Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov

Random Quotes from an Unpublished Paper: Part 3

Posted in D.Min. Study Notes by Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov on 21 August 2015

These are random quotes from an unpublished paper. I will post more quotes from the same paper every few days during the Dormition Fast (Old Calendar).

One implication of creation being Liturgy–not just participating in, but being–is that it is a communion with God and with all in God. We have already touched on the interconnectedness of man and creation in God. But what about the interconnectedness of men and women? So far, we have used the word ‘man’ to denote mankind or all of humanity. But by what mechanism or concept can we speak of mankind as one ‘man’? Clearly, there many ways to address this question–mankind as a biological species, or as a global society, or as an overarching cultural phenomenon–all of which can be viewed in a Christian theological context, but none of which directly speaks to the eartho-heavenly nature of mankind. What may bring us closer to that aspect of human unity is a closer examination of community through Liturgy and Liturgy as community.

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This “altogetherness” is the very essence of the sacrament of the Divine Liturgy. Earlier in our discussion we noted that a sacrament happens when the free will of God intersects with the free will of man. The resulting product of this synergic act is transformation.  What happens in the sacrament of the Body is not a quantitative change (one person added to another and yet another form a group of people in one place) but a qualitative transformation–it is no longer a mechanically-assembled group but an organic, living Body: “..send down Your Holy Spirit upon us [first–S.S.] and upon these Gifts… changing them by Your Holy Spirit.”

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Likewise, in Christ, all of humanity is saved and restored. Christ took into Himself one and only human nature. Male and female, Jew and Gentile can all be saved in Christ because they all share in the one and only human nature. If this were not so, if each person’s nature was unique and different, then in order to save male and female, Jew and Gentile, Christ would have had to become incarnate as each one of those natures and separately and individually the natures of each person ever born on this planet, but this is not so. By sharing in one nature with all mankind, Christ healed and restored this nature within Himself, and all who share this nature have the ability to partake of its renewal, all can change their family tree and become descendants of the New Adam.

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