Returning the World to God
Father Alexander Schmemann
Praise the Lord, 0 my soul. Blessed art thou, 0 Lord,
0 Lord, how marvellous are thyworks: in wisdom hast thou made them all.
The earth is lull of thy riches.
I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live;
I will praise my God, while I have any being (Ps. 104).
And it must be so. There must be someone in this world which rejected God and in this rejection, in this blasphemy, became a chaos of darkness -there must be someone to stand in its centre, and to discern, to see it again as full of divine riches, as the cup full of life andjoy, as beauty and wisdom, and to thank God for it. This "someone" is Christ, the New Adam who restores that "eucharistic life" which I, the old Adam, have rejected and lost; who makes me again what lam, and restores the world to me. And if the Church is in Christ its initial act is always the act of thanksgiving, of returning the world to God.
Reprinted with permission from The Time of the Spirit Readings through the Christian Year, George Every, Richard Harries and Kallistos Ware, editors, published by St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, New York 10707.
Editor's Note: The words "Eucharist" and "eucharistic" refer' to the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion and are used in the liturgies of the Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran Churches. They come from the Greek "eucharisto" which means "thank you."
The importance of biblical creation is very highly emphasized in the worship of the Orthodox Church, as is evident from the above selection. Fr. Alexander Schmemann (1921-83) was a Russian Orthodox theologian and Dean of St. Vladimir's Theological Seminary.