The Creed of Chalcedon
one and the same…Lord
In the account of Moses and the burning bush, God speaks to Moses from the midst of the bush and tells him that He will send him on a mission to Pharaoh to release the children of Israel from bondage. God lets Moses know that Pharaoh will receive neither him nor his proclamation hospitably but only after some coaxing from the Almighty. In this encounter and in answer to several of Moses’ demurring excuses, God reveals perhaps His most ineffable name to Moses, “I Am.” It is transliterated, Yahweh, in English (Jehovah in the KJV) but is generally represented in English Bibles in the Old Testament by “the LORD,” all in caps. In other words, where you see “LORD” in English Bibles, the Hebrew, Yahweh, and its English translation, “I Am,” is behind that word.
I tell you this because many are prone to see God the Father in the bush (or just plain God) but that is incorrect. He is the Son who communicates to us the will of the Father. Similarly, the “angel of the Lord,” whom we meet in several places in the Old Testament (cf. Genesis 18), was universally regarded by the Early Church Fathers as theophanies of the pre-incarnate Christ, as well as the exalted Lord of Isaiah’s vision which the Apostle John also refers to Christ before his Incarnation in the Virgin’s womb (Isaiah 6:1-13; John 12:37-41). In other words, the Father does not “come down” to us; that was the office of the Son who expressed to us the will and way of the Father under the old covenant, and now the task of the Holy Spirit who abides with his people—the Church.
Returning to the Creed, when it says, “one and the same…Lord,” it is this Lord of whom it speaks, and the bishops at Chalcedon understood matters just this way. Jesus Christ is the Lord—the one who was with the Father in the beginning through whom the world was made (John 1:1-3; Proverbs 8:22-36), who appeared to the prophets as the angel of the Lord. He, Himself, is the Lord, the word of God, who reveals the Father to us.
This Lord is both he who was with the Father from the beginning, eternally-begotten of Him, and the one who came down from heaven and was incarnate in the Virgin’s womb, uniting humanity with divinity for the salvation of men. He is thus one Lord, not two, and the same Lord in the womb who was with the Father in the beginning. Again, these are divine mysteries but such is their nature that they reveal enough for our salvation but can never be exhausted of their meaning by frail human minds.