The stars shined in their watches, and rejoiced

THE stars shined in their watches, and rejoiced: when he calleth them, they say, Here we be; and so with cheerfulness they shewed light unto him that made them.

This is our God, and there shall none other be accounted of in comparison of him.

He hath found out all the way of knowledge, and hath given it unto Jacob his servant, and to Israel his beloved.

Afterward did he shew himself upon earth, and conversed with men.

Baruch 3:34-37.

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An icon of the Theotokos, "She who ripens the grain", commissioned by Elder Ambrose of Optina in 1890

An icon of the Theotokos, “She who ripens the grain”, commissioned by Elder Ambrose of Optina in 1890

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THIS is our God, and there shall none other be accounted of in comparison of him, the Prophet cried to him in the Spirit: for he hath found out all the way of knowledge, and afterward he shall make himself like unto mortals, clothed in  flesh; for the God-child is eager to be born from a virgin, for my sake making himself approachable, who in his own nature is unapproachable.

THY womb, all unblemished Theotokos, is perceived to be like a heap of grain (cf. Job 5:26), bearing ineffably, beyond mind and reason, the ear of corn that no man sowed; thou didst bring forth from thy womb in the cave of Bethlehem him who comes to nourish all creation in grace with divine knowledge, and to rescue the human race from that famine which slayeth the soul.

SHE is the young heifer bearing the fatted calf in her womb, and she cometh unto the holy cave, (wonderful to tell,) to give him birth, to swaddle him as a mortal, and lay him up in a cradle as an infant. Already creation is celebrating the feast, joyously magnifying him who worketh such wonders.

At Vespers for December 21. Source.

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