By Saint Nikolai Velimirovic
Hymn of Praise
Where Israel defeated Sisera,
There also did the Heavenly King deign to go,
To pray in nightly vigils,
To manifest the glory of His Transfiguration,
And confirm the faith of His followers
In His eternal victory as Victor.
There He shone forth with divine light,
Dispelled the thick darkness, and illuminated Tabor.
The Light, long concealed within Himself,
Which He had shed upon the world in brief flashes,
Now burst forth in abundant rays—
Joyful rays, sweet rays—
To reveal to heaven the brilliance of His humanity,
And to reveal to earth and men the truth of His Divinity.
Let heaven see its Messenger;
Let the earth recognize God, the Savior.
Why did our Lord not manifest His divine glory on Tabor before all the disciples instead of before three of them? First, because He Himself gave the Law through the mouth of Moses: At the mouth of two witnesses or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established (Deuteronomy 19:15). Therefore, three witnesses are sufficient. These three witnesses represent three main virtues: Peter—Faith, for he was the first to confess his faith in Christ as the Son of God; James—Hope, for, with faith in the promise of Christ, he was the first who laid down his life for the Lord, being the first to be slain by the Jews; John—Love, for he reclined on the bosom of the Lord, and remained beneath the Cross of the Lord until the end. God is called not the God of many, but rather the God of the chosen. I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob (Exodus 3:6). God often valued a faithful man more than an entire nation. Thus, on many occasions, He wanted to destroy the entire Jewish nation, but because of the prayers of righteous Moses He spared that nation so that it could live. God listened more to the faithful Prophet Elias than to the entire unbelieving kingdom of Ahab. Because of the prayers of one man, God saved towns and people. Thus, the sinful town of Ustiug would have been destroyed by fire and hail, had it not been saved by the prayers of the one and only righteous man in it, St. Procopius, the Fool-for-Christ (July 8).