not want to be considered by God apart from the people God gave to me.  It is a tradition not of salvation alone, but salvation as a member of God’s chosen people.

Both Exodus 32 and Scotus’s quote also reveal to us the Lord Jesus, who chose to deny His exalted, heavenly position, and to become a human, in order to completely identify with us, including choosing to die for us and with us and because of us, rather than to be a transcendent God separated from us His creatures.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  (Philippians 2:1-11)

Jesus Christ becomes incarnate, takes on Himself human nature and the human condition in order to redeem us and be eternally united to us.  Salvation alone is no salvation at all for it denies our humanity which Christ embraced.

And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.  Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.   (Hebrews 11:39-12:3)

Moses, Seeing God and the Transfiguration

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“In Exodus 33 we find the paradox of intimacy and distance, knowledge and ignorance, presence and transcendence. Moses in the Tent of Meeting seeks guidance from the Lord for his work as leader of the people of Israel; he is told, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest’ (v. 14); but Moses wants more, and asks to see the glory of God. To this request comes the reply, ‘You cannot see my face; for man cannot see me and live’ (v. 20). As this incident unfolds we see a distinction between what Moses does see and what he is unable to see: ‘And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand upon the rock; and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.’” (vv. 21-23). The mystery remains, and Moses is not able to see God face to face. But the Israelites are aware of the effect of Moses’ time in the presence of God, for the face of Moses shines ‘because he had been talking with God’, shines with a brightness so great that his face had to be veiled (Exodus 34:29-35). Here we have an early example in the Scriptures of the human face transfigured because of close contact with God; it is an experience that is repeated in the lives of many saints. Much of what we see in the life of Moses we see also in the lives of other Old testament prophets, such as Elijah (1 Kings 19) and Isaiah (Isaiah 6), so it is not surprising that these Old Testament episodes become ‘types’ which help to interpret later events, and which find greater significance in the light of the subsequent developments.

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St. Gregory of Nyssa used the life Moses as a starting point and framework for his exposition of Christian ascetical theology, and from Gregory derives a while tradition of apophatic theology which uses the imagery of darkness to articulate the Christian experience of living with the mystery of God’s presence. The theophanies involving Moses and Elijah are included in the Scripture readings at Vespers for the Feast of Transfiguration .”   (John Baggley, Festival Icons for the Christian Year, p. 60-61).

Moses, The Man of God

“Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah. . . Moses, the servant of the LORD, died there in the land of Moab, at the LORD’s command.”  (Deuteronomy 34:1-5)

“… the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses …”  (Jude :9)

Today in the Orthodox Church we commemorate the Lord’s friend and prophet Moses, the Man of God.   St. Ephrem the Syrian in one of his many poems has the personified Death reminding Jesus that even Moses, a friend of God who spoke to God face to face, died and was claimed by Death himself.  Moses performed wondrous and great acts of God, mighty miracles, and still Death says, Moses belonged to him – no one escapes the clutches of Death.  Death boasts to Christ that it was God who handed Moses over to him despite all that Moses had done for God.  So overconfident was Death based on Death’s claims over Moses, that Death felt he could demoralize Christ, reminding Jesus that His crucifixion was ordered by God, and that there was no escape.  Little did he know.  Death is not the last word, but the last enemy.

“Death opened his mouth and further said,

‘Have you never heard, son of Mary,

of Moses, how he excelled all men in his greatness,

how he became a god, performing the works of God

by slaying the [Egyptian] firstborn and saving the [Hebrew],

how he held back the plague from the living?

Yet I went up with the same Moses to the mountain

and God – blessed be his honor –

handed him over to me in person.

However great one of Adam’s son becomes,

he will return as dust to dust, for he comes from the earth.’”

(Ephrem the Syrian as translated by Sebastian P. Brock & George A. Kiraz, Select Poems, p 151)

“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”   (1 Corinthians 15:20-26)

See Also:  Holy Prophet Moses, the God-Seer

The Holy Prophet Moses the God-Seer

The Holy Prophet Moses is commemorated in the Orthodox calendar annually on September 4.  Moses is referred to in Orthodoxy as the “God-seer” based on the witness of Scripture:

“When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here am I.” (Exodus 3:4)

“Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel…”  (Exodus 24:9-10)

“Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” (Exodus 33:11).

“And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face…”  (Deuteronomy 33:10)

The 4th Century monk Evagrius noted that when Moses is praised in the Old Testament, it is not for his many mighty deeds or powerful miracles.  Rather, he is praised for his humility.  “Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all men that were on the face of the earth”  (Numbers 12:3). Evagrius writes:

“’Tell me, then, why has Scripture, when it wanted to praise Moses, left aside all miracles and commemorated only his meekness? For it does not say that Moses punished Egypt with the twelve plagues and led the esteemed people out thence. And Scripture does not say that Moses was the first to receive the Law, and that he acquired insights into bygone worlds. And Scripture does not say that he separated the Red Sea with his staff, and brought forth water from the rock for the thirsting people. Rather, Scripture says that he stood all alone in the desert in the face of God, when he wanted to destroy Israel, and he besought to be blotted out with the sons of his people. Before God, he set down love for mankind and transgression by saying: ‘If you will forgive their sin – and if not, blot me, I pray you, out of your book which you have written.’ Thus spoke the meek one! But God preferred rather to forgive those who had sinned than to do an injustice to Moses.’

Thanks to his meekness, Moses was the only one who spoke with God, ‘face to face’ and learned from him the reasons of creation ‘in visible form, and not [only] in dark sayings.’ For meek love, the ‘mother of knowledge’, is the door to natural knowledge, to which the five books of Moses bear witness. Indeed, as ‘friendship with God’ and ‘perfect spiritual love’, love marked by meekness is even the place where ‘prayer in spirit and in truth is effected!”     (Gabriel Bunge, Dragon’s Wine and Angel’s Bread, pp 83-84)

See Also:  Moses, the Man of God

 

Seeing God

Prophet Moses the God-seer

Moses testifies that while it was granted to him to do everything like God, at last he abandoned everything and prayed to see the Lord of all. For if the creatures of the Creator are so pleasant to look upon; how much more pleasant is their Creator to look upon; but because we have not any eye which is able to look upon his splendor, a mind was given us which is able to contemplate his beauty.”

(St. Ephraem in Faith Adoring the Mystery by Sidney H. Griffith, p 25)

Moses contemplates God at the Burning Bush

Jesus, Moses and the Ancient of Days

Hymns from the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple offer wonderful insights into the mystery who is Jesus Christ.   The Feast commemorates the events described in  Luke 2:22-40.

The basic narrative is that Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, fulfilling Torah commandments, bring the 40 day old infant Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem.  There they are met by the Righteous Elder Simeon who when he sees Jesus prophesies that this indeed is God’s Messiah.

Simeon, receive Him Whom Moses once beheld in darkness,
granting the Law on Sinai,
now that He has become a Babe subject to the Law!
This is He Who spoke through the Law.
This is He, of Whom the Prophets spoke,
Who, for our sakes, has taken flesh and has saved man.
Let us worship Him!

The above hymn teaches the truth held by Orthodoxy that the encounters with God which Old Testament saints had were in fact encounters with the pre-incarnate Christ.  So Simeon recieves in his arm the infant Christ, but it is the same Christ, who as God gave Moses the stone tablets of the 10 Commandments.  Both Moses and Simeon receive in their arms the Word of God!  Moses receives the Law from the Word, and Simeon receives the Word as a baby.   He who gave the Torah to Moses, namely Christ, which defined righteous behavior in the temple, will enter the Temple as a baby subject to the Law!  This is the great mystery of the incarnation of God.  Christ spoke about His incarnation.

Moses Receives in his arms the Ten Commandments

They hymn playfully celebrates the mystery of the incarnation – Christ is He who spoke through the Law centuries before He was born.  Christ is the one of whom the prophets spoke.    The Old Testament is the history of a people being prepared for the coming of their Messiah.

Today Simeon takes in his arms the Lord of Glory,
Whom Moses saw of old in the darkness
when he received the Tablets of the Law on Mount Sinai.
This is He Who speaks through the Prophets
and Who is the Creator of the Law.
This is He Whom David announced;
He is fearful to all, yet great and abundant in mercy.

The above hymn presents Christ – a 40 day old baby in the Gospel who is also the Lord of Glory who Moses encountered when he received the Law on Mount Sinai.  Christ as the Second Person of the Holy Trinity speaks through the Torah and the prophets centuries before He is born, and these prophets are speaking of His birth which occurs centuries after they spoke or wrote.

13th Century Icon of Moses, the Theotokos and the Christ Child

The Ancient of Days, as a Child in the flesh,
is brought by His Mother, the Virgin, into the Holy Temple,
fulfilling the promise announced by His own Law.
Receiving Him, Simeon said:
“Now let your servant depart in peace, according to Your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation, O Lord!”

7th Century Icon: Christ, the Ancient of Days

It is Christ who is identified as being the “Ancient of Days” from the prophecy of Daniel 7.  The mystery of the incarnation means Christ is both the Ancient of days as well as the one like the Son of Man who Daniel mentions.   The Feast of the Meeting of the Lord sees the prophesies being fulfilled in Christ who is the incarnate God.

May we all be enlightened by the Feast!