Friday, January 9, 2015

You have appeared, a hymn by St. Romanus

Today You have appeared to the inhabited world,
and Your light, O Lord, has been signed upon us,
who, with knowledge, sing your praise, "You have come, You have appeared, 
                  the unapproachable Light.

In Galilee of the nations, in the country of Zavulon and the land of Naphthalim,
as the prophet said, a great light has shone - Christ.
For the darkness, a shining beam has appeared, blazing out of Bethlehem,
or rather, out of Mary - the Lord, the sun of justice,
has made His rays dawn on the whole inhabited world.
Therefore let us all, Adam's naked children,
put Him on that we may be kept warm;
for as a covering for the naked and a light for the darkened
You have come, You have appeared,
                 the unapproachable Light.

God did not despise the one who was robbed by trickery in Paradise
and lost the garment woven by God,
for He came towards him calling the disobedient once again with His holy voice,
"Adam, where are you? From now on do not hide from Me; I want to see you.
Though you are naked, though you are poor, do not be ashamed, for I have become like you.
Though you desired it you did not become a god,
but now, by My own will, I have become flesh.
Draw near Me then and recognize Me, that you may say,
You have come, You have appeared,
                 the unapproachable Light.

In my mercy, I was overcome by My compassion and came to My creature,
stretching out My hands to embrace you.
So do not be ashamed in front of Me; for your sake, naked as you are, I am stripped naked and baptized.
Already the Jordan opens for Me, and John
prepares My ways in the waters and in minds.
The Savior spoke thus to humankind,
not in words but in deeds, and came, as He said,
drawing near the river on foot,
but to the Forerunner as
                   the unapproachable Light.

An excerpt from the Kontakion of St. Romanus on Holy Theophany.
From On the Life of Christ, Kontakia, p. 39-40