Hello friends. First of all,
Thank you to Joe May for his continued devotion and diligence to facilitate our study of the "The Way to Nicea". And my personal gratitude for the ever present open hearts that share this study time with me. This morning was such a beautiful morning digging into Jesus as "Priest", according to the Scriptures, and finishing the last few pages of "The Scriptural Christ" (the end of Part One in Fr. John Behr's book). My heart is full.
Joe asked me to share some things that I was reading in the above named book on St. Ignatius as follows:
1) In his greeting, meant to refute the heresies of the Docetists, to the Smyrnaean Christians (more than 200 years before the First Ecumenical Council) - he writes ... "I give glory to Jesus Christ, the God who made you so wise; for I know that you are established in immovable faith, as if you were nailed in flesh and spirit to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ and confirmed in love by the blood of Christ - being convinced concerning our Lord that he is truly of the family of David as to the flesh, Son of God by God's will and power, truly born of a virgin, baptized by John so that "all righteousness" might be "fulfilled" by him, truly nailed for us in the flesh under Pontius Pilate and the tetrach Herod."
There is no question the He is God, and Ignatius does not go on at length about that but rather insists on the truth of Christs' humanity, His birth, His baptism, and His death on the Cross. The story of the life of Jesus is critical to Ignatius's understanding of Christianity.
2) Further along in the chapter from Fr. Damick's book under a subtitle Christian Identity as Mystical Union with Christ; "That is, the Father's purpose for us and for the world is that we might be joined to Him, that our life might not be separated from His, because if it is, then we are dying and not living".
3) And as long as I am adding some tidbits:
"For Ignatius, people who do not believe in Christ's true suffering and participate in it are not Christians, because they deny the mystery of who Christ is. Further, Ignatius sees the oppositions between life and death or between good and evil as both characterizing the physical world of humanity. The material realm is not only the realm of death and evil but also that of life and goodness. Christ's suffering in the flesh is thus also a refutation of the docetic view of the universe, which identifies evil with the material flesh and goodness with the immaterial spirit. Marveling at this mystery - "There is one Physician: / both flesh and spirit, / begotten and unbegotten, / in man, God, / in death, true life, / both from Mary and from God, / first passible and then impassible, / Jesus Christ our Lord." (Ephesians 7:2)
Then (in the book) there are several paragraphs written that explore these revelations of who Christ is and the structure of this passage .... "it's phrases (in Ephesians) proceed thematically forward in the first four and then in reverse order thematically in the second four, may therefore be arranged in the form of the Greek letter chi (X), which is the ancient symbol of Christ (because it is the first letter of Christos, the Greek word for Christ):
(A) There is one Physician: (D) in death, true life,
(B) both flesh and spirit, (C) both from Mary and from God,
(C) begotten and unbegotten, (B) first passible and then impassible,
(D) in man, God, (A) Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Sorry for indulging here but I will probably never look at that part of Ephesians the same again!
Love to all and eternally grateful for your presence in my life.