Image of the Unseen God
The Feast of St. John of Damascus, defender of icons
December 4, 2020
Beloved members and friends of Trinity Church,
It has been a hard year, and though the end of the Covid threat appears to be nearing with the production and approval of vaccines, we still have a while to go before we can resume worship and parish life as usual. People remain homeless due to the Almeda Drive fire in October. And though it seems we are moving ahead to a peaceful transfer of political power in Washington, DC, our nation remains divided with large numbers questioning the validity of our electoral process. Under the best of times, our parish demographics mean that many of us at any given time suffer from medical and/or financial stress; the nightmare of these last months had made us less able to cope with these effectively and gracefully.
It is precisely times like these that the doctrine of the Incarnation matters all the more: God taking on flesh and becoming one of us in all ways save sin. The person of our Lord stands more clearly as an example for us when we are suffering; the example of his blessed Mother’s acceptance of God’s call to give birth to and nurture God thus made man also is clearer in our sights. St. Paul in Colossians writes:
[Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things…” (1:15-20)
Precisely because Christ is the visible image of the unseen God, we honor and revere his image and that of his Mother. Because in Christ all things hang together, we turn to him as reconciler of all people and all things in this otherwise broken world.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmastide, and a joyous New Year. The blessing of the loving God revealed to us in Jesus be upon you and those you love, now and always.
Grace and Peace,