Posted by: jamesthethickheaded | January 5, 2009

Both Man and God…

Turning back to one of my favorite of St. Ephraim the Syrian’s “Spiritual Psalter” psalms last night (I’m not quite through it the first time yet), I read one past it… ’cause it looked “hot”, too. And I was immediately thankful to have stumbled precisely on to the… well… absolutely seasonal passage I’ve excerpted here:

We confess one and the same individual as perfect God and perfect Man.
He is God the Word Which was flesh.

For if He was not flesh, why was Mary chosen?
And if He is not God, whom does Gabriel call Lord?

If He was not flesh, who was laid in a manger?
And if He is not God, whom did the angels who came down from heaven glorify?

If He was not flesh, who was wrapped in swaddling clothes?
And if He is not God, in whose honor did the star appear?

If He was not flesh, whom did Simeon hold in his arms?
And if He is not God, to whom did Simeon say: Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace?

If He was not flesh, whom did Joseph take when he fled into Egypt?
And if He is not God, who fulfilled the prophesy: Out of Egypt have I called my Son?

If He was not flesh, whom did John baptize?
And if He is not God, to whom did the Father say: This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased?

Psalm 23

St. Ephraim continues in a beautiful, rhettorical essay summarizing the Gospels in this psalm… but I’ve stopped here with the Baptism of our Lord.  Now I haven’t given much thought to the ordering of St. Ephraim’s psalms, but I would be willing to roll the dice and say, “Uh… gee… I’m sure he probably thought that through.” And it would make a wonderful study. But I digress.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, Nativity and preparation for Baptism.


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