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The Word.


You gave the gift of the word, and with it I glorify Thee.

The Lord takes care of all his creations. He says: "For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills" (Ps. 49:10). To each of His creatures the Lord gives the necessary quality: strength — to a lion and a bear, speed — to a deer and a horse, huge size — to an elephant. But the Lord endowed the man, created in God’s image and after His likeness, with the most precious gift — the word in its multiple sense, undertaken by the Son of God.

"And the Word was God," says apostle John, and nothing can be worshipped more than that.

That is why, since the very beginning of his existence the man was called to serve God mostly using the word. When we pray, we appeal to the Lord: "He gave us the word and we worship Him with it." When we hear the words of the Holy Scripture or read it, we receive the answer from God. Not by chance the people, announcing the Divine words, were called the prophets, in Hebrew "nebihim," i.e. "the talking," or in Greek "profitis," i.e. "proclaiming."

Throughout the century the Divine word, which laid in the Holy Scripture, was available only to the Jewish people, the descendents of righteous Abraham, for it existed only in the language of Abraham’s posterity, little known to the other branches of mankind. But when the time arrived, when the Divine word was to be heard among the nations of the earth, the Divine Providence prepared the translation of the Divine words into the Greek language, which by that moment was known to the entire world of that time, to which the fullness of the truth — the Christianity — had to be preached.

In two centuries after that a great even occurred: the Divine word came onto the Earth and mankind heard the very God the Word, already not through the scriptures but directly from mouth to mouth, through the holy apostles, and among those words heard the prayer of the Son of God about themselves: "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine … Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word."

The New Divine Scripture appears, it is the New Testament, which starts to spread throughout the world along with the Old Testament and to be translated into many languages. Nowadays people worship God in all the languages of the world.

On this way of general spreading, general understanding of the Lord’s words, there appears an unexpected obstacle: the unwise worshippers of "the holy languages," honored by the inscription over Christ’s cross, prohibited to the whole regions and nations to get acquainted with the Holy Scripture in the language that could be understood by the people. But the Church overcame that obstacle as well.

Our nation, since it became a child of the Orthodox Church, straight then obtained the Holy Scripture, and the Divine service, held in the known to antecedents language. And not accidentally, not without the permission of the Divine providence, the first words, translated into Slavonic, were those of the Gospel of St. John: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

So, our nation got everything for the unimpeded communication with God: the opportunity to pray, of calling His name, learning the commandments and edifications from the Holy Scripture, enjoying the unspeakable Divine beauty of our Orthodox service — the best and most perfect fulfillment of that service to God through the word, about which we said in the beginning of the article.

Unfortunately, for the latest centuries the devotion to God and thirst for serving Him became less in our Orthodox people, and in the entire Christian world, and our people in the time of the struggling with God regime, was deprived of the Holy Scripture and Divine Service. Similar to ancient primitive tribes, they only had to appeal to God, not possessing His word, which responded to them. Through such moral sufferings, only if they stay devoted to God, the people get martyr-crowns.

But we, possessing freedom and well-being, shall be subjected to judgment, if we do not use our greatest advantage — the possibility to study the Holy Scripture, attend to the Divine services and participate in their prayers in the full measure.

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