As a Bridegroom and Bride

From Sermon 341.1 (419).

According to scripture, Christ can be understood and named in three ways… the first way is as God, which is according to divine nature which is coequal and co-eternal with the Father before he assumed flesh.  The next way, after he assumed flesh, he is now understood to be… God who is at the same time man, and man who is at the same time God…. The third way Christ can be understood is in reference to the Church, how Christ is head and the body.  He is complete without the church, yet he was prepared to be complete and entire with us…

How are we his body and he, one Christ, with us?  Where do we find this, that head and body form one Christ, that is, the body together with its head?  In Isaiah, the bride is speaking with the bridegroom as if in the singular; certainly it is the same person speaking and see what is said, “He has decked me with a garland as for a bridegroom, and adorned with jewels as for a bride” (Isa. 61:10).  As a bridegroom and bride: he calls the same person bridegroom with reference to the head, bride with reference to the body.  Otherwise, how are we the members of Christ, with the apostle Paul saying as clearly as can be, “You are the body of Christ and its members” (1 Cor 12:27).  All of us together are members of Christ and his body, not only those of us who are in this place, but throughout the world.  

St. Augustine (354-430) was a theologian and philosopher who served as Bishop of Hippo Regius in North Africa. He was a voluminous author, whose writings about God’s grace, the Sacraments, and the Church have been profoundly influential in the development of Western Christianity.  St. Augustine is commemorated on August 28 on the Kalendar of the Episcopal Church. 


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