Sung from August 14 through Sept 12 is a Kontakian which talks about the Nativity of the Theotokos, (Mother of God). This story stemmed from a woman who was freed from barrenness, St. Anne, who is one of my favorite saints. Her story is that she was blessed with a child, (not an ordinary child for by Marys birth, is born the mother of life). Her son, is Jesus, in his human nature, who changed death to life, being the eternal God. (Salvation for mankind). It was God's plan, undeniably, beginning with Adam and Eve, or (humanity).
So why is St. Anne honored as we celebrate the Dormition, (falling asleep) of the Theotokos? Simple, there would have been no Theotokos if not for Joachim and Anna. The fact that it happened when she least expected it, shows that God can work wonders, whenever and wherever He wants, and He did.
The Theotokos, of her own choice, (free will), brought forth the nourisher of our life. We do not hear much of St. Anna, yet she started the whole ball rolling, being freed from barrenness, (her grandson is Life), and her daughter is the Mother of Life, the Theotokos.
Mary the Theotokos, possessed in her womb, the author of Life. Now at her death, she has been given the gift of life through Him who is Life. We will have life through her intercessions to her Son who is Life. Do not forget to call upon St. Anne as well, known as a fruitful intercessor for us. Just a quick note to the men who have always looked down on woman, it does not appear that God agrees with your opinion as Jesus came from not a man, but from a mother, a women. We are in no way inferior to men. Jesus took flesh from a woman. (He is made man, both human and divine, through the power of the Holy Spirit and a virgin named Mary).
The words of the Kontakion say, "Neither the tomb nor death could hold the Theotokos, who is constant in prayer and our firm hope in her intercessions. For being the Mother of life, she was translated to life by the one who dwelt in her virginal womb!"
The Dormition exapostilarion explains that the apostles are brought together from the ends of the earth, gathering in the village of Gethsemane, to wake and bury her body. The final words provide the rest of the story. "And You, My Son and My God, Receive Now My Spirit."
The Dormition of Mary is one of my favorite feast days which will be celebrated this weekend. In finding this icon, a truth was revealed to me, which led to the "fullness" of the Orthodox faith and my conversion.
Jesus is Life: And He is the only alternative to death, which is a choice that begins with you.
So what happened to the Mother of God? The belief based on scripture is that she is in heaven, mysteriously "taken up" body and soul. Although no one saw her ascend into heaven, we get a glimpse as We read in Psalm 45:9-17.
(17) "I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations; Therefore the people shall praise you forever and ever." This reference is found in Luke 1:46-48) "And Mary said: " My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed." Taken from the Orthodox Study Bible.
As angel Gabriel has revealed, during the Annunciation, and in accordance with Luke's picture of her, Mary is praised in the Orthodox Church as being surrounded with divine grace and shining with holiness.
Psalm 45:(11) "So the King will greatly desire your beauty; because He is your Lord, worship Him."
5 weeks ago