The Power of the Incarnation

The Jesus Prayer is this an affirmation of faith in Jesus Christ as alike truly divine and fully human. He is the Theanthropos or “God-man”, who save us from our sins precisely because he is God and man at once. Man could not come to God, so God has come to man – by making himself human. In his outgoing or “ecstatic” love, God unites himself to his creation in the closest of all possible unions, by himself become that which he has created. God, as man, fulfills the mediatorial task which man rejected at the fall. Jesus our Saviour bridges the abyss between God and man because he is both at once. As we say in one of the Orthodox hymns for Christmas Eve, “Heaven and earth are united today, for Christ is born. Today has God come down to earth, and man gone up to heaven”.

Bishop Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way, new rev. ed. (Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1995), 81.