Guarding and proclaiming the unchanging truth in a changing world

The Kingdom of Life Has Come

25th May 2020

Gregory of Nyssa was born in 335 to a devout aristocratic Christian family in Cappadocia, which had suffered persecution for their faith. Gregory's grandfather was martyred, his parents had their goods confiscated and were exiled for confessing Christ. Three of their sons became bishops: Gregory was elected bishop of Nyssa in 372 and joined his older brothers, Basil of Caesarea and Peter of Sebaste, in their fight against the Arian heresy. Gregory contributed significantly to the Church's understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity and the Nicene Creed.

The Kingdom of Life Has Come

The kingdom of life has come and the empire of death has been destroyed. A new form of birth has arrived and with it another life, another say of living a changes has come over our nature. What manner of birth is this? It is not of blood, nor of the will of man, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God.

How can this be? listen and I shall explain it briefly. This child is conceived by faith and comes to light through the rebirth of baptism. The Church nurses her and suckles her with doctrines and precepts to live by: her food is the bread of heaven. Heavenly citizenship is the perfection she grows into, her marriage is her familiarity with wisdom, her children are hope, her home is the kingdom, her inheritance and wealth are the delights of paradise, and her end is not death but that blessed and eternal life prepared for those who are worthy.

This is the day the Lord has made - a day far other than those made at the creation of the world which are measured by the passage of time. This day is the beginning of another creation, for on this day God made a new heaven and a new earth as the prophet says. What heaven? The firmament of faith we have in Christ. What earth? The good heart which is like the earth, that drinks the rain that descends on it and brings forth varied fruit.

In this creation the sun is a pure life, the stars are virtues, the air is candid behavior, the sea is the depth and the riches of wisdom and knowledge. Grass and seeds are the divine teaching and sound doctrine which are picked and eaten by the people of the pasture, that is, God's flock. The trees bearing fruit are the observance of the commandments.

On this day the true man is created according to the image and likeness of God.  This surely is the world that begins with the words: This is the day that the Lord has made. This is surely a day unlike any other day, as the prophet says, and a night unlike any other night.

But we have not yet explained the most astonishing fact of all in this grace: it destroys the sorrows of death and brings forth the first-born of the dead. I ascend, he says, to my Father and to your Father, my God and your God. O wonderful and excellent news! Though he is the only-begotten Son of the Father and became like us for our sake in order to make us his brothers, he now takes back his manhood to his true Father in order to take back with him all his kin.

Gregory of Nyssa

John 3:1-15
2 Corinthians 5:16-21


Sovereign Lord and Father,
through the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
all creation is renewed and by faith we are born again:
Grant that we may follow him into the new creation,
for his ascension is our glory and our hope.
We ask all this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

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