Rise: The Great Fifty Days 5

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He it is who made the heaven and the earth,

and formed humanity in the beginning,

who was proclaimed through the law and the prophets,

who took flesh from a virgin,

who was hung on a tree,

who was buried in earth,

who was raised from the dead,

and ascended to the heights of heaven,

who sits at the right hand of the Father,

who has the power to save all things,

through whom the Father acted from the beginning and forever.

 

This is the alpha and omega,

this is the beginning and the incomprehensible end.

This is the Christ,

this is the King,

this is Jesus,

this is the commander,

this is the Lord,

this is he who rose from the dead,

this is he who sits at the right hand of the father,

he bears the father and is borne by him.

To him be the glory and the might forever.

Amen.

 

The excerpt above, taken from On Pascha and considered to be the earliest Christian sermon that has survived from antiquity, was written in 167/168 by Melito, bishop of Sardis, who was a prominent figure of second-century Christianity. A leader of the Church in Asia, Melito, according to Hippolytus, was among the earliest proponants of the two natures in Christ, and Jerome echoes Tertullian in noting that Melito was considered a prophet by many in his own day.

 

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