Athanasius was born in Alexandria (Egypt) around AD 300. You can read all about him here.
As a deacon, he participated in the Council of Nicaea (AD 325) with his bishop, whom he later succeeded. He spent the remainder of his career fighting against the heresy of Arianism, which had necessitated the Council and which continued even after it was put down by the Council. Arianism stated that whereas God was eternal, Jesus had a beginning and was subordinate to God.
Instead, Athanasius upheld that Jesus was “very God of very God.” This theology continues to persist in the Nicene Creed that we recite today:
“We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all worlds. God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father.”
For Athanasius, the issue was human salvation, which he felt could only be accomplished if true God was united with true man, as was the case in Christ. Humans, Athanasius said, had to be rescued from the mortality to which sin condemned them. By participating in the Divine nature through Christ, they would enjoy immortality.
So in Christ, you are immortal even now before death. With your haikus and images, give us a glimpse of your immortality. Show us your superpowers (aka “gifts of the spirit”; 1 Cor 2:12–16; 12:1–11). Show us your prayers of divine action.
See Prayer Light.