The vignette from the Life of Christ icon about Lazarus picks up on the event of his being raised from the dead, foreshadowing what is just about to come for Jesus a week from this event. The story in John’s Gospel pops up in the lectionary during Lent (Year C – Week 5) and on the Feast of All Saints (Year B). I chose an abridged form of the latter readings (Psalm 24, Revelation 21:1-6, & John 11:38-44) as they captured the promise of the physical resurrection we anticipate, even as we are spiritually risen with Christ by faith now. I hope you find these readings an encouragement to a deeper life of trust in our Lord!
As we see the various people Jesus heals in the icon vignette for today, and as we consider our readings (Psalm 103:1-5, Acts 10:34-43, and Luke 3:15-17, 21-22), we are reminded of how healing is part of God’s plan for his people, as a foretaste of eternity, how Jesus heals the whole person, plus how we are instrumental in God’s plan to bring healing to others as Christ’s kingdom advances.
As we progress through the Life of Christ icon, we come across the readings from the Second Sunday in Epiphany, Year C, to guide our ruminations. Psalm 36:5-10, Isaiah 62:1-5, and John 2:1-11, each help us appreciate the love of God and how the covenant of marriage models Christ’s love for his Church and how honoring marriage inspires us to pursue a deeper connection with the Triune God whose love for us is unfathomable.
Continuing through our Lord’s life depicted in the Life of Christ icon, we arrive at his baptism in the Jordan by the John the Baptist. The Psalmist, Prophet Isaiah, and St Luke each reinforce this remarkable moment in Jesus’ life in their own way. And Christ’s very own faithfulness on our behalf opens the way for all baptized persons to take hold resurrection life and our Father’s love by faith.
As we continue our study of the biblical background informing the Life of Christ icon, we come to the story of Christ’s being presented in the temple. Psalm 8, Galatians 4, and St Luke’s Gospel all reinforce how Jesus fulfills the our mission to care for creation, as well as God’s mission to bring us into his family and rescue us Jew and Gentile alike from sin and death. As part of Christ’s body may we all grow in our stewardship, gratitude, and trust in our Lord’s great salvation.
This Summer, we are taking a look at the life of Jesus as inspired by the Life of Christ Icon. It has a central pantokrator (Ruler of All) surrounded by vignettes from our Savior’s redemptive life. Today we see consider how Jesus models humility in his incarnation, as we read Psalm 96, Isaiah 9:2-7, and the famous Christmas story from Luke 2:1-14.