Question:

What do the following Scriptural Readings have in common?

The Reading is from the Book of Exodus (40:1-5, 9-10, 16, 34-35)

The Reading from the Third Book of Kings (8:1 3-4, 5-7, 9-11)

The Reading is from the Book Of the Prophet Ezekiel. (43:27-44:1-4)

Answer: If you are not Orthodox, you probably don’t see much of  a pattern here.

These are the readings assigned for November 21st, the Entry of the Theotokos into the temple. This is one of the great Feasts of the Liturgical year. These readings are prophecies concerning the Mother of God. She is the impassible gate that only the Lord shall enter in by it and the gate shall be shut. This attests to the ever-virginity of our Lady. She is the sacred Tabernacle upon which the Spirit of God descended. She is the Ark in the Holy Place, upon which the Spirit of the Lord descended. Numerous are the other references throughout the Old Testament which prophesy concerning the All-pure Mother God. In recognizing this, we begin to understand the prophesy of the unburning bush beheld by Moses. The Mother of God was unconsumed when she contained God in her womb, just as the tree was not consumed by the presence of God.

Outside of the Church, these scriptural references seem random and disconnected. The full and rich understanding is given to the Church. The Scripture was written for the Church and can not be taken out of context or interpreted privately, ” Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. ” 2 Peter 1:20

Kontakion.
The most pure temple of the Saviour, the most precious bridal chamber and Virgin, the
sacred treasury of the glory of God, is on this day brought into the house of the Lord,
bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. And the angels of God chant
praise unto her: She is the Heavenly tabernacle.

The Oikos.
Seeing the grace of the divine and ineffable mysteries of God made manifest and
clearly fulfilled in the Virgin, I rejoice, and I am at a loss how to understand the
strange and ineffable manner whereby the immaculate one hath been shown forth as
the only one chosen above all creation, visible and spiritual. Therefore, wishing to acclaim her, I am exceedingly amazed in both mind and speech. Yet still I dare to proclaim and magnify her: She is the Heavenly tabernacle.

Synaxarion.
On the twenty-first of this month we celebrate the Entry of the Mother of God into
the Temple.

Doxastikon

Today the all-blameless Virgin is led to the temple to become the habitation of
God, the King of all, and Nourisher of our life. Today as a three year old heifer the
most pure Sanctuary is led into the Holy of Holies. To her let us cry out like the angel:
Rejoice, thou who alone art blessed among women.

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