Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday in Epiphany 3: Sitting at the right hand

Opening Sentence
Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Isaiah 60:3

Commemoration: Phillips Brooks
O everlasting God, who revealed truth to your servant Phillips Brooks, and so formed and molded his mind and heart that he was able to mediate that truth with grace and power: Grant, we pray, that all those whom you call to preach the Gospel may steep themselves in your word, and conform their lives to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 41, 52

Lessons: Genesis 14:1-24, Hebrews 8, John 4:43-54

If one assigns to the Father the upper place by way of precedence and asserts that the only begotten Son sits below, he will find that all the consequent conditions of body attach tot he creature of his imagination. And if these are the imaginations of drunken delusion and frenzied insanity, can it be consistent with true religion for people taught by the Lord himself that "he that honors not the Son honors not the Father" to refuse to worship and glorify with the Father him who in nature, in glory and in dignity is conjoined with him? What shall we say? What just defense shall we have in the day of the awful universal judgment of all creation, if, when the Lord clearly announces that he will come "in the glory of his Father"; when Stephen beheld Jesus standing at the right hand of God; when Paul testified in the Spirit concerning Christ "that he is at the right hand of God"; when the Father says, "Sit at my right hand"; when the Holy Spirit bears witness that he has sat down on "the right hand of the majesty" of God -- what defense shall we have when we attempt to degrade him, who shares the honor and the throne, from his condition of equality to a lower state? Standing and sitting, I apprehend, indicate the permanence and entire stability of the nature, as Baruch, when he wishes to exhibit the immutability and immobility of the divine mode of existence, says, "For you sit forever and we perish utterly." Moreover, the place on the right hand indicates, in my judgment, equality of honor. It is rash, then, to attempt to deprive the Son of participation in the doxology, as though worthy only to be ranked in a lower place of honor.

Basil the Great
On the Spirit 6.15

Spirit Song