|Icon of St. Ephrem writing|
Each of Ephrem’s images of Christ has in common a salvific character. Characteristically, in this hymn, he presents an image of Christ at the beginning of each strophe and ends each strophe with the exclamation, “Blessed is…” the one who benefits in the way particularly emphasized by this particular image. In other words, blessed is the one whom Christ saves or blessed is the one who becomes more like Christ. Many of these images emphasize Christ’s redemptive and atoning role. Others, three in particular, especially struck me and seem to emphasize theosis – becoming like Christ – as the means of salvation. These are the Furnace, the Mirror, and the Sailor (str. 10, 12, 15).