“The Divine Liturgy is the eternal repetition of the great act of love accomplished for us. Suffering from the ramifications of the fall, mankind cried out from all the ends of the earth to its Creator. Those living in the darkness of idolatry and without the knowledge of God heard that order and harmony could be restored only by Him Who had ordered the worlds He had created to move in unison. From everywhere, yearning creation cried out to its Creator. Everything sent up cries of grief to the Author of its being, and these cries were more perceptibly heard on the lips of the elect and the prophets. They foretold and realized that if the Creator should Himself stand face to face with men, He would not do so otherwise than in the form of His creation, whom He had created in His own image and likeness. The Incarnation of God on earth was comprehended by all mankind only in as far their understanding of God had been purified. But no one proclaimed this truth so clearly as the prophets of God’s chosen people. Whilst even the pagans had presentiments of His Incarnation from the immaculate Virgin, nowhere was it foreseen with such palpable clarity as by the prophets.

The cries were heard. He Who had made the world appeared in the world. He appeared among us in the form of a man like ourselves, as had been dimly presaged even in the deep darkness of paganism, but not in the way that their unpurified minds had imagined. Not in proud splendor and pomp, not as a chastiser of wrong, not as a judge come to destroy some and reward others. No! A brother’s gentle kiss was heard. He made His appearance as only God could have done, just as the prophets who received the command from God had portrayed Him.”

Meditations on the Divine Liturgy of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church by Nikolai Gogol