Theophany

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The Sanctification of Water:Theophany and Baptism: 

The Sanctification of Water: Theophany and Baptism Viktor Vasnetsov: The Baptism of Rus (1895)

Outline: 

Outline Theophany: The Baptism of Christ The Celebration of Theophany The Sacraments of Water The Baptism of Rus’

Theophany: The Baptism of Christ: 

Theophany: The Baptism of Christ Theophany means 'Manifestation of God' But what, exactly, was revealed? Why isn’t the Nativity called Theophany? (see Troparion) When You, O Lord, were baptized in the Jordan the worship of the Trinity was made manifest. For the voice of the Father bore witness to You, calling You His Beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truthfulness of His word. O Christ our God, Who has appeared and enlightened the world, Glory to You! Theophany Troparion

The Baptist and Forerunner John: 

The Baptist and Forerunner John Son of Elizabeth and Zacharias The Prophet Zacharias, High Priest at the Temple of Jerusalem Received the Theotokos at the temple when she was three Put the Theotokos in the place reserved for Virgins at the Presentation of Our Lord Did not believe the angel who announced the coming of John Was killed by Herod during the slaughter of innocents Elizabeth Anna’s sister and the Theotokos’ aunt Conceived in old age Took John into the wilderness Died forty days after her husband was killed Grew up without parents in the wilderness To prepare himself for his mission And to make him a reliable witness 'and I knew Him not' (Jn 1:31) Taught repentance; 'making straight the way of the Lord' His ministry culminated with the Baptism of Christ What happed at Christ’s Baptism?

The Gospel Accounts: 

The Gospel Accounts Matthew 3:13-17 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, 'I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?' But Jesus answered him, 'Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.' Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.' *St. Matthew was one of Our Lord’s disciples

The Gospel Accounts: 

The Gospel Accounts Mark* 1:9-11 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, 'You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.' *St. Mark was a disciple of St. Paul and St. Barnabas

The Gospel Accounts: 

The Gospel Accounts Luke* 3:21-22 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, 'You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.' *St. Luke was a disciple of St. Paul

The Gospel Accounts: 

The Gospel Accounts John* 1:29-34 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, 'Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.' I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.' And John testified, 'I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.' *St. John was the youngest disciple of Our Lord

Why Was Christ Baptized?: 

Why Was Christ Baptized? Did He need to repent of His sins? Did He need to be renewed and remade? Christ answers this in Matthew 3:15; 'Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.' So why was He Baptized? To fulfill the law To show us the necessity of Baptism for deification 'He Who submitted Himself to baptism demands of us that we be born again, of water and the spirit' 'It becometh me therefore to fulfill the whole law, by the same rule that it becometh me to do away the curse that is written against you in the law: this being the very purpose of my assuming flesh, and coming hither.'' (both from St. John Chrysostom) What happened after Christ’s Baptism?

What Happened Next: 

What Happened Next Mark 1:12-13 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. Fasted for forty days and nights Tempted by Satan with… Physical temptations (stone into bread) Prelest, foolhardiness (jump from the pinnacle of the temple) Pride, worldly success and the adoration/worship of men Then He began His worldly ministry What are the implications of this?

The Celebration of Theophany: 

The Celebration of Theophany All Christians knew about the Baptism But separate Feast began in the 3rd Century in the East It was combined with the Feast of the Nativity Needed to teach people about the reality of Jesus Christ Gnostic heretics thought the Baptism was when Jesus became deified! Why is it celebrated on January 6th? In Alexandria, pagans had a water celebration on 6-7th of January Orthodoxy looks to perfect and sanctify the world

The Sacraments of Water: 

The Sacraments of Water Water has always had religious significance The Jewish 'baptism' cleaned the body but did not remove sins St. John’s baptism of repentance was a bridge The nature of water was changed by the Baptism of Christ In Christian Baptism the 'old man' is destroyed and all spiritual stain removed During Theophany (and lesser blessings of water) water is transformed, sanctified God gave us this blessing to further our own sanctification (along with icons, relics, oil) Demonstrates the ontological understanding inherent in Orthodoxy: it is real and relevant! The example of the Baptism of Rus’

Vladimir’s Baptism (988): 

Vladimir’s Baptism (988) Became sole ruler of Kievan State Religious: a pagan warrior-king Decided that he needed a change Traditional story Emissaries came: Volga Bulgars; German Latin clergy; Jewish Khazars; Greek monk Then sent out his envoys Very rational; is it accurate? Why did St. Vladimir convert, accept Baptism? Tremendous consequences!

The Baptism of Rus’: 

The Baptism of Rus’ 'Lets all gather at the river' Then the process of deification could begin Churches were full of Orthodox stuff But were the people really Orthodox? No: dvoeveriye, kept committing sins Yes: the Incarnation, Resurrection changed EVERYTHING (including the Slavs) Dvoeveriye is one way of seeing the sanctification of culture We do it in our own lives- would we stand up to academic scrutiny (and does it matter) Then came temptation… This is an allegory for our own lives! Baptism is one of our 'pieces of armor'

Concluding Thought: 

Concluding Thought The necessity of struggle, repentance Greater than baptism itself is the fountain of tears after baptism, even though it is somewhat audacious to say so. For baptism is the washing away of evils that were in us before, but sins committed after baptism are washed away by tears. As baptism is received in infancy, we have all defiled it, but we cleanse it anew with tears. And if God in His love for mankind had not given us tears, those being saved would be few indeed and hard to find. St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent.

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