Day 1 - God creates light. God divided light from darkness. He called the light 'day', and the darkness 'night'. (Genesis 1:3-5)
Day 2 - God creates a firmament in the midst of the waters and divides the waters from the waters. God calls the firmament Heaven. (Genesis 1:6-8)
Day 3 - God makes dry land to appear, and names the land earth and the waters sea. God commands the earth to bring forth grass, plants, and fruit bearing trees. (Genesis 1:9-13)
Day 4 - God creates light in the heavens to divide the day from night, and let them be for signs, for seasons, days and years. (Genesis 1:14-19)
Day 5 - God created sea creatures and birds. (Genesis 1:20-24)
Day 6 - God created man. (Genesis 1:26-27)
Day 7 - God rested. (Genesis 2:3)
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
Story of Creation
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; Do not have any other gods before me. (Exodus 20:2-3)
You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them. (Exodus 20:4-5)
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name. (Exodus 20:7)
Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. For six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it. (Exodus 20:8-11)
Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12)
You shall not murder. (Exodus 20:13)
You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14)
You shall not steal. (Exodus 20:15)
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16)
You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighborâ€™s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. (Exodus 20:17)
Moses Receives in his arms the Ten Commandments
According to the Church , the first four commandments were inscribed on the first tablet and the last six were inscribed on the second tablet. The first contains those commandments pertaining to our obligations towards God, while the second contains those pertaining to our neighbor.
This traditional division is later revealed to us by our Lord Jesus Christ as the great commandments in the law (Matt. 22:36)? The Lord replied, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.
And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets (Matt. 22:37–40; cf. Luke 10:25–28).
St.Augustine of Hippo taught that Original sin of Adam and Eve was either an act of foolishness (insipientia) followed by pride and disobedience to God or that pride came first. The first couple disobeyed God, who had told them not to eat of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:17). The tree was a symbol of the order of creation. Self-centeredness made Adam and Eve eat of it, thus failing to acknowledge and respect the world as it was created by God, with its hierarchy of beings and values. They would not have fallen into pride and lack of wisdom, if Satan hadn't sown into their senses "the root of evil" (radix Mali).
Augustine's understanding of the consequences of the original sin and of necessity of the redeeming grace was developed in the struggle against Pelagius and his Pelagian disciples, Caelestius and Julian of Eclanum.
Technically speaking, in their writings the Eastern Fathers and Orthodox theologians do not use the Latin term introduced by Augustine in his treatise “De Peccato originali”, but instead translate this concept by means of two cognate terms in Greek, namely, progoniki amartia and to propatorikon amartima, which is properly translated “ancestral sin”. These terms allow for a more careful nuancing of the various implications contained in the one Latin term.[1
With regard to original sin, the difference between Orthodox Christianity and the West is: In the Orthodox Faith, the term “original sin” refers to the “first” or “ancestral” sin of Adam and Eve. As a result of this sin, humanity bears the “consequences” of sin, which is death. Here the word “original” may be seen as synonymous with “first” or “ancestral”. Hence, the “original sin” refers to the “first sin” or “ancestral sin”. In the West, humanity likewise bears the “consequences” of the “original sin” of Adam and Eve. However, the West also understands that humanity is likewise “guilty” of the sin of Adam and Eve. The term “Original Sin” here refers to the condition into which humanity is born, a condition in which guilt as well as consequence is involved. In the Orthodox Christian understanding, while humanity does bear the consequences of the original, or first, sin, humanity does not bear the personal guilt associated with this sin. Adam and Eve are guilty of their willful action; we bear the consequences, which is death.
The sin committed by our progenitors in paradise, with all its consequences, passed and passes from them to all their posterity. What the first people became after the Fall, such also till now are their descendants in the world. "Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his image" (Genesis 5:3, KJV). Estrangement from God, the loss of grace, the distortion of God's image, the perversion and weakening of the bodily organism, which ends with death - here is Adam's sad legacy, received by each of us at our very appearance in the world. "As from an infected source there naturally flows an infected stream," teaches the Orthodox catechism, "so from an ancestor infected with sin, and hence mortal, there naturally proceeds a posterity infected with sin, and hence mortal."
Therefore, each of us can repeat after King David: "For behold, I was conceived in iniquities, and in sins did my mother bear me" (Psalm 50:7). The Apostle Paul expresses this thought still more clearly: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12).
According to the teaching of the Orthodox Church (from the first centuries and up to our days), all men are subject to original sin - all, including also the Mother of God. And all have to be redeemed by the sacrifice of the Son of God. The Most Holy Virgin herself numbers herself among the saved, calling God her Saviour, "and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour" (Luke 1:47). Sacred Scripture knows only one man who did not partake of original sin - the God-Man Christ Jesus, Who was conceived in a supernatural manner - by the Holy Spirit.
The Roman-Catholic view on original sin and on its consequences contradicts the clear testimonies of the word of God that point out the damage [caused] to man's very nature through the sin of our progenitors and the consequences of this sin, which show the violation of the natural order of human life. The Apostle Paul says: "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members" (Romans 7:19-23).
The infinite grandeur of the redeeming sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ is demeaned by the Roman-Catholic teaching on the Fall, and too great a significance is attributed to the participation of man himself in the work of salvation. Here the juridical approach characteristic of Catholics is again expressed: man not only receives salvation as something due and earned, but he can even perform more good works than he needs for acquiring eternal salvation.
The Image of God
What does the word sacrament signify? “It is the sacraments that constitute our life in Christ.” The sacraments are “windows into this unseen world.”
But though we live in a dark world, there are windows into it. Let us remember the Greek term for sacrament — mysterion, mystery. A mystery, in the true religious sense, is not simply an enigma, an unexplained problem. A mystery is something, which is revealed for our understanding, yet never totally revealed because it reaches into the infinity of God. The mystery of all mysteries is the incarnation of Christ; therefore all other sacraments of the church are founded upon that.
The second word in the title which we shall need to keep in mind is healing — Sacraments of Healing and the healing power of our Sacraments. Healing means wholeness. I am broken and fragmented. Healing means a recovery of unity. Let us each thinks that I cannot bring peace and unity to the world unless I am at peace and unity with myself. “Acquire the spirit of peace and thousands around you will find salvation.” If I don’t have the spirit of peace within myself, if I am inwardly divided, I shall spread that division around me to others. Great divisions in the world between nations and states spring from many divisions within the human heart of each one of us.
How I am to understand my unity as a person? What models do I have when I think of the healing of my total self? Human beings are a complex unity. My personhood is a single whole, but a whole that embraces many aspects. As humans we stand at the center and crossroads of the creation. Saint John Chrysostom thinks of the human person as bridge and bond. Each of us then, is a little universe, a microcosm; each of us is imago mundi — an icon of the world. Each reflects within her or him the manifold diversity of the created order.
Saint Gregory Nazianzen, the Theologian, distinguishes the two main levels of the created order. On one hand, there is the spiritual or invisible order, on the other there is the material or physical order. Angels belong only to the first order. They are bodiless, spiritual beings. In Saint Gregory’s view, animals belong to the second order — the material and physical. We, uniquely in God’s creation, exist on both levels at once. Anthropos, man, the human person alone, has a twofold nature, both material and spiritual. Saint Gregory goes on to speak of ourselves as earthly yet heavenly, temporal yet immortal, visible yet intelligible, midway between majesty and lowliness, one selfsame being yet both spirit and flesh. Wishing to form a single creature from two levels of creation from both visible and invisible nature, says Gregory, the Creator Logos fashioned the human person. Taking a body from matter that He has previously created and placing in it the breath of life that comes from himself, which scripture terms the intelligent soul and the image of God, He formed anthropos, the human person, as a second universe — a great universe in a little one.
Now, because we stand in this way on the crossroads of creation, because each of us is a laboratory or workshop that contains everything in a most comprehensive fashion, we have a special vocation, and that is to mediate and to unify. Standing at the crossroads, earthly yet heavenly, body yet soul, our human vocation is to reconcile and harmonize the differing levels of reality in which we participate. Our vocation is to spiritualize the material, without thereby dematerializing it. That is why reconciliation and peace are such a fundamental aspect of our personhood.
But having said that humans are a microcosmic image of the world, we have not yet said the most important thing. The most important thing about our personhood it is not that we are an image of the world but it is that we are created in the image of God. We are a created expression of God’s infinite and uncreated self-expression. Our true glory is that we are in God’s image, that we reflect the divine. We are called not only to unify the different levels of the created order, but we are also called to join earth and heaven and to unite the created and the uncreated.
We are not only imago mundi but also imago dei — image of God. These are our two vocations — not just to unify the creation, but also to offer creation back to God. As king and priest of creation formed to the image of God, the human person offers the world back to God and so transfigures it. The great universe is not the world around us, not the galaxy light years away from us. The great universe is the inner space of the heart. Incomparably greater than the outside universe is the depth within each human heart.
Our vocation is not just to unify but also, as image of God, it’s our task to render the world transparent — to make God’s presence shine through it. We cannot fulfill our vocation as bridge builders, as unifiers, as cosmic priests, unless we see our own selves as a single undivided whole. More specifically, we can act as bond and mediator within the creation, rendering the material spiritual only if we see our body as an essential part of our selves, only if we view our personhood as an integral unity of body and soul. Severing our links with the material environment, we cease to mediate.
Here at once we see the very grave spiritual implications of the present pollution of the environment, what we humans are doing toward the cosmic temple which God has given us to dwell in. The fact that we are degrading the world around us in a very alarming manner shows a terrifying failure to realize our vocation as mediators. So we need, if we are to be truly human, to come to terms with our own body — with its rhythm, its mysteries, its dreams — and through our body then to come to terms with the material world.