The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States is composed of 36 priests serving the 30 churches and 25 Coptic communities. More
The Season of the Church
Fast of Nineveh (Jonah's Fast)
Feb 6-8, 2012
Tobe 28-30, 1728
December 12, 2013
Koiahk 3, 1730
We ask You, O merciful One, to do with us, we the sinners, as You did with the people of Nineveh, have mercy on us according to Your great mercy. For You are a compassionate and an all merciful God, and You are kind, patient, and the good Philanthropic One.
Doxology of the Fast of Ninevites
Jonah - "The Lord, his God"
Jonah, according to Hebrew tradition, was the son of the widow, whom Elijah, the prophet, raised from the dead at Zarephath of Sidon (II Kings 17:10-24). He was a prophet in the Northern Kingdom of Israel around 825-784 BC. Therefore, Jonah prophesied during the reign of Jeroboam II, the King of Samaria (II Kings 14:25).
The Holy Book of Jonah in the Old Testament tells the familiar story of Jonah, the fleeing prophet. Forty-eight verses comprise the entire story. This is a story of a legendary character with a nature similar to our own. Jonah, a contemporary of the prophet Amos, had faults, shortcomings, and weaknesses.
The Lord chose Jonah the Prophet despite his faults and used his weaknesses to make him stronger. The Lord worked through him, in him, and with him to give him guidance and to teach him. Mentally and spiritually Jonah benefited from many lessons within his Old Testament Book. Let us more closely examine why perhaps the Lord loved Jonah.
"Now the Word of the Lord came to Jonah, saying 'Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.' Upon hearing this, Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord" (Jonah 1:1-2).
The Role of the Church and Servants in Ministry
God bestows His gifts on the church for a certain purpose which is for the sake of equipping the saints and preparing them for the work of ministry with the main goal that they may be able to edify the body of Christ. He gives some to be apostles, preachers, evangelists to do what needs to be done in order to bring God's people back to Him in repentance. Ministry is mainly service; and in order for it to be carried out successfully, preparing and equipping servants is the main concern of the church. Preparatory classes for servants are therefore not an invention of the church; but are biblically mandated having been practiced by Christ himself. However, completing a three or four year program in Ritual Theology and other subjects comprises only a small percentage of the equipping process. For full equipment more than that is required.
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