Thou wilt send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created; and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth. Psalm 103:3

This is about the Incarnation and recreation of man in Christ.


I have the distinct privilege of reading an incredible thesis about the Paremia[1] of the Great Feasts, by Reader Andrew Temple. There are "nuggets" all over the place. Hopefully, he will publish his work and make it available to everyone.


Here is one such insight, regarding Psalm 103:3:


"Thou wilt send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created; and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth."


One may consider that this is about the creation of the world, but St Ambrose of Milan elucidates the deeper meaning of the text:


"The Spirit fittingly moved over the earth, destined to bear fruit because by the aid of the Spirit it held the seeds of new birth which were to germinate according to the words of the prophet: ‘Send forth thy Spirit and they shall be created and thou shalt renew the face of the earth’ (Psalm 103:30)"[2]


Reader Andrew comments:


"Saint Ambrose seems to be making reference to the sending of the Holy Spirit by Christ – the Holy Spirit which fills His Church as the ark of salvation. It was also by the Holy Spirit that the Virgin Mary conceived Christ in the flesh – the author of the new creation."[3]



I daresay that we will not truly celebrate Nativity if we do not understand that it is a Great Feast precisely because the one Who created all things becomes created, in order to recreate us. We have a responsibility because of this. We must understand it, yearn for it, and work towards it. This is the Christmas story.



Priest Seraphim Holland 2013     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas


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[1] The "Paremia", also called "Parables", are special readings, usually from the Old Testament, which are read at Vespers for a Great Feast, and sometimes at other times, such as the Royal Hours and other times, which explain the Feast.

[2] St. Ambrose of Milan, “Hexameron (The Six Days of Creation),” 1.8.29, in Hexameron, Paradise, and Cain and Abel, trans. John J. Savage, The Fathers of the Church, Volume 42 (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of AmericaPress, 1961) 32-33.

[3] Reader Andrew Temple, "God is With Us: An Explanation of the Old Testament Readings (Paremia) for the Great Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord", 2012, unpublished.