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 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.
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
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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