«Without us, what do you suppose death would be?»

17 May 2016
[Previous Publication: http://pemptousia.com/2016/05/this-world-of-the-great-and-the-small/]

A startling articulation of such a reality, scandalously challenging to the compromised intellect, can be found in the texts of the Fathers of the Church, whose restrained voice seems to be lost among the certainties and self-sufficiency – self-satisfaction, why not-  of the authoritative and institutional patterns of the present. Where bombast and the virtual reality of life, which has been promoted in order to save the structure of the historical transgressions of the past, blatantly ignore that «the Word became flesh and dwelt among us».


The scavenger of this forgotten truth, the poet Yorgos Themelis, from Thessaloniki, takes and poetically transforms this «humanism, that is the Theocentrism of the consciousness of the body of the Church and confesses disarmingly: ‘Without us, what do you suppose the earth would be?/ Anonymous, unformed, desolate./ Without us, what do you suppose the sky would be?/ Patterns without light and without a voice/. To put a name to it, without eternity./ And what sort of thing do you suppose God would be?/ A thing without a name and without lustre./ What flesh would he take to become manifest?/ Without flesh on the earth, what face?/ Without a human face/ Without human raiment and form/ What scourging and blood, what suffering?/ Without human witness: “Behold the person, behold God”./ Without human death, without/ Burial and mourning – without resurrection. Without us, what do you suppose death would be». So, to get back to the subject after our poetic excursus, the question is whether people in the Church, at the edges of modern Orthodoxy, whether they preserve this incarnation within themselves. In other, simpler words, do they preserve Christ within themselves, rather than merely an idea about Him.

                                                                                                                                                                                     [To be continued]