The character of St. Mary the mother of God, Theotokos, possesses a great value and insight into the mystery of the Incarnation. We do not realize the mystery and the opportunity for blessings until we comprehend the meaning of the unity between the divine nature and human nature in the womb of St. Mary. The prophets of the Old Testament, inspired by the Holy Spirit, tried to focus on the mystery of incarnation. They described St. Mary by different names and titles, or by very accurate prophecies fulfilled only by her, or by symbols referring to her. During the Sunday praises the “Theotokia”, there are many symbols mentioned. The first of many marvelous symbols is the Tabernacle and its contents which Moses made according to Gods order.
The Tabernacle of Meeting:
It was the dwelling place of God among His people, as He said to Moses, “I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God” (Exud29:45). The tabernacle was a symbol of St. Mary. God dwelt in St. Mary as He dwelt in the tabernacle. The Lord God dwelled in her, according to the words of the Archangel, “the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Lk1:35). The theotokia Sunday praises says, “They likened it to you, O Virgin Mary, the true Tabernacle, wherein dwelt God”.
Concerning the difficulty of understanding the mystery of the incarnation we see the cloud covering the Tabernacle of Meeting as the glory of God filled it preventing Moses from entering into it (Exud40:34,35). The theotokia exclaims, “Who can speak of the honor of the Tabernacle which Moses had made on Mount Sinai?! He made it with glory as commanded by the Lord, according to the patterns shown unto him”.