Monday, March 9, 2009

Why Icons


"Though infinite in Thy divine nature, O Master,
Thou didst condescend to be incarnate in these last days,
And became finite,
For by putting on the body,
Thou didst put on also its natures.
Therefore we present the likeness of Thy image,
And venerate it in honor of its prototype,
Ascending towards Thy love where we partake of the grace of healing
Following the divine traditions of the Apostles."

Yesterday it seemed that the Scripture lessons underscored the theme of "beholding"--

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

Therefore, having so vast a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, and throwing off everything that hinders us and especially the sin that so easily entangles us, let us keep running with endurance the race set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus..."


We have the icons of the clouds of witnesses around us in church as we ever and anew "come and see" the Lord there and struggle, though falteringly, to fix our eyes on Him.

And speaking of that, I was thinking yesterday about how Jesus had to grow and mature as a human--I wonder what His process was (ongoingly throughout His life, starting from childhood) in worship--how He learned steadiness of focus and attention--surely, being human, He had to learn to deal with the issue of mind-wandering, sleepiness, distraction, and all the weird thoughts that assail us when we try to pray at home or in church?

No comments: