We too must battle the dragon

In symbol and truth Leviathan is trodden down

by mortals: the baptized, like divers, strip

and put on oil, as a symbol if Christ

They snatched you and came up: stripped,

they seized the soul from his embittered mouth.

St. Ephrem the Syrian, Hymns on Faith, 82.10.

We too follow Christ in our baptism. As we saw Him crush the head of the dragon in the services and iconography of Theophany Theophany – The Spirit Descended and Remained Upon Him) so too we follow Him.

We read in Isaiah of the destruction of the dragon,

“In that day God shall bring his holy and great and strong sword upon the dragon, even the serpent that flees, upon the dragon, the crooked serpent: he shall destroy the dragon.” Isaiah 27.1

and too the psalms,

But God is our King of old; he has wrought salvation in the midst of the earth. 13 Thou didst establish the sea, in thy might, thou didst break to pieces the heads of the dragons in the water. 14 Thou didst break to pieces the heads of the dragon” Psalm 74.12-14.

We too trample down death in our own baptism and thereafter put death to death by the ascetical and liturgical practices of the Church. To the extent that we draw near to life, we crush the heads of the dragons in our lives and that great dragon, death.

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