Posted by: Brian Glass | April 26, 2010

Christ in You

The first time I walked into an Orthodox church I was startled to say the least. I first attended the Assumption Greek Orthodox cathedral in Denver. When I walked into the Nave, I could not help but stare at a giant icon of Saint Mary covering the dome of the church. As a protestant I had always believed that while we respected Mary, we did not give her much, if any, more notice than say my mother. In fact in practice she gets very little notice at all and takes a back seat to the apostles and others. With that in mind, this overwhelming presentation of Mary bigger than life right there was disturbing. I mean really, these Orthodox must worship Mary or something.

I later discovered that this particular icon is called “Our Lady of the Sign.” It has been one of the focal features of every Orthodox church I have been in. While at first it was disturbing, once I came to understand the meaning of this icon I found it to be one of the most profound features of the church. This picture is worth more than 1000 words.

You see, I thought this was a picture of Christ as a child sitting on Mary’s lap. It is not. It is a picture of what we are to become. Mary was actually the first of us to experience the meaning of Christianity in its fullness. This amazing icon is a picture of Christ living in Mary. She not only received him into herself physically as the mother of God, but spiritually as we also must.

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: – Colossians 1:26,27

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