Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Greatness in Repentance

When God described Nineveh as being the great city, He was not considering its ignorance and sin, but looked with great joy at its profound repentance as Nineveh was quick in responding to God's word.

When Lot warned the people of Sodom of the Lord's displeasure, they scorned him, and "to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking" (Genesis 19:14) whereas the Ninevites listened with utter seriousness to Jonah and responded quickly to his word. The word of the Lord was fast, bearing life, efficacious and sharper than a double-edged sword.

The fruit of their repentance was their humility, fasting, wearing of sackcloth and crying out to God. Their repentance was sincere in every meaning of the word, serious and from the heart, resulting in everyone turning "from his evil way and from the violence that was in his hands." (Jonah 3:8)
From El-Keraza


Friday, January 29, 2016

The Diligent Pastor

"O you pastors, be made like that diligent pastor, the chief of the whole flock, who cared so greatly for his flock. He brought near those that were afar off. He brought back the wanderers. He visited the sick. He strengthened the weak. He bound up the broken. He guarded the fatlings. He gave himself up for the sake of the sheep. 

He chose and instructed excellent leaders, and committed the sheep into their hands, and gave them authority over all his flock. For He said to Simon Cephas:— Feed My sheep and My lambs and My ewes. So Simon fed His sheep; and he fulfilled his time and handed over the flock to you, and departed. 

Do ye also feed and guide them well. For the pastor who cares for his sheep engages in no other pursuit along with that. He does not make a vineyard, nor plant gardens, nor does he fall into the troubles of this world. Never have we seen a pastor who left his sheep in the wilderness and became a merchant, or one who left his flock to wander and became a husbandman. But if he deserts his flock and does these things he thereby hands over his flock to the wolves." 

St Aphrahat of Persia


Friday, January 15, 2016

Commemoration of Circumcision of The Lord Christ

On this day, the church celebrates the commemoration of the circumcision of the Lord Christ, to Whom is the glory. God had ordained the law of circumcision as a sign that His people would become a particular people over all others. This was that every male of the seed of Abraham be circumcised on the eighth day of his birth. God put every soul that did not obey this law under judgment.

As our Lord Jesus was born from the posterity of Abraham, according to the flesh, He willed to be circumcised on the eighth day, to fulfill the law of and to relieve us from the heavy burden of this commandment, as St. Paul says, "Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers." (Romans 15:8)

He also gave us the sign of the new covenant through baptism, as St. Paul says, "In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in Baptism in which you also were raised with Him, through faith in the working of God, Who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses." (Colossians 2:11-13)

Therefore, He demands from us to keep the spiritual circumcision, that is to say the circumcision of the heart, so that we may live for Him in righteousness and in holiness, for He says, "Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God." (John 3:5)

Glory be to our God forever. Amen. 


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