“I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.  For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.  Now when He had departed from there, He went into their synagogue.” (Matthew 12:7-9)

The Ethiopian Orthodox Incarnation (Tewahedo) Church has named the third week of The Great Lent as “synagogue.” The direct meaning of the word is, “a hill, building that is as high as a mountain and shallow like hall. It was the Jewish hall for prayer and worship of God serving as their temple.

Unfortunately, King Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the synagogue of Jews whilst capturing Israeli and the people fled to Babylon. (2 Kings 24-25, Jeremiah 4:7, 39:1-10, 52:1-30) Onwards, the Jews build house for their prayer ever else. On that era, if there were ten house owners present on that place, they were allowed to build synagogues. (Talmud Mishnah, Responsa literature, Jewish Encyclopedia, Academic Scholarly Works.) When Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ visited Jerusalem and thier synagogues. In the New Testament, they served as stages for preaching Gospel for the Apostles.

Inside the Jews synagogue, there are Manuscripts of Law and Prophet’s Books.  Teachers and Priests use to teach standing on the stage so that laities could hear their voice. They teach word of God.  The chiefs of the synagogue had the authority to punish guilty person. They also served by executing their order of the chiefs in teaching the servile or assistance youngsters.

All the people use to congregate in synagogue on Sabbath and receive preaching and consecration from the readings of Law and Prophet Books and worship God. Our Lord Jesus Christ was present at synagogue and taught the people. Saint Luke in his Gospel said, “So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.” (Luke 4:16). The Apostles word signifies their reading, learning and interpreting of Holy Scriptures also providing cohort were their daily routine. (Luke 4:16)

However, their congregation were for the following reasons as well.

Saying He is the true Shepherd: – Their faith to follow Him with the hope of The Holy and Incarnated Son came down and Be born, Believing He is the world’s salvation. “And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” (John 10:4)

Seeking His words and miraculous: – They gathered to be healed from malady. They those also who touched His clothe, falling down and bowing, shaded by His shadow and touched by His hands and healed. (Mark 5:22- up to the end) The Gospel tells us Our Lord taught the congregation in the synagogue on Sabbath. “Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him. And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. “When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished.” (Matthew 13:54)

In search for food and seeing His Grace: – Our Lord Jesus Christ after bestowing few of but fed thousands by His teaching and so people attend the cohort. Christians do not worship God because He gave us food. That He already provided for pupil and gentiles without greed for He is world’s feeder. Christians is not evaluated by food. It is stated as, Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.” (Colossians 2:16 up to end)

There were persecuted ones: – Sakhalin Jews who seek to sew the Lord of all, in court, Arch Priests doubting Him Being God, followed Him. as it is written, “At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.” (Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me.” Luke 22:66-68, Matthew 26:59)

Todays, it is clear there exists children of Jews who only prioritizing the bodily thing, made the True Holy Church business center, sell and exchange Holy Icons and Holy Antiques for profiting, rushing for persecution on those who are still in synagogue that are shepherd of sheep. But. Lord Jesus Christ has said, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”, “‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ” (John 2:16, Matthew 21:13)

The Sabbath known as “synagogue” is the day that Our Lord rebuked the changers, threw out those who made the temple cattle drive and sells of gold along their things, taught about the temple which is Abode of God, presentation of Scarification, place of prayer and Sanctuary of Saints. His words were not only preached on that age. But also told to us and thus shall return back to Him before His whip us. “He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables.” (John 2:14-15)

In order to be saved from the coming whip in this world, it is relevant to have faith and deed. “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?  Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2: 14 up to the end)

This day’s psalm is from Saint Jared’s Book locally known as “Tsome Degwa”- “Our Lord Jesus went into the synagogue. He thought word of religion.”

Epistles: – (Colossians 2:16 up to the end) (James 2:14 up to the end)

Gospels, (John 2:12 up to the end)

(Acts 10:1-8)

“Mesebak” Prophets David’s words in rhyme; “for the zeal of thine house has eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.” (Psalm 68:9)

May God’s mercy be upon us and Glory be to Him!