“Today the Uncreated One accepteth of His own will the laying on of hands by His own creation.”
This verse from the prayers of the great blessing of the waters impacted me greatly Friday. When we reflect on Theophany, we often reflect on how Christ came to John the baptist and created for us the prototype of baptism. Baptism itself is the opening of the possibility of paradise to us. With such a glorious occasion, surely there cannot be too much else to focus on about the feast. Yet these things were not what I was reflecting on when I heard this. Rather I was struck by the idea of our omnipotent Lord, who exists without creation, kneeling down in front of his creation.
First we must ask ourselves, “what is his creation?” Indeed, it is man, whom he fashioned out of the dust of the earth and woman whom he fasioned from the rib of man. It is not enough to stop here! Surely it is incredible to think that God could fashion man out of something as elusive as dust. Yet the bible tells us even more! Unlike the sun and the plants and the other creatures of the Earth, we are told that with His own hand he created us. He created us with His Hands, and then breathed His Spirit into us. One priest puts it that we are “part of the respiration system of Jesus Christ” How powerful a thought is that? Breathing is something necessary for life! Whether it be a tree, or a fish or an animal. As humans we do not just breath, we breath with the Breath of our Lord and Savior.
On Theophany we see this very same God, who picked up dust and formed the shape of our being and breathed His Spirit into us is kneeling before that very creation. I realized the importance of our servitude to one another. If the Lord God Himself can go to the thing which he created and kneel before it, how much more are we called to kneel before one another in service and humility to another? It should not matter if that person “owes” us anything. It should not matter if we feel somehow more important than the other person. No one is more important than God, and he knelt before his creation.
This is, of course, strikingly mirrored for us once again at the last supper during the washing of the feet. That imagry brought to mind how the bishop will wash the feet of 12 young men of the diocese, and how during the whole year the bishop serves each of his flock with patience, humility and care. We have examples for us of great humility. If Christ can submit to His own creation, should it not be easier to love our husbands, children and parents? As a wife, should we not be able totreat our husbands will humility and love? As a parent, the same? God is a Father to us all and He has only ever shown us love and tenderness.
Theophany teaches us extreme humility, and to serve and love one another with all of our strength.