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ST. MARY OF ZION

ETHIOPIAN ORTHODOX TEWAHEDO CHURCH - LONDON

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'Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit'

St Matthew 28: 19

Charity No. 282910

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Birth of Our Lord

   To celebrate the holy birth of Christ Eyesus on this day (7th January) sends a clear and direct message that there is only one lord God and saviour of all mankind.

 

   The Holy birth of Eyesus Kristos supersedes all expectations, at the same time dispensing all heresies and teachings of false messiahs.  Our fathers the prophets were very clear in their revelation, take for example Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amos (Isa.1:1), he lived a  coenobitic life of prayer and fasting , he was a man given to dreams and visions of the past, present and future (Isa. Chapter 1;2;3).  Yahweh revealed His mysteries to the Holy Father who then exclaimed with a loud voice through the power of the Holy Spirit, as a witness to the people of Israel, the expected birth of God in the body of Adam through the holy virgin Dengil Maryam (St. Mary) His Incarnation, and those who will preach is coming into the world.

Isaiah tells us:

 

   “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publish peace, who brings tidings of good, who publish salvation, who says to Zion “Your God reigns.”   Hark you watchman lift up your voice together they sing for joy for eye to eye they see the return of the Lord to Zion.  Break forth together into singing,  you waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of  all nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God” (Isa 53:7-10).

 

   The prophet Micah who’s name means, “Who is like Jehovah” (Yahweh) was a contemporary of our fathers, Isaiah, Hosea and Amos and lived in the reign of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah.  His preaching concerning the birth of Christ echoed in the ears of Sameria and Jerusalem further to our expectation two thousand years ago.  “But you, O Bethlehem Eph’rathah thou shall not be in the least of the kings of Judah for from thee shall go forth a King who shall rule my people Israel.” (Micah. 5:2).

 

   His conception is miraculous: “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign.  Behold a young Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Imman’u-el (meaning: “God is with us”)” (Isa.7:14).  There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.  And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Council and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and the fear of the Lord.” (Isa.11:1-3).

 

   “The description of His Birth is Wonderful….”  Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called ‘Wonderful Counsellor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’.” (Isa.9:6).

 

   2000 years of prophesies are evidenced by our Apostolic succession, our teachings, on Faith and Order (St. Mathews ch. 1:18; 2:1; St.Luke. 1:31; 2:6; 2:9-14).

 

 “Peace on Earth and Good will to all Mankind,” should be seen naturally as a way of life how we live as human beings, amidst a denying world of unbelief, separation, gloom and darkness.  Light is separate from the works of darkness, and water and oil are two incompatible elements.  The orthodox way of life is a life of conviction, sincerity, honesty, devotion, prayer and worship, it is overall a life that is completely sacramental. Every year on this day the 7th January, we take our thoughts back to the time of his birth in Bethlehem. We celebrate the holy liturgical service in great jubilation, we join with all the Celestial beings, Cherubim, Seraphim, Thrones, Principalities, Powers, Dominions, Archangels, Angels, Prophets, Saints and Martyrs in an expression of praise that we cannot be describe by words alone.  This is the mystery of the Christmas in the orthodox way, when we do this, thus we begin to understand who we really are and why Yahweh has call us from the world of Cain.

 

We conclude by saying;  The orthodox message for all Christian people is that the birth of Christ Eyesus is no fiction, it is a real and tangible experience.  There is no Santa Claus or Christmas tree involved here, and neither is there a cause for over-indulgence and frivolous behaviour.  We are reminded that our focus should be directed on the Manger and Him who was wrapped in swaddling bands of light, witnessed by the Shepherds.

The concept of Christmas is not about queuing early in the mornings at stores nor is it a matter of gleaning of the best buy.  Often we see how in the west, Christ is taken out of Christmas and replaced by Santa Claus.  There is a danger that future generations will grow up with an unorthodox concept of the birth of Christ.

 

All denominational churches that profess Christ as Lord God and saviour needs to encourage the youths and Sunday followers to follow the holy footsteps of our holy Prophets, Saints and Martyrs and righteous people.  Our lives should be without reproach.

 

May the light of His Holy Birth be with you all.

 

Enquan Librhan Lidetu Adrachu

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