St. Irene of Chrysovalantou Orthodox Church
Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians - Greater Detroit Metro Area
Divine Liturgy starts Sunday at 10:15 AM - Orthros at 8:30 AM - Vespers Saturday at 7:30 PM
Contact us at email@example.com or at (586) 707- 2918
On the Meeting of the Lord
Receive, O Symeon, Him Whom Moses beheld in gloom on Sinai giving the law, and Who hath become a babe, submitting to the law. He is the One Who speaketh through the law; He is the One spoken of by the prophets, Who for our sake hath become incarnate and saveth man. Him let us worship!
-from Vespers for 2/15 February, the Meeting of the Lord
On the fortieth day after His birth, Our Savior was presented in the Temple of the Lord by His Most Pure Mother and St. Joseph, in obedience to the Law of Moses, which commanded that the first-born son of every family of the Chosen People be offered to the Lord, in thanksgiving for the Lord’s sparing the first-born of Israel when He slew the first-born of Egypt, at the time of the Exodus.
As the hymns of the feast make clear, the Lord who comes to the Temple as a baby is the same One Who spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai and gave him the Law. He comes to fulfill the Law which He Himself gave, but that no sinful man could fulfill. On behalf of the sinful race of man, the sinless One, who is yet truly a man and shares our frail nature, perfectly fulfills the Law.
The Lord fulfills the Law in two senses:
He perfectly obeys the commandments of the laws of Moses both outwardly and, what is more, inwardly.
He completes and brings to an end the dispensation of the Old Covenant, coming in the flesh to offer that flesh as the perfect Sacrifice which truly takes away the sins of the world, which the sacrifices and rules of the Old Law could not.
Two conclusions corresponding to these two senses of “fulfilling the Law” are important for us today:
1. We must obey the Law of God: Though we do not have to fulfill all 613 laws in the Books of Moses, we do have the moral obligation to study the moral commandments required by the Orthodox Church and to obey them! The Christian faith is not a “feel-good” religion of mere social togetherness and pretty church services, but rather is the power of God burning up everything sinful and demanding of us the struggle for moral perfection. In our times, every kind of lawlessness and corruption is glorified and called good. We must combat this by clearly teaching the “old-fashioned” Law of God and correcting ourselves through frequent confession and daily renewed moral struggles.
2. Only the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ takes away sin and saves man: The “World Council of Churches” announced in 1992 that the “Church” must recognize that there are ways to salvation other than faith in Jesus Christ. This is an astounding false teaching and apostasy from Christ. Yet nearly all the “official Orthodox” churches belong to this organization and thereby endorse its teachings! We must recognize that we live in an age of apostasy, perhaps even the age of apostasy which will precede the coming of the Antichrist, and we must carefully avoid anything masquerading as the Christian faith but which is in fact an empty facade. Only those who proclaim and confess that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation can belong to Christ and can attain the heavenly kingdom. This is why our Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians exists - in order to remain the Ark of Salvation in a time of universal apostasy and proclaim that only the unique Sacrifice of Jesus Christ the God-Man can give man eternal life.
May the Lord strengthen us daily to renew our holy struggle to please Him! May He who gave and fulfilled the Law enable us to stay on His path!
The Meeting of the Lord Is the Beginning of the Path to Golgotha
At His Meeting with the Old Testament priesthood in the Temple, Christ as the High Priest of the New Testament dedicated Himself as an offering to the Lord. This was the beginning of the path to Golgotha, when He could say of His Sacrifice: “It is finished”. It was the beginning of the path that led to His offering the already-completed Sacrifice to His disciples in His Body and Blood. For, as St. Gregory of Nyssa writes: “He offered Himself for us, Victim and Sacrifice, and Priest as well, and ‘Lamb of God Who taketh away the sins of the world’. When did He do this? When He made His own Body food and His own Blood drink for His disciples, for this much is clear to anyone, that a sheep cannot be eaten by a man unless its being eaten is preceded by its being slaughtered. This giving of His own Body to His disciples for eating clearly indicates that the sacrifice of the Lamb has now been completed." There is the old sacrifice, and there is the New Sacrifice, the Sacrifice of the cup of the New Testament. The former prefigures the latter, and illumines its meaning, and the coming of the latter makes the former redundant. “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the Law (Hebrews 7.12)." "Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a Body hast Thou prepared for Me… (Hebrews 10.4-5)."
- from "The Sacrifice for Sin" by Vladimir Moss