Thy nativity, O Theotokos Virgin, hath brought forth joy to all the world.
For from thee hath dawned forth the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God,an
annulling the curse and bestowing the blessing,
abolishing death and granting us life everlasting!
Joachim and Anna give birth in their old age to a baby girl named Mary, and dedicate her to the Lord. The latest in a grand line of children born, by God's promise, to barren women — only unlike all of the others recorded for us, this child is a girl. And her birth, the Holy Church tells us, brings joy to all the world……
Imagine this from the perspective of the righteous faithful of her time — with, of course, the addition of our own hindsight — or rather, from the eternal perspective which the Church provides.
In the beginning, the first-created man and his wife lived a life of joy. But as a tragic consequence of their sinful act of self-will, they brought the curse of death upon themselves and upon the whole world. But from the very moment when the Lord explained the curse, He also promised that a Redeemer would come.
Thus began the history that we know as the Old Testament, a story of a few men of faith, of many men of sin, and of the God who continued to love and correct them all. As time went on, the Lord set aside a chosen people and nurtured them with His law, hedging them about as it were to prepare them for His coming. As the promised time came closer He restated the promise, through the prophets, more and more clearly.
And now the time has truly drawn near, for we have seen the birth of her who is to give birth to the promised Messiah! The world did not know it at the time, but looking back we can tremor with anticipation on its behalf!
The time is near at hand! He is coming! The sanctified vessel has been prepared, the sacred tabernacle, she who is blessed among women, who will bear Him who annulls the curse and abolishes death, who bestows the blessing and grants us life everlasting!
Truly, joy has come to all the world!
Most Holy Theotokos, intercede with thy Son and our God that He grant our souls remission of transgressions!