Christology is the branch of theology that deals with the person of Jesus Christ. There are a few passages of the New Testament that are considered high points of christology. What is remarkable about these passages is that they seem to be fragments of early Christian hymns. It appears that the early Christians expressed their understanding of Christ in hymns before they attempted theological explanations. Or, perhaps it is more correct to say that hymns became the earliest forms of theology!
What is even more remarkable is that most of these early hymnic expressions of high christology link their exalted vision of Christ to Christ as Creator! We can’t look at Christ in isolation from Creation. This is something that Orthodox can understand, as so much of our faith is expressed doxologically, in words and actions of worship and praise. The Orthodox the feast of Transfiguration this week (August 6th) is one of the two feasts in the church calendar (the other being Theophany, on January 6th) that most explicitly celebrate the impact on creation of Christ’s coming in the flesh.
He is the image of the invisible God,the firstborn of all creation;for in him all thingsin heaven and on earthwere created,things visible and invisible,whether thrones or dominionsor rulers or powers.All things have been createdthrough him and for him.He himself is before all things,and in him all things hold together.He is the head of the body, the church.He is the beginning,the firstborn from the dead,so that he might cometo have first place in everything.For in him all the fullness of Godwas pleased to dwell,and through him God was pleasedto reconcile to himself all things,whether on earth or in heaven,by making peacethrough the blood of his cross.
For us there is one God, the Father,from whom are all thingsand for whom we exist,and one Lord, Jesus Christ,through whom are all thingsand through whom we exist.
He is the reflection of God’s gloryand the exact imprint of God’s very being,and he sustains all things by his powerful word.
In the beginning was the Word,and the Word was with God,and the Word was God.He was in the beginning with God.All things came into being through him,and without him not one thing came into beingthat has come into being.In him was life,and the life was the light of all people.The true light,which enlightens everyone,was coming into the world.He was in the world,and the world came into being through him;yet the world did not know him.But to all who received him,who believed in his name,he gave power to become children of God.And the Word became flesh and lived among us,and we have seen his glory.From his fullness we have all received,grace upon grace.The law indeed was given through Moses;grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.No one has ever seen God.It is God the only Son,who is close to the Father’s heart,who has made him known.
2 Replies to “High Christology of Creation (Some Preliminary Thoughts)”
I really enjoyed this, Kostas. Beautiful icons, too. The passages you focus on are so rich. Michael
Thank you. God bless you, Michael.