The Feast of the Dormition
It is fast (no pun intended) approaching. The new icon being diplayed - perhaps prematurely - is one of my personal favorites (and coincidently one that I do not actually own...hmmmm). The striking reversal of roles as we see a glorified Christ holding an infant Theotokos in swaddling clothes is frankly too intense for me to really comment on at the moment - the complex relationship of mother and child (back and forth and vice versa: who is parent? who is child?) is mind bending.
Thus it is evident that throughout the whole course of the ages, she shall never cease from benefacting all creation, and I mean not only created nature seen round about us, but also the very supreme commanders of the heavenly hosts, whose nature is immaterial and transcendent. Isaiah shows us clearly that it is only through her that they together with us both partake of and touch God, that Nature which defies touch, for he did not see the seraphim take the coal from the altar without mediation, but with tongs, by means of which the coal touched the prophetic lips and purified them (cf. Isaiah 6:6-7). Moses beheld the tongs of that great vision of Isaiah when he saw the bush aflame with fire, yet unconsumed. And who does not know that the Virgin Mother is that very bush and those very tongs, she who herself (though an archangel also assisted at the conception) conceived the Divine Fire without being consumed, Him that taketh away the sins of the world, Who through her touched mankind and by that ineffable touch and union cleansed us entirely. Therefore, she only is the frontier between created and uncreated nature, and there is no man that shall come to God except he be truly illumined through her, that Lamp truly radiant with divinity, even as the Prophet says, "God is in the midst of her, she shall not be shaken'(Ps. 45:5).
-St. Gregory Palamas' Dormition sermon
(can be read entirely HERE.)
...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 10:19 AM [+]
the Theotoks as frontier... now that is extraordinary.