Deisis (Novogorod)

Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account." (Matthew 5:11 ESV)

Beheading

The memory of the righteous is celebrated with hymns of praise, * but for you, O Forerunner, the Lord's testimony is enough, * for you were shown to be truly more honorable than the prophets, * in that you were deemed worthy to baptize in the currents the Lord whom you had proclaimed. * Wherefore, having struggled with joy for the truth, * even to those in Hades you proclaimed God, Who had appeared in flesh, * Who takes away the sin of the world * and grants us great mercy. (Troparion - Tone 2)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The glorious beheading of the Forerunner was part of God's divine plan * that he might proclaim the coming of the Savior even to those in Hades. * So let Herodius weep for having demanded a lawless murder; * for she loved neither God's Law nor eternal life,* but only this false and fleeting life. (Kontakion - Tone 2)

Random Proverb

"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest." (Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV)

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The soul has followed Moses and the cloud, both of these serving as guides for those who would advance in virtue; Moses here represents the commandments of the Law; and the cloud that leads the way, its spiritual meaning. The soul has been purified by crossing the Sea; it has removed from itself and destroyed the enemy army. It has tasted of the waters of Marah, that is, of life deprived of all sinful pleasure; and this at first had seemed bitter and unpleasant to the taste but offered a sensation of sweetness to those who accepted the wood. Next it enjoyed the beauty of the palm trees of the gospel and the springs; it filled itself with the living water, that is, the rock. It took within itself the bread of heaven. It overwhelmed the foreign host - a victory due to the extended arms of the Lawgiver, which thus foreshadowed the mystery of the Cross. Only then can the soul go on to the contemplation of transcendent Being.

St. Gregory of Nyssa