Theophany of Christ our
Celebrated January 6th
the Lord Jesus had lived for thirty years from His birth in
the flesh, He began His teaching and saving work He marked
this very beginning of the beginning by His Baptism in the
St Cyril of Jerusalem says:
'The beginning of the world -- water; the
beginning of the Gospel -- the Jordan."
At the Baptism of the Lord in the water, that mystery was
revealed to the world that was predicted in the Old
Testament and fabled in ancient Egypt and India -- the
mystery of the Holy Trinity of God.
The Father revealed Himself to the sense of hearing, the
Spirit to the sense of sight and the Son, further beyond
these, to the sense of touch.
The Father gave His testimony of the Son, the Son was
baptised in the waters and the Holy Spirit, in the form of a
dove, hovered over the waters. And when John the Baptist
bore witness of Christ and said:
"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the
sin of the world" (Jn. 1:29),
and when he immersed the Lord in the Jordan and
baptised Him, there were thus revealed both the mission of
Christ in the world and the path of our salvation .
That is to say: Christ takes upon Himself the sin of the
whole human race. He dies under it (the immersion) and rises
again (the coming up out of the water), and we must die to
the old, sinful man and rise again, cleansed, renewed and
re-born. Here is the Saviour and here is the way of
The Feast of the Theophany is also called the
'Illuminating', for in the Jordan there is given to us an
illumining, revealing God to us as Trinity, consubstantial
and undivided. That is one thing. And the other is that each
of us baptised in the water is illumined by the Father of
lights, through the merits of the Son and in the power of
the Holy Spirit.