Friday, October 10, 2008


I've heard the question posed many times as to why Jesus needed to be baptized. In all my years of Christianity, just now I stumbled across the only answer that has made sense summed up in these two paragraphs:

It is certainly the case that holy water is holy water - and yet when Christ entered the waters of the Jordan - we are not told that John prayed a blessing over the water. None was necessary. Christ is who He is, and the waters are what they are (and they are more than what many think the waters to be). The icon of the Theophany reveals the Jordan to be Hades itself, the chaos of darkness into which we had plunged ourselves. Christ enters the waters just as at the Cross He entered Hades. In the waters He “crushed the heads of the dragons” (quoting the psalm noted in the prayer of blessing), just as in Hades He crushed that old serpent, the enemy of man.

At Christ’s Baptism there is a Theophany, a revealing of God, but there is also an Epiphany, a revealing of the world in its greater meaning. Every tree, every rock, every word and action - all things have their meaning in relationship to God - not as things-in-themselves. And it is only as they are handled as having their meaning in relationship to God that they will be handled rightly. The earth itself bears the scars of man’s declaration of ordinariness. It is not a word of blessing but a curse.

I pulled this directly out of this post by one of my favorite Orthodox bloggers which I think everyone should read. The post is lengthy and I am still working my own way through it, but Fr. Stephen has a way of saying things so concisely that I think he cuts right through our preconceived notions and into the heart of every matter he discusses.


Meadowlark Days said...

thanks for sharing this - beautiful.

Sasha said...

Fr. Stephen is one of my favorites and also your profile page is beatiful! :)