Table of Contents

Contemplations on the Monday Theotokia.

Verse 1

While Adam was sad,
God was pleased,
to bring him back,
to his leadership.

Fr. Matthew the Poor, the present Abbot of St. Macarius’ Monastery in Egypt, calls the Monday Theotokia the “Symphony of Salvation,” for it speaks about the whole history of salvation in beautiful, poetic words, which is chanted in the recitative Adam tune.

God created the whole world for the service of mankind, so that mankind in turn may praise and glorify God for His wonderful works. You, O Lord, created the first man, Adam, a leader of the whole of creation, for in Adam, the man created with a body and a spirit, the spiritual and the material worlds were united. Through Adam, the leader and†the priest, the whole creation was able to worship You, O God of glory.

Although Adam fell into sin, and death reigned over him and his descendants, You, O Lord, did not leave him in the sad, fallen state, but was pleased and willed to humble Yourself and manifest Yourself to Your creation, in order to restore the whole of humanity to its role as a leader, as a holy priesthood. After Your death on the Cross, O Lord, you took Adam and restored His leadership; You even paid the price of Death through Your holy and precious Blood.

Through the first Adam we fell and lost leadership, and Death conquered our nature and became the leader; but through the second Adam, Jesus Christ our Lord, Death was conquered, and our leadership was restored.

Glory is Yours, O Lord, glory is Yours in truth! Amen.

He shone in the flesh,
taken from the Virgin,
without the seed of man,
in order to save us.

God our King manifested His glory in the form of a slave, taking flesh from the Virgin Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ our Lord is truly Man, for He took flesh from the Ever-Virgin Mary. Jesus Christ our Lord is truly God, and was born of a Virgin without the seed of man because He is the only-Begotten of the Father. He was begotten of the Father from all eternity, and was born of the Virgin in time.

My Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of God, You chose to humble Yourself and become Man, for my sake, for my salvation. You, the Second Adam, restored my fallen nature which conquered me since my birth, and gave me the power to defeat the Devil and his angels. You gave me Your whole self, so that I may become like you. In Your image I was created; in Your likeness do I become.

My Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of God, help me to be in Your likeness and have mercy on me, your poor servant. O Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, intercede for me before Your beloved son, so that He may forgive me my many sins. Amen.

Verse 2-3

Eve who was tempted,
by the serpent,
was condemned,
by the Lord.

For in abundance,
I will greatly multiply,
your sorrows,
and your sighs.

O Lord our God – what must have it been like to You when Your own children disobeyed You and listened to the lies of the serpent? Surely You must have been sorrowful for the state of Your own children. Out of Eve’s own free will, sorrow took hold of her because of disobedience. Yet you promised, along with the curse, that You will free her and the whole of the human race from these sorrows, for You cannot endure to see us, Your children and Your creation, sorrowful. Help us, O Lord, to learn from the mistake of our ancestors, Adam and Eve; for all our sorrows and pains in this world are because of our disobedience to Your Law. Strengthen us, O Lord, so that we may overcome the attacks of the Devil and may not adhere to the lies of the serpent.

Verse 4

Yet God felt compassionate,
through his Love for mankind,
and was please,
to free her once again.

He shone in the flesh,
taken from the Virgin,
without the seed of man,
in order to save us.

God is the Holy Trinity – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – united eternally in Love. No hypostasis in the Trinity is greater than the other, none ever existed without the other, but they are all equal in Love. God, the Holy Trinity, created the whole universe – this He did out of Love and because of Love and for Love. The Love within the Holy Trinity is manifested as Love in the whole of Creation. It is Love that created the angels, the heavens, all the stars and planets that are perfectly ordered, the earth and all that is in it, the animals and birds and fish of the sea. It is Love that created mankind, and created man in His Image – in the Image of Love was man created, so that Love may be shared, and man may love God. God is Love. When Eve fell, You, O God, cursed her, but You did not turn Your face away from her in anger. You are Love, and since You are eternal, Your Love is eternal and can break all boundaries, even the boundaries of sin. You had compassion for her and for her children, and was incarnate, suffered and crucified, and rose from the dead on the third day, all for the sake of us, Your beloved children. You freed us from the sorrows and sighs through Your Love and compassion – not only those sorrows and sighs in this world, but even from those of Hades. For through You, O Only-Begotten Son of the Father, we have returned to the Paradise of Joy. Glory is Yours, my Lord Jesus Christ, with Your good and compassionate Father, and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.

Verse 5-7

Jesus Christ the Word,
was incarnate,
He dwelt in us,
and we saw His glory.

It is the glory of
the Only-Begotten Son,
of His Father,
He was pleased to redeem us.

He shone in the flesh,
taken from the Virgin,
without the seed of man,
in order to save us.

The Virgin Mary is the second Eve, who was obedient to God’s will, and carried the Logos of God in her womb. The Logos is one with the Father and co-exists with the Father; and through His incarnation, when He took flesh from the Virgin Mary, He became one with us.

When you came to us, O Lord Jesus Christ, we saw Your glory – when we beheld Your One Nature, we saw You as the Only-Begotten Son of the Father, and so You shone in the flesh. This unity, Your One Nature, is what united us to the Father; this unity is how You destroyed death, O our Saviour, and shared this victory with our weak nature, so You redeemed us.

As St. Paul the Apostle wrote: “Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death” (Heb. 2:14,15). Again, he wrote, “He who did not withhold His own Son, but gave Him up for all of us, will He not with Him also give us everything else?” (Rom. 8:32). Truly, O our God, You were pleased to redeem us, and made us behold Your glory, and gave us, Your poor servants, Your glory! This You did through Your Only-Begotten Son, who was incarnate and was born of the Ever-Virgin Mary. Glory and thanks to You, O Lord our God.

Verse 8-11

With prophetic eyes,
he has seen,
the mysteries,
of Emmanuel.

He is Isaiah,
the great prophet,
who shouted proclaiming,
and saying:

“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
the government shall be,
on his shoulder.

He is the Powerful God,
and the Counsellor,
and the Angel,
of the Great Wisdom.”

He shone in the flesh…

From the fall of Adam and Eve, You, our God, never left mankind and neglected them because of their sins. Instead, you sent Your prophets to share with us what they have learnt about Your mercy and kindness, to prepare us for Your coming, and to make ready the way of the Most High. You revealed to Isaiah, the great prophet, Your great mysteries of the Incarnation. His prophecies are so accurate such that they are called the “Fifth Gospel”! You revealed to Him how You, the King who governs the whole world, shall be born as a child for us. You, O Christ, are the child who was born of the Virgin, yet you are perfectly Divine. You showed Isaiah the great mystery of the unity of Your Divinity and Your human flesh – for he exclaimed in great wonder about the child who is: the powerful God, the Counsellor, and the Angel of Wisdom; all of which show that You are the Logos of God, true God of true God. Glory is Yours, O Christ our Saviour. Glory to your mother, the Virgin, and all Your prophets and saints. Pray to the Lord on our behalf, O Isaiah, the great prophet.

Verse 12-14

Rejoice and be glad,
O human race,
for God has revealed,
His love to the world.

For He gave,
His beloved Son,
for those who believe in Him,
so that they live forever.

He has conquered,
with His mercy,
and sent unto us,
His Almighty Arm.

He shone in the flesh…

When You created the heavens and the earth, O God our Father, Your beloved Son and the Holy Spirit were like two Almighty Arms that brought about the creation. Even in the new creation, the regeneration, and the new life we get through baptism in Your Name, Your Almighty Arm, the Holy Spirit is working with us – this is He who was sent unto us after Christ conquered death. Truly everything is done by the Father, in the Son, through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth, who guides us in our path towards salvation. The Holy Spirit is our comforter, who strengthens our wills and gives us the power to serve Christ by defeating our sorrows. This is Your love for us, O God! You revealed Your love in two ways: first You sent us Your Son to conquer, then You sent us Your Holy Spirit to purify. Rejoice and be glad for your salvation and for God’s love, O human race. Blessed are You O Christ, with Your good Father, and the Holy Spirit, amen.

Verse 15-18

He Who is,
and Who was,
Who has come,
Who is to come again.

Jesus Christ the Word,
Who was incarnate,
without alteration,
became a perfect man.

Without alteration of His being,
mingling or seperation,
of any kind,
after the unity.

But He is of one nature,
one hypostasis,
and one person
of God the Word.

He shone in the flesh…

My friends, what a prime example of how our whole faith and understanding (although limited) can be found in the praises that we sing daily. ‘Praise’: is truly wonderful and a deep asset that the church uses to explain our God and His relationship with us, as well to uplift the spirituality of those who sing it. The concept that: ‘Jesus Christ our God and Creator who existed before all, came and who is to come’ is extremely important to remember as this was the source of huge upheavals and heresies in the early church. You see, there are ‘Descriptive characteristics’ of God, which are what we experience God as being and there are ‘Essential Characteristics’, that is that God: Exists (Father), that He is Sane(Son), and that He is living (Holy Spirit). There is no give and take. Our ‘praises’ are indeed deep and rich in theological expressions. Here, we say that our Lord Jesus Christ is God Himself, the Incarnate Logos Who took Himself a perfect manhood (without sin). His Divine nature is one with His Human nature yet without mingling, confusion or alteration: A compete Hypostatic union. In turn, the true understanding of this union is He totally and full-hearted wanted to unite with all of us, in order to save us. To restore us. It was said, however that “Great is the mystery of Godliness, God was manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim.3:16). As this union is permanent, never divided nor separated, we say in the Divine Liturgy that His Divinity never separated from His Manhood for a single moment nor even for a twinkle of an eye. Truly, our God is an Awesome God, who loves us unceasingly, even though we might not fulfill our commitments to Him in return. In all this, we must remember that we can never fully understand our God and in that we know that when we are in Heaven God will even increase our knowledge of Him because we would have already reached well beyond our capacity and knowledge. However, due to our Lords deep Love (this is the key) for He will overwhelm us with the boundless riches. In light of all this we are constantly reminded of all this when we recite “He shone in the flesh, taken from the Virgin, without the seed of man, in order to SAVE US.”

Verse 19-22

Hail to Bethlehem,
the city of the prophets,
where Christ the Second Adam,
was born.

In order to bring Adam,
the first man,
made of dust,
back to paradise.

And to absolve,
the decree of death,
saying “Adam you are from dust,
and to dust you shall return.

For in the place,
where sin has abounded,
the grace of Christ,
has abounded more.

How much is Your Love for us, O our Saviour? No matter what we do or what we think, You have never left us alone or allowed us to go astray. “And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good”; “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only-Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Indeed, God made a Good world, pure and holy, free from evil, and He delighted in this Creation. Although this world had later been overwhelmed by all kinds of evil, God loves us so much that He has redeemed us at a price far beyond what our words can describe. Christ, willingly chose to DESCEND INTO GREATNESS. He humbled Himself through the shame of the Cross and was later EXALTED by God through His glorious Resurrection. He truly chose and consecrated Bethlehem to be the place where the Saviour of all people would be born.

He chose us (Bethlehem) to be a Holy place, where God would dwell in forever. Even though, sin has abounded and called all the shots in this place for a very long time, the Grace of Christ still abounds more.

Friends, our FAITH is life-affirming. It invites us, in the image and likeness of God, to delight in and to enjoy creation and life. Christ, in all honesty, gave us A CHANCE. Can anyone refuse this amazing and selfless offer? It is only natural to desire to return and walk in the ways of Christ. Our loving Saviour, gave us the tools to become His chosen vessels and to witness to all those around us. Importantly, He gave us the CHANCE to become perfect according to our own capacity.

Hence, “to the pure, all things are pure.” In all this, Christ still reminds us that “we are from dust, and to dust we shall return”. This is a harsh reminder that we MUST take responsibility for our actions and strive for Christ. However, when the devil sees us choosing to free ourselves from his destructive power and turning to follow Christ, he manifests himself much more actively. Serious attempts to live a sane and godly life can bring on a great deal of suffering, far beyond the voluntary self-denial of those learning to Love.

Yet those who know God’s Victory in Jesus over suffering and death do not turn away from this but GO FORWARD AS JESUS WENT FORWARD TO HIS CRUCIFIXION, IN FREEDOM AND IN JOY.

My friends, this is the HEARTBEAT of Christian Life.

Verse 23-27

All the souls,
rejoice and sing,
with the angels,
and Praise Christ the King.

Proclaiming and saying,
Glory to God in the Highest,
on earth peace,
and goodwill toward men.

For He has destroyed,
the middle wall,
and killed the enmity,
with perfection.

He has torn,
the verdict of slavery,
pronounced on Adam and Eve,
and He freed them.

He Who was born for us,
in the city of David,
is our Saviour Jesus,
as the angel said.

He shone in the flesh…

Prayer is the key to all peace. As the verses reveal the story of peace, we must remember that our dialogue with our Saviour is extremely important, for prayer is the only way to peace. But only as we pray in the Lord’s own Spirit of truth will our prayer be the doorway to abundant life, and, ultimately, PEACE. LET US PRAY.

Indeed, Your love for us, O Saviour, is boundless. It stretches through the highest mountain and deep in the earth. We sing and rejoice with all the multitude of angels saying “Glory to God in the Highest, on earth peace, and goodwill toward man.”

We proclaim with a joyful heart and with tears of repentance that we have been freed from all enmity. The bonds of sin which once had dominion over us are now forever forgotten. O victorious King, You have repaid any dept that we had through Your life-giving Cross. As all the prophecies are fulfilled now about Your coming, we are left perplexed about Your life and desire to live as You did, but we are humanly weak and desperately need Your help to live honest lives. Amen.

*My dear brothers, our prayer is the beginning of setting ourselves on the right path. Prayer will also protect us on that path and it will be there when we complete our path. We need prayer, for it gives us intense remedial training, building a foundation in the faith and life of the church before we can safely embark on the building of true and sincere prayer.

Verse 28

God is light,
He abides in light,
and the angels of light,
sing unto Him.

The light has shone,
from Mary,
and Elizabeth,
gave birth to the forerunner.

So David the Psalmist,
and the saint,
rose up and took,
his spiritual stringed instrument.

He went to the Temple,
the house of the angels,
he praised and sang to,
the Holy Trinity.

Saying “In Your light,
O Lord we will see light,
let Your mercy come,
to those who know You.”

You are light, O God our Father, and because of Your glory and light, the first thing You created is light in the world. Even the angels are created of light, and when they behold Your light that is eternal, without beginning nor end, they cover their faces because of Your glory and worship You and praise Your holy Name.

You are light, O Lord Jesus Christ, for through Your love and the Father’s mercy, Your glorious divine nature united with our weak and sinful human nature. You brought light into the world, shared Your light with our nature, and gave the light to everyone in the world – even to the pagan Gentiles! Your light is a light of glory and honour, that shines bright to enlighten our Way. The Virgin Mary carried You in her womb, and the light shines from her – may we too carry You in our hearts, so that we may shine as the Virgin. The forerunner, St. John the Baptist, witnessed to Your light, and in his poverty he prepared the way to the Mighty King. Help us, O Lord, to prepare the way for Your dwelling in our hearts.

You are light, O Holy Spirit, who enlightens our spirits, our minds and our bodies. Your light is the spark within our hearts that strives to grow into the fire of love for God our Creator. Your light is our comfort in the darkness of the world, Your light is our path to eternal light, Your light is what makes us dwell in light.

With David the Psalmist we worship and praise You, O Holy Trinity, who brought us into the Holy Temple of Your Church through Your love and the sacrifice of the beloved Son. Your Church is the house of the angels and the saints, where we stand in perfect love, beholding Your light and glory that they always see, and along with them praise and glorify You.

We know You because we see Your light; Your light shines to us because we know You. Be merciful and patient with us, O Lover of Mankind, the light of the whole world, and forgive us our sins, amen.