“Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him” (Matthew 3:13)

January 16, 2023

Dear Children of God, how are you? How was Holiday? How did you spend the celebration of Lord Jesus Christ birthday? Hope it was joyful and cheerful. Yet another holiday is coming and all Christians shall celebrate it together. Do you know what the holiday is? It is Epiphany (Timket) Happy Epiphany to you and your Family! So today, we will tell you the story of Lord Jesus Christ’s baptism by the hand of Saint John the Baptist and the celebration of Epiphany Holiday.

After Lord Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Saint Mary raised Him in Jerusalem following their return from Egypt and Ethiopia. When He became thirty years of age, He came to Jordan river where Saint John was teaching God’s word and baptizing. The bible says, “Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”

But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.

When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and [He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:13-17) Dear Children, Lord Jesus Christ was baptized because to be example for us to be baptized and cleaned from our sins (bad deed and/or harm).  He also showed us humility by His baptism.

Therefore, all Orthodox Christians shall be baptized and Our holy church has ceremony that is held from Tir 10-11 (January 18-19).

The celebration takes place for two days known as “Ketera” which Is the eve and the next day a holiday of “Timket.” On the eve, all arc of covenants that is found all over our country go to a nearby stream pool filled with water, accompanied by Christians starting from babies, parents, youths, elders, Sunday school’s students, Patristics Fathers.

Different spiritual songs are sung in ketera (eve) about our Lord Jesus Christ descending to the earth for the salvation of mankind. Some of them are about Him going to the river Jordan in humbleness to be baptised by John. The people who came to celebrate, spend the whole night praising and chanting about our Lord Jesus Christ and His great act of baptism before returning to their homes the next day.

After spending the night in praise, early in the morning begins the Divine liturgy ( Kidase ) before the waters are blessed by the Patriarch, Archbishops and Priests. Those who went home for a little sleep return early to be part of the Kidase.

Then, the waters are blessed in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit before dispersing them on to the crowd of Christians surrounding the event. As the water is sprinkled, the crowd begins to yearn (want) for the drop of a holy water that flies on the air before falling on to them get sprinkled. Subsequently, the holy Ark is escorted back by the crowd to its Church in escorted by the priests, bearing robes and umbrellas of many types, perform Yaredic songs and. When the Holy Ark is safely returned to its dwelling-place, the crowd go to their homes.

Dear Children of God, we hope you celebrate the holiday of Epiphany joyfully in accordance to the Liturgy.

Happy Holiday!