THE ALMIGHTY POWER OF GOD
|Christ and all the Saints|
When the Virgin Theotokos gave birth without seed to Jesus Christ, the small baby also needed to be held and nursed by her, but there was something else, different than all other babies ever born, for this baby is not only a baby, but is also the all powerful true God. Here is what St. Nicolai Velimirovic says in the Prologue, concerning the flight into Egypt of Mary, Jesus and Joseph:, and the awesome power of the infant Jesus.
An account of the divine Christ-Child: Both the great prophets, Isaiah and Jeremiah, prophesied that the Lord would come to Egypt, and that His presence would shake the temples and destroy the idols. Isaiah wrote: ‘Behold the Lord shall come into Egypt, and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at His presence’ (Isaiah 19:1).
“When the divine refugees came to the city of Hermopolis (Cairo), and came closer to the idolatrous temple, all the idols in the temple suddenly fell down and were broken into pieces. St. Palladius writes about this: ‘We saw the idolatrous temple there, in which at the presence of our Savior, all the idols fell to the grounds.’ In some place there were three hundred and sixty five idols. When the most holy Virgin went into the temple with the divine Child in her arms, all these idols fell down and were smashed, and idols all over Egypt fell in the same way. The holy prophet Jeremiah living in Egypt in old age, foretold to the Egyptian pagan priests that the idols would fall and the graven image would be destroyed when the Virgin Mother with a Child born in a manger would come to Egypt. The priests remembered this prophecy, and, in accordance with it, depicted in their temples, a virgin resting in bed with a child in a manger beside her, wrapped in swaddling bands, and they venerated the picture. Pharaoh Ptolemy asked the priests what the picture means, and they replied that it was a mystery, foretold by the prophet to their forefathers, and that they were awaiting its fulfillment. And this mystery was indeed fulfilled, and revealed not only in Egypt but throughout the world.” (Prologue of Ochrid Vol 4 p 377)
The Power of our Creator is so much different than mankind’s feeble power. Man uses preexisting things and with much help and effort accomplishes what he considers great thing. But God alone bring into existence something from nothing. When a man decides to build something that he must first conceive, architects and engineers are needed, followed by material procurers and construction materials and tools. As the building is constructed there are almost countless things that go into the finished item. However, everything that comes into the creation of the universe is already in God’s mind for there is no time with God, no yesterday or tomorrow. Nor are architects or engineers used by the Lord. His will and power are equal. When God wills, it is done immediately and when God wills the order of nature is overcome. “God said: Let there be light, and there was light.” When the will and power are equal this is called “all-powerful.”
That is why the idols fell to the ground and were smashed, just by His presence. The idols made by the hands of men, who foolishly called them gods, and which cannot speak or hear or see, were often inhabited by demons, who used man’s superstition to encourage him to do their evil work.
“And God created man out of the clay of the earth and breathed into him a spirit of life and the man became a living soul.” The Source of all life calls all things into being, but when He created man, it was different, for He breathed into the man His own life-giving spirit. This truth is much easier to accept as recorded by Moses in Holy Scripture, than to listen to the proponents of mythology, who claim that the world created itself, perhaps with a big bang! The Son of God declared our lack of power to do anything good, saying: “Without me you can do nothing” But he also tells us that we can “you will do even greater works than I do.”
Having seen the idols destroyed by his great power as an infant, and knowing our weakness, how can we acquire some of the power of God? To do so we must start at the very beginning. “Repent, for the kingdom of God is here.” Theses word are the beginning of Christ’s public preaching and teaching and therefore are important. To repent means not to go on living the impure and sinful live of fallen man. Repentance is to rouse yourself and go back to the heavenly Father, as did the prodigal son, saying: “I have sinned before heaven and earth and am no longer worthy to be your son; make me as one of your hired servants. This takes genuine honesty and deep humility, which in the eyes of God are more precious than any jewels, for they put the penitent back on track. In our Orthodox Faith, there is the power to wipe away every sin committed from our youth on, and eliminate them from our souls, then with consciences sparkling clean our souls will be filled with hope and joy. Confession is the means as established by the Lord who says: “Confess your sins.” It is the very first step toward acquiring God’s power.
This process is also what ought to happen in Baptism, unless you are among those deprived of this great blessing. For in the Epistle read at Baptism, St Paul says: “Brethren, do you not know that as many as have been baptized into Christ were baptized into His death? We were buried with Him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too may walk in the newness of life” Then newness of life causes God to increase our power and become more and more powerful, not to harm others, but to rid ourselves of all sin and iniquity. This inner battle is much more productive than other battles because it causes us to become truly free and our lives to be filled with the hope of everlasting life. This first step is the beginning of the road, that if we take it, we will rejoice every step of the way.