Sermon. Part 1.
In the prayers and hymns of the Divine Liturgy, as well as in other holy Services, the second person of the Holy Trinity, The Son of God, is called “Logos”; like in the hymns “Only begotten Son and Word (Logos) of God, being immortal…”, or “… you, who are more glorious than the Seraphim, who undefiled gave birth to God the Word (Logos)…”
Have we ever asked ourselves, why is the Son of God called Logos (Word)? It is very edifying to look more deeply at the liturgical texts of our Church, for they have been written with the breath of the Holy Spirit, and contain precious wisdom for us all. If we simply hear them as they are recited or chanted, without grasping their meaning, it is useless. We resemble a thirsty person who is walking by a fountain of fresh water, but keeps walking and does not stop to get a drink. They hear the sound of the water, but they pass by, and so remain thirsty.
There is a profound meaning in the term Logos (Word), which the Church uses. Think of this: St. John the Evangelist begins his Gospel with this very word: “In the beginning was the Word [the Logos]” and he continues: “and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1-3). Who is this Word? As we all know, the God-inspired Evangelist John reveals clearly that the Word is the Son of God, through whom the Triune God created all things.
These first verses of the Gospel refer back to the first verses of the book of Genesis in the Old Testament: “In the beginning God made heaven and earth.” Following this, it explains how God created them: “Then God said, ՙLet there be lightʼ; and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). After this, and just before every act of creation, the phrase “Then God said” is repeated. “Then God said…” and the sun, the stars, the earth, the trees, the plants, the fish of the seas, and the animals of the earth were made. What is the meaning of “God said,” in the Holy Scriptures? Does God have a mouth that has a voice coming out of it?
It is here that we must explain that, in order to help us understand these exalted concepts, the Holy Scriptures use “anthropomorphic expressions.” In other words, images and ideas that the human mind can comprehend (like in this instance). The Gospel says Word; the book of Genesis uses the verb “said”; for a human being, both these words express the same thing: the creative word of God coming from God-the-Word, the Son of God. This expression can also be found in the Psalms (but in a poetic style): “By the word of the Lord the heavens were established” (Psalms 32 :6). This is exactly what we are declaring in the Confession of Faith: “I believe … in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God … through whom all things were made.”
Let us also remember here that the Son of God always acts in accordance with the will of God-the-Father. This is also what happened at the creation of the world. In the first article of the Confession of Faith, we profess belief “in one God, Father, Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.” So God-the-Father created everything, “through His Son, God-the-Word,” and by (and in) the Holy Spirit offered them life. All three persons worked together in creating the world, and the result was wonderful. The Holy Scriptures tells us that when the work of creation came to a conclusion “God saw everything He had made, and indeed, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Whatever God creates is perfect!
David, the prophet and king, in his beautiful Psalm which we hear in every Vespers service, after the impressive description of the greatness of creation, concludes with words of admiration: “O Lord, Your works shall be magnified greatly; You made all things in wisdom … Let the glory of the Lord be forever ” (Psalms 103 :24 & 31).
My beloved brothers and sisters, when we hear our Lord Jesus Christ referred to as the Word of God in our Church, let each of us remember, with gratitude, that He also created us humans in a unique way. He gave us particular qualities, and the ability to enjoy the beauty of His creation. Let us not forget that the Word of God created this world with an infinite wisdom, where absolute order and harmony prevail. When we look at the many millions of galaxies and stars, which are moving at countless distances from the earth, we can see the omnipotence of God-the-Word revealed. As a result, when our Lord calls us to His house (to His holy Temple) for communal worship, we should realize the great honor that He is granting to us. It is the Creator of the entire world, the All-wise and Almighty God who is coming to us. He listens to us, receives our worship, blesses us, and most of all, He offers us His own holy Body and Blood. We are united with Him, and sanctified by Him. Truly, do we understand the magnitude of this honor, which is given by our Lord and God? This is why we should be quick to go to Church (with passion and excitement), in order to partake in the Divine Liturgy, to meet with Him and worship Him. During the course of the Divine Liturgy, we should be feeling the living presence of our Lord, and focusing on what is happening. In doing so, we can enjoy His sanctifying Grace, and the extraordinary blessing of His presence. Amen.