Our almighty God, who changes the times and seasons, and generations, has preserved us in the passing year (2012) and we are now at the eve of the New Year 2013.
Beginning from the second half of 2012 (G.E), the World is passing through a terrible tribulation due to the COVID – 19 pandemic. However, God has protected our country and our people from the excesses of the pandemic that has unleashed unparalleled havoc even in the mighty nations. We are ever grateful to God, for He has, in His profound mercies, listened to the prayers of the people and has accepted the sacrifices of the health workers and care givers, since we, as a people have few infections and no deaths as yet. We need to ever implore our most merciful God to reverse His just wroth and visit our world in His all encompassing healing mercy.
Though the summer rains were late in arriving this year, the Lord has crowned the year with His goodness and has visited our fields and pastures which are clothed with flocks and crops. Indeed the dams and reservoirs are full of water. Ps. 65.
However, there have been sightings of swarms of desert locusts, starting from the end of August, both in the lowlands and the highlands. In this instance, too, our most almighty God has protected us from much destruction. The people and the army’s concerted efforts were commendable, and worthy of praise in preventing further damage to the crops. The Church calls on the faithful to persevere in prayers and to be watchful of new locust swarms, till we harvest the crops in the fields and put the produce in the stores.
Remember our teacher Saint Paul the Apostle, who said “And not only so, but we glorly in the tribulations also: knowing that tribulation workth patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.” Romans 5:3-5.
Therefore, let us, in humility and patience, bear the spiritual and socioeconomic problems wrought by the COVID – 19 pandemic, so that we may arrive at the safe haven of bright hope; and in conformance to the divine call and promise, which says “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Mat. 11:28, let us again beg our God for mercy.
On this solemn occasion of the eve of the Head Anniversary, let us take note of a worthy issue: God gave human beings the times and seasons so that they may produce some good things worth remembering, when they all pass. One of the greatest gifts of God is time, and in the coming New Year let us redeem the time, by reverting from sin and indolence to charity and perseverance, in a renewed heart and spirit. Let us cleanse our consciences and behavior through repentance; and walk in the footsteps of righteousness, holiness, love and peace. The Church reminds its faithful at home and abroad, to continue their unceasing prayers and praiseworthy efforts of generously aiding those much in need: the infirm, the elderly and the orphaned, till God sends us His healing mercy.
In the traditional four year circled calendar of our Church, this year’s anniversary is named after Saint Mathew the evangelist, who is symbolized by a winged man. Ezekiel 1-2, Revelation 4:6-9. Saint Mathew the Evangelist is renowned for his intercessory prayers on behalf of human beings. Hence we pray to Saint Mathew to intercede on our behalf, so that our most merciful God ordains the New Year to be a year of health, peace and prosperity.
May God bless our country with His mercy and peace, and may he destroy the threat of the Corona Virus and the desert locusts from the face of the Earth; and may it be His Divine will for us to harvest the crops of our fields and the flocks of our pastures in joy and gratitude.
Locum Tenens, the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church
September 2013 Geez Calendar, 2020 Gregorian Calendar.