There was the beginning, Creation Week. It occurred before time. Creation Week is the genesis of light, matter, energy, life, time. All things visible and invisible.
The only other week that straddles time and timelessness is Holy Week in the Greek Orthodox Church. In the Church events are not commemorated like escalating birthdays and anniversaries, but in a mysterious way the events of Holy Week continuously occur. For the Church time collapses into now-ness. Christ is continuously being betrayed and crucified for us, His Bride.
Besides their play with time, what else do the two Weeks have in common and what does their commonality tell us?
Day One. Κυριακή - Sunday in Greek is translated as The Lord’s Day.
On the first day of Creation Week God said, “Light be” and light was. “Γενηθητω φος” και εγενετο φως.”
On the first day of Holy Week, Palm Sunday, Jesus is glorified by the people. The king of kings rides through town on a donkey while the admiring crowds lay their garments down as if to give Him a red carpet. They shout “Hosanna in the highest, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Light was created two days before the sun. The Nicene Creed states that Jesus is the light of light. Could Day-One be the day that to quote the Nicene Creed, “Jesus was begotten of the Father before all ages?” Before Jesus became human, He is Divine Light. The thought of this makes His condescension all the more profound.
The week begins with the introduction of a Light that overwhelmed the darkness and void, and on Palm Sunday the light of light was glorified. The Light and the Glory.
Day Two. Δευτέρα. The second day, Monday.
God created heaven.
Holy Monday - Bridegroom. The luminous heaven gives home to the light of light who is the Bridegroom of the Church, the Bride. After Light, He created heaven, the sky, and filled it with holy angels and God’s throne room. Hence in the Church, Monday is the day of the angels.
Excerpt from Hymns of the Bridegroom Service
Behold, the Bridegroom cometh [from heaven] in the middle of the night (note the contrast of darkness and Light), and blessed is that servant whom He shall find watching; and again unworthy is he whom He shall find heedless. Beware, therefore, O my soul, lest thou be overcome with sleep, lest thou be given up to death, and be shut out from the Kingdom. But rouse thyself and cry: Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou, O God, through the Theotokos, the Mother of God, have mercy on us.
The Bridegroom came the first time, as the light of light out of the heaven to walk on earth. The first coming of the Bridegroom.
Day three. Τρίτη. The third day, Tuesday.
God created the earth, seas, rivers, trees, grass and vegetation. (The Garden of Eden too with its trees of the knowledge of Good and Evil, and the Tree of Life.)
Holy Tuesday - Second Bridegroom Service.
The Church reminds us right away in Holy Week that the Bridegroom comes twice.
He comes out of Day 2 Heaven to Day 3 Earth as Bridegroom and then as Judge.
On and before this third day of Creation Week, a day was not comprised of 24 hours because there was not yet a sun and moon to rotate around the earth. Before this day, ‘a day’ could have lasted millions of years as we count time now. There is no conflict between the age of the earth according to scientists and theologians.
Day four. Τετάρτη. The fourth day, Wednesday.
God created the sun, moon and stars. I imagine that He concentrated the light that was Jesus Christ into one big ball that became fire for the intense concentration of light (ηλίου - υιεου) and called it the Sun, (Son) and then He made lesser lights, the moon and stars to illuminate the night sky. Candlelight is like a teaspoon of the sun, i.e. the Son.
Time as we know it started on the fourth day with the creation of the Sun when God set the earth in motion to revolve around it. The first light withdrew deeper into heaven only to be revealed to saints and even to them very occasionally. The revolution of the earth around the brand new sun formed a 24-hour day with a period of darkness followed by a period of light.
Holy Wednesday - The Betrayal.
With an ironic kiss Judas gave the Son over to those who sought to extinguish Him forever.
The unquenchable fires of hell were created with the fourth day creation of the fiery Sun. Will the souls of the damned be sent to live on the sun to be continually burned by its unquenchable fire?
The Church anoints us with healing oil on this day. The spectrum between the creation of natural light, and the abyss of betrayal, how Christ was in agony in the Garden, abandoned, afraid to the point of sweating blood reveals the chasm between God’s love and providence and human sorrow. Only through the gentle oil of healing can the Bride respond to such disparity.
Day five. Πέμπτη. The fifth day, Thursday.
God created every kind of bird, fish, reptile, and sea monster like the whale.
Holy Thursday. The Last Supper.
The first creatures that need to eat and are eaten are created on the day of the Holy Week that the mystical food of Life is given to the disciples of Christ.
The fifth day, when eating began, coincides with the Holy Fifth Day when the Food for eternal life is given.
On the fifth day too, the dove was created.
After 180 agonizing days of roaming upon the sea, a dove was sent out of the ark in search of relief and returned with an olive twig in its beak to announce the presence of land. A dove appeared at the scene of Christ’s baptism to introduce Jesus as God’s Son, again bearing great news. The dove heralded news of a new beginning, in the Old Testament and in the New.
Day five is about food and Food (Eucharist), and about the dove who twice brings news of relief (mercy) from psychological and spiritual starvation.
Day six. Παρασκευή. Day of Preparation, Friday.
On this last day, God created all the animals; last of all He created man: Adam, then Eve.
Holy and Great Friday. The Crucifixion.
On the last day of Creation Week God created man in His glorious image and likeness. On this day, man killed God. Bitter irony.
For His final act, God said, “Let US create man in OUR likeness.” Creation week begins and ends with Light (Christ) and His image and likeness as humans on earth. Bookends of brilliance.
Christ was crucified because He said He was the Son of God which they considered blasphemous, and because His power threatened theirs. Blinded by their hubris, the elite did not recognize the Truth.
And yet, what the Pharisees and the Romans intended for evil, God used for good. Once in Hades Jesus’s divinity took over and empowered Him to unlock Hades’ gate and release the captives. Via death, Jesus Christ destroyed the power of death to grasp and imprison all souls.
On the sixth day man was created, crucified in Christ, and un-cursed. 6.6.6. a V for victory!
Believe it or not.
Day seven. Σαββάτου. Sabbath, Saturday.
The day of rest joins both Weeks.
God rested on the seventh day. As Christ He rested.
The mandate to rest on the seventh day is loud and strict. It is important to be reminded weekly that there is a clear beginning and a clear end.
Day eight. Κυριακή. The Lord’s Day, Sunday.
The eighth day of Creation Week is the First Day. The world is fully built and operational! All systems are Go; cycles earthly and heavenly, animal, vegetable and mineral are set. Switch on!
The eighth day of Holy Week brings the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is the First Day of a brand new world. Phase Two. Death has lost its power. The world is fresh and luminous and pure. Jesus is alive.
From Saint Isaac the Syrian: “We will learn that God is the One that delivers us; and we will perceive Him Who fashioned us, provides for us, protects us, and Who has for our sake created two worlds: one as teacher, and for a while our chastiser; but the other as our ancestral home and eternal inheritance.”
To the smallest man, woman, and child everyone now has access to the Living God and to immortality in His peaceful Kingdom.
Eighth day seal of the Covenant: Circumcision to Resurrection.
On the eighth day the baby boy is marked with the sign of the covenant between God and Abraham, that in return for childless old Abe’s extraordinary faith he would become the father of many nations, and would inherit the Promise Land. Abraham gives his nations of innocent babies to God on their eighth day of life to mark their lifelong separation from humankind, like a new Noah’s ark of chosen people saved from the destruction that is the fate of infidels.
Jesus lifted the curse on Adam and Eve and their descendants who believe in His name, and gives us the right to become Children of God. The second seal of the same covenant of relationship, of separation from the world is baptism. It is to be submerged into the deadly waters like those outside Noah’s ark, to die...with Christ, and to be born anew on Easter Sunday. Mankind, both inside and outside the ark are saved.
The Promise Land flowing with milk and honey is now within sight, we need only to slay the dragons that aim to keep us from entering.
Christ is Risen! Death is defeated. Walk in His light-filled footsteps and live happily ever after.
Holy and Creation Week Recap:
- Light - Glory
- Heaven - Bridegroom first coming
- Earth - Bridegroom second coming
- Sun, Moon, Stars, natural light - betrayal, human nature’s darkness
- Fish, birds (the first eaters) and Eucharist, the food of eternal life. Good news x2 from the dove.
- God made Man - Man Crucified God
- The brand new earth is ready! The narrow way to the brand new world of the heavenly Promise Land is illuminated and open.
Besides timelessness, the commonality of Creation Week and Holy Week signify a common Source, an overarching Intelligence that has an equally sharp and long view as He has a detailed microscopic view. Two ‘weeks’ millions or billions of years apart from each other speak to each other a tale of supreme reality and purpose. Together they form two thirds of the whole explanation of Life and human destiny.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be His peoples, and God Himself will be with them and be their God, He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”
And the One who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be My children.
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Humankind is given every tool necessary to become Children of God and live in the world that we all want our world to be and many of us struggle to make it so.
This final phase, from Resurrection to Kingdom Come, as long and arduous as it may seem, is part of The Plan for the patient, timeless, and meticulous God! Selah.
Fifty days after God released the Jews from the bondage of slavery, Passover, He handed them the Commandments. Through obedience, the people would gradually appropriate His virtues, e.g. faithfulness, honesty, respect, and humility to regain His likeness.
Fifty days after releasing man from the bondage of death, Pascha, He infused them with the Holy Spirit, the Law written in their hearts to guide them from within.
The Law and the Spirit are tools, weapons needed to slay the dragons that would keep us from entering The Promise Land, the Kingdom of God.
The End and the Beginning.