LORD Jesus came from Galilee to Nazareth to where Saint John was baptizing at Jordan River on Epiphany day. As Saint John saw LORD Jesus coming towards him, he knew the prophecy was yet to arise. Witnessing his presence, he affirmed with these words; “Behold the lamb of GOD to raze our sin. One man is coming before me. Akin to whom I have conversed about, he was before me and more glorious. I haven’t also known. But, for him to be revealed to Israel, I came to baptize with water.” (John. 1:29-31)
LORD Jesus approached him with humbleness asking to be baptized. But Saint John tried to deter him uttering, “I necessitate to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”. Jesus replied saying, “Let it be now; it is apt for us to do all righteousness.” Then John consented. Anon Jesus was baptized; he went out of the Holy water. At Instant, heaven was opened, the Spirit of God descended alike a dove and lighting was upon Jesus. His father’s voice from heaven came aloud, “He is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. (Mathew 3:11-17) The craze that happened after the baptism of LORD Jesus Christ signified the Revelation of Holy Trinity: (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) revealed distinctly.
The opening of heaven right after Jesus was baptized indicates that we have been redeemed from Adam’s sin that led to the closure of the heavens through faith in LORD Jesus Christ and baptism. This reveals the spiritual value of Epiphany as an opener of the heavens. (Galatians 3:27).
On towards that holiday, all Christians celebrate the day of LORD Jesus Christ’s baptism at January 20 (Tir 11). Ethiopians celebrate it in two days ceremony of which are the eve of the holiday known as “Ketera” and the Epiphany locally known as “Timket”. In these two days, many spiritual rituals take place that signify the holiday and deeds of our lord Jesus Christ.
Ethiopians kept the faith of the fathers, transferred through generations illustrated on the original Arc given by God. It’s found in every single Churches named after different Saints. All arcs of covenants from each Church are taken to a nearby stream pool where there is water accompanied by Christians including children, parents, youths, elders, Sunday schools students, and Church scholars, except for those in an improbable situation.
Church Scholars and Choirs sing psalms at the Ketera (eve) expressing how our lord Jesus Christ descended to the world in search of his lost creatures. The songs articulate about the acts of John, his prophecies, his righteousness before the eyes of his Lord and how he preached solidly about GOD who will come after him who is LORD Jesus Christ. People gathered from local churches accompany those choirs in singing psalms throughout the expedition of the Arc of the covenant. Then the people spend the whole night in their specific areas praising and chanting about our Lord Jesus Christ and his great act of baptism before returning to their homes the next day. While the act of all arcs going to the river or a nearby water pool exemplifies how our Lord Jesus Christ who went from Jerusalem to the river of Jordan, the fact that spending one night exemplifies how our Lord in humility waited for His turn to be baptized among the crowds that were being baptized by Saint John. As a LORD, he did not demand for priority but rather humbly demonstrated the act of humility by waiting for His turn.
The Divine Liturgy (Kidase) starts early in the morning before the waters are blessed by the Patriarch, Archbishops and Priests. Afterwards, the waters are blessed in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit before people are baptized. The Christians at that very moment wait passionately living in the memory of the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ remembering that moment thousands of years ago. As the water is sprinkled, the crowd begins to yearn for the drop of a holy water on the air before falling on to them.
Later on, the Holy Arcs are escorted back by the crowd to their temples in colorful march and festivities. The priests, bearing robes and umbrellas of many types, perform Saint Jared’s songs and become the beauty of this spiritual event. Children and youths bravely rise up and down tirelessly repeating spirited rhythmic songs. When the Holy Ark has been safely restored to its dwelling-place, the people go to their homes in spiritual joy and delight. Through this wonderful and spiritual event, Ethiopians continue to praise the Son of God, Lord Jesus Christ and will continue to do so for generations to come.