Friday, October 28, 2016

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to Sunday

David bringing the ark into Jerusalem
 And David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals.  And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled.  And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God.… And David was afraid of the Lord that day, and he said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?”  So David was not willing to take the ark of the Lord into the city of David.  But David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.  And the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household.  And it was told King David, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.”  So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing.  (2 Sam 6:5-12)

Today, without any covering, and with unveiled face, we see, as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord, and the majesty of the divine ark itself.  Today, the most holy assembly, bearing upon its shoulders the heavenly joy that was for generations expected, imparts it to the race of man.  “Old things are passed away”—things new burst forth into flowers, and such as fade not away.  No longer does the stern decree of the law bear sway, but the grace of the Lord reigns, drawing all men to itself by saving long-suffering.  No second time is an Uzzah invisibly punished, for daring to touch what may not be touched; for God Himself invites, and who will stand hesitating with fear?  He says: “Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden.”  Who, then, will not run to Him?  Let no Jew contradict the truth, looking at the type which went before the house of Obed-edom.  The Lord has “manifestly come to His own.”  And sitting on a living and not inanimate ark, as upon the mercy-seat, He comes forth in solemn procession upon the earth.

Methodius, Oration Concerning Simeon and Anna, 1

And David danced before the Lᴏʀᴅ with all his might.  And David was wearing a linen ephod.  So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lᴏʀᴅ with shouting and with the sound of the horn.  (2 Sam 6:14-15)

Today, holy David rejoices with great joy, being by babes despoiled of his lyre, with whom also, in spirit, leading the dance, and rejoicing together, as of old, before the ark of God, he mingles musical harmony, and sweetly lisps out in stammering voice, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lᴏʀᴅ.”  Of whom shall we inquire?  Tell us, O prophet, who is this that comes in the name of the Lord?  He will say it is not my part today to teach you, for He has consecrated the school to infants, who has out of the mouth of babes and sucklings perfected praise to destroy the enemy and the avenger, in order that by the miracle of these the hearts of the fathers might be turned to the children, and the disobedient unto the wisdom of the just.

Methodius, Oration on the Psalms 2

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