The baptism of God, who cut through the ice

© RIA Novosti / Ilya Petliurite in photobackpack EpiphanyThe baptism of God, who cut through the ice© RIA Novosti / Ilya Petliurite in fotobelka Mikheev

The baptism of the Lord, it is Epiphany, the second, along with Easter, the oldest Christian festival. A paradox, but a day when God «officially» appeared to people for some time associated with desire of thousands of citizens in the harsh cold to swim in the icy water. Why Christ was baptized along with the people what the true meaning of Epiphany and how it is useful to do this day — in the material RIA Novosti.

The gospel story is simple. Jesus Christ came to the prophet John, who was baptizing people in the waters of the Jordan river. The preacher, according to the testimony of the Evangelist, dressed in clothes made of camel’s hair, belted leather belt, ate locusts and wild honey, was very popular in the people — to listen to him and seek advice on how to live, came «all Jerusalem, all Judea and the whole region around the Jordan». John said that the time has come when the sky became closer to the people, convinced of the necessity of repentance and came immersed in the water of the river as a sign that from that moment they enter clean into a new life. Seeing Jesus, the prophet predicted that He will take upon Himself «the sin of the world» and declared: he baptizes people with water precisely in order to show them God.

Holiday with two names

«For John came to different people — soldiers, tax-collectors. And he told them to stop working and his example to go off into the wilderness. He told them: «Continue to do their job, collect taxes, defend the country. But don’t take too much, do not hurt, do not insult. Not sin, because the Kingdom of God is incompatible with sin,» says the cleric of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) priest IBAS, instead (Senchukov).

First, John came to baptize him, Jesus refused. «I have need to be baptized by You,» he said. But Christ insisted. And when He plunged into the water, from heaven came a voice: «This is my beloved Son». On this day, humanity learned that the world came to God. Because of the holiday two names: the Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord.


© RIA Novosti / Alexey Mikelieman the IBAS, instead hospitalitynet sick syndrome Bertha Hodge-DubeThe baptism of God, who cut through the ice© RIA Novosti / Alexey Mikelieman the IBAS, instead hospitalitynet sick syndrome Bertha Hodge-Dube

«But why bother God with something to repent, wash away their sin? Whether God repentance? Of course not. But He repents for all of humanity and washes away our sins,» the priest emphasized.

Sweet smell of decay

Originally the feast of the Epiphany was dedicated not only to the Baptism of Christ and his Nativity and the visit of the three Magi to the cave of Bethlehem, where a newborn baby slept. Only in the V century the holiday has acquired its current features. However, his main point was always the same man to enter the Kingdom of heaven, should abandon his sin.

«To repent is not come and cry to say: «Oh, I have sinned, done bad». This means with loathing to give up our own sin, to leave him. The Kingdom of heaven cannot come into contact with sin,» — emphasizes the father IBAS, instead.

In the ecclesiastical practice, it is often necessary to deal with the fact that people begin to be proud of their bad actions, they say, I heart of oak, I did this! «Even in the novels is an expression of «the sweetness of sin.» But can you compare it with the banana: the stronger it is bend, the sweeter the taste,» laughs monk.

«And we are in the Kingdom of heaven, the whole car «banana» — our sins. And there with them to get it fire burns and sins, and their carriers. You need to repent, to leave them and to go to God,» he advises believers.

No gloomy persons

Repentance in Christianity is a much broader concept than simply admitting our own mistakes and blunders. This is a change of mind and condition of the heart when God becomes man Number One Priority. This is the beginning of a new life in the light, joy and love. «It’s like a sharp change of course the ship’s captain, who realized that because of a bug scurries on the rocks and that the death is inevitable», — says head of information-analytical Department of the Synodal Department for religious education and catechism of the Russian Orthodox Church, father Gennady (Wojtyszko).

In his opinion, for any Christian joy should be the basis of life.

«Christianity is a religion not a sullen entities and permanent bans, and joy and love, a reciprocity which is impossible without trust and loyalty. After all, faith in God — not a recognition of the fact of Its existence, and the desire to respond to His love,» adds father Gennady. And notes with regret that the external fuss about the Baptism of the spiritual meaning of the holiday is completely lost. The priest reminds, which was supposed to lead Christ’s way of the Jordan of the font.

«Plunging into the dead water of Jordan, He’s like clean linen, immersed in the coating chamber, and out comes the white <…> in bloody clothes, in the clothes of death which He must suffer» — quoted by father Gennady to Metropolitan Anthony (bloom).

Drown the devil

Few people know that before the revolution Russia had not decided to dive in Jordan — the Epiphany ice-hole, in which the priest immerses the cross, performing the Great rite of water blessing.

«Our Ergani, we are on the river-bet, papasena and says — Erdene not allowed to compete, the cross is dipped, and I wish portovino (Laundry. — Approx. ed.), there is a boxcar there,» recalled the novel «the year of the Lord» in his childhood the writer Ivan Shmelev.

© RIA Novosti / Ilya Petliurite in photobacteria Jordan at the walls of the Ferapontov Belozersky of the Nativity monastery in the Vologda regionThe baptism of God, who cut through the ice© RIA Novosti / Ilya Petliurite in photobacteria Jordan at the walls of the Ferapontov Belozersky of the Nativity monastery in the Vologda region

But to approach the baptismal font, according to father Gennady, need with prayer and gratitude to God for the salvation of the world. In the words of St. John Chrysostom, the whole creation of the earth in this day of rejoicing, one only the devil cries, seeing the font in which to drown his power.