God the Father at Christmas

At Christmas time, we remember the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We remember the miraculous conception and the virginal birth. We also remember the scenes and the witnesses of Nativity and many other things. All of this is right and natural. But what is not right and unnatural is to miss the awareness of the role of God the Father – by His Holy Spirit – in the birth and the life of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Is it not He God “the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 1: 3, 2 Corinthians 11:31, Ephesians 1: 3, 1 Peter 1: 3)?” Was it not God the Father who sent His son, our Lord Jesus Christ, born of a woman at the fullness of time (Galatians 4: 4)? Was it not God the Father who masterminded the whole Christmas story and revealed it in time?

Is not the child born Bethlehem the eternal Word of God, who was in the beginning with God (John 1: 1, Revelation 19:13)? Was not He the “Word of God” who “became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14)?

Far away before time, before the creation of the world, God the Father loved his son (John 17:24), and chose Him to be the Lamb of God, who is “without blemish and without spot” in order to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29, 1 Peter 1:19). After the fall, God the Father promised Eve that Christ would come from her offspring to crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). It was God the Father who spoke, by His Holy Spirit, in the prophets to prophecy the birth of Christ from a virgin (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23), and His birth in Bethlehem (Micah 5: 2, Matthew 2: 5-6), and much more.

God the Father is the Most High God, who descended with the power of His Spirit on the virgin St Mary and caused her to be conceived with the Holy One (Luke 1:35). He formed the child in the womb of His mother (Psalms 139: 13). He kept the virginity of St. Mary before and after the birth of the baby Jesus (Ezekiel 44: 2). God the Father is the one who shone with His glory and the angels glorified on the day of the birth of Christ (Luke 2:14).

God the Father is the one who guided the Magi by the star to the place of the child born. He also and guided them to another road, in their return (Matthew 2: 1-12). God the Father is the one who sent his angel with a message to Joseph to saves the child born from Herod’s massacre of the children of Bethlehem (Matthew 2: 16-21).

It was God the Father who called His son “Jesus,” to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). He also called His name, “Emmanuel” to reminds us with His presence among us, through Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:23). God the Father has declared aloud that the Lord Jesus is His beloved Son (Mark 1:11, Luke 9:35).

God the Father is the One who dwells with His fullness, in His Son Jesus Christ (Colossians 2: 9). The Lord Jesus declared His unity with the Father: “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). He also revealed His love to His Father: “The world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do” (John 14:31, NKJV).

It was God the Father who anointed the Lord Jesus Christ with the power of His Holy Spirit to preach the good news to the poor, heal the broken hearts, proclaim liberty to the captives (Isaiah 61: 1-2, Luke 4:18). The Lord Jesus Christ went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him (Acts 10:38). The Father was doing the works in Christ Jesus our Lord (John 14:10). Therefore, the Lord Jesus said: “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves” (John 14:11, NKJV).

It is right and natural to acknowledge and love God the Father as we celebrate of the birth of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Everyone who loves the Child also loves His Father (1 John 5:1). We cannot come sincerely to the Child of Bethlehem unless the Father draws us to Him (John 6:44). I wish you a happy and merry Christmas.

Fr Abraam Sleman


Biblical Vision of Marriage

If you are in Christ, then you are a new creature and your perspective and vision to everything is new, including your vision of marriage (2 Corinthians 5:17). Sadly, we may have been taught about traditional marriage, but not the biblical vision of marriage that is part of our character as a new creation in Christ.

Surpassing Goal:

People in the world tend to have seemingly appealing goals for marriage—goals such as intimacy, being served in illness or old age, children, and others. All these goals are self-serving goals, coming out of selfishness. In Christ, there is only one surpassing goal, “Marriage is for the Glory of God.”

Ultimately, everything that exists here in life, including marriage, is intended to be for the glory of our God, the Heavenly Father. “For all things were created by Him, and all things exist through Him and for Him. To God be the glory forever! Amen” (Romans 11:36). Those sons and daughters, including the couple to be wed, who are called by the name of God, have been created, and formed for the glory of God (Isaiah 43:6-7).  God is great and greatly to be praised (Psalms 145:3).

Marriage, in good times and bad, is intended to show God’s glory.  Its aim is His glory, not ours. The real disciple of Christ, grows to love God more and to love his own life less (Luke 14:26-28). He who loves anyone more than God, does not deserve God (Matthew 10:37-39). Thus, in Christ, the focus in marriage is not serving the self and fulfilling one’s own selfish needs, but serving the Lord with his whole house (Joshua 24:15).

How To?

In biblical symbolism, to show the glory of God in a marriage, colors are chosen to symbolize the marriage bed.  One might think that, in the old biblical times, “green” was the best color of the marriage bed. That is why it is said, “Our bed is green” (Song of Songs 1:16). In fact, “green” in the Bible is often a symbol of death (Psalms 37:2, Revelation 6:8). This may sound shocking.

Christ lived His life on earth to bring glory to God. He said to His Father to God, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4). All His good deeds and righteousness have been to bring glory to His Father. He came to do the will of His Father, not His own will (John 6:38). On His time of love and intimacy, the Father chose for Him the green bed, the cross, to be perfect and bring many to share the glory of God (Hebrews 2:10). On the cross, Christ “loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:25-27).

The green bed, that brings glory to God, is to love your wife as Christ loved the church and died for here, sacrificial and unconditional love. “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her. Husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself” (Ephesians 5:25-28). You are married to die for the wife you choose that you can be perfect and bring others to share the glory to God.

On the other end of the green bed is the wife. Through her husband, she is showered with the sacrificial and the unconditional love of Christ when she submits to her husband as to the Lord. “Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24).

On this green bed, every spouse offers love to the other unconditionally and without any strings attached. The commitment to the Lord God in the sacrament of marriage necessitates that every spouse unconditionally loves following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ who loved us in an unconditional way. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).


What About Marriage’ Challenges?

For St Paul, the mystery of Christ and the church is a great mystery (Ephesians 5:32). Children of God are married to live out this mystery to bring glory to God. It might sound against the human logic but it is coded in Christ’s teachings, “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39). In all your life, including you marriage, the choice is yours to find or lose your life, but on Christ’s terms.

For those who are in Christ, challenges and difficulties in marriage are for them not against them. “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). You are married to be refined with fire and transformed into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). The disciple of Christ must carry his own cross and follow Him (Luke 14:27). Only the narrow gate leads to life. “Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it. But the gate to life is narrow and the way that leads to it is hard, and there are few people who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14, GNT).



SCOTUS‬ Ruling on ‪Same Sex Marriage

SCOTUS‬ ‪‎Ruling on ‪Same Sex Marriage: As Christians, we should not panic (John 16:33). Choices are always there, Godly and ungodly. God said, “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). Christian marriage, between man [husband] and woman [wife], is the icon of, and the home of practicing, the Godly love between Christ and the church that leads to life (Ephesians 5:25). This is the message of the gospel that we should preach in love, without twist, and live it out.

Jerusalem of North America Churches

There is no exaggeration in saying that St. Mark church, in Jersey City, to North America Coptic Churches is as the church of Jerusalem in the apostolic era, the mother church. God has used St. Mark church, in Jersey City, since its establishment in 1970, to bless many in North America in several ways:

  • God empowered Late Very Reverend Fr. Gabriel Abdel-Sayed, the first ordained priest of St Mark Church, to visit many states, serving the communities, praying liturgies and planting seeds for churches and dioceses that would be established in these states.
  • God has gifted St. Mark church to help thousands of families that have come from Egypt, to achieve a decent standard of living in USA. Many of these families have migrated to other areas and/or states looking for an even better life and have become loving members of many churches.
  • God has blessed St. Mark church to raise thousands of young adults who have become successful professionals and remained loyal and loving to the Coptic Church. These loving youth have migrated to other areas and/or states looking for an even better life and have become loving members of many churches.
  • Serving hundreds of youth through the campus ministry of the universities close to the church is a major part of the mission of St Mark Church. Many of these youth have been wonderful members and loving to their churches in many areas.
  • With technological advances, God has used the church to bless many people all over the states and the world by its live broadcast of its services and broadcasting many spiritual and biblical, prayers, praises programs through Satellite TV, IPTV and online.

To those who have been touched by the blessings of God, it is time to show gratefulness to God’s grace through St. Mark church. Such truth is encouragement to appeal to God, through His loving people, to help St. Mark Church, especially these days.

As many may know, St. Mark Church, with God’s grace, has been working on a project for a new service building. The old buildings, to be removed soon, are deteriorated and are not suitable for the church’s many services. The new building will include Sunday school classes, a fellowship hall, and a multipurpose hall for all the church services and activities. At this point in the project, the church is in need of $2,000,000.00 to proceed.

Originally, it was planned to get loan for the amount of $2,000,000.00  from a bank, but some terms, in the latest contract presented to us, are not reasonable in the light of the church’s current situation and would jeopardize the future of the church.

We believe that the financing of the new building can be easily achieved by the Almighty God through the “cheerful givers” or any other way He sees  (Ephesians 3:20; Nehemiah 2:20).

As a humble estimate, when God speaks in the hearts of 400 “cheerful givers”, and each one donates just $5,000.00, the church would collect the $ 2,000,000.00 In this case, the church would build without loan entirely. The glory would be due only to God the Almighty.

We are kindly appealing to all the loving people to remember St. Mark church in its recent needs. Any offering of love of any amount is appreciated. Remember this, a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop (2 Corinthians 9:6, NLT).

This message is intended to be as a personal message as well as special message to all the churches and congregations in North America. May the Almighty God give this message the grace and grant to St. Mark church according to His good hand (Nehemiah 2:8).

Please make your donation payable to:                    

Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mark

P.O. Box 4397, Jersey City, NJ 07304


Online Donation:                                      



الاعلان الدستوري المصري والجديد تحت الشمس

Egyptian Constitutional Declaration: What New Under the Sun

“مَا الْفَائِدَةُ لِلإِنْسَانِ مِنْ كُلِّ تَعَبِهِ الَّذِي يَتْعَبُهُ تَحْتَ الشَّمْسِ؟ دَوْرٌ يَمْضِي وَدَوْرٌ يَجِيءُ وَالأَرْضُ قَائِمَةٌ إِلَى الأَبَدِ. وَالشَّمْسُ تُشْرِقُ وَالشَّمْسُ تَغْرُبُ وَتُسْرِعُ إِلَى مَوْضِعِهَا حَيْثُ تُشْرِقُ… رَأَيْتُ كُلَّ الأَعْمَالِ الَّتِي عُمِلَتْ تَحْتَ الشَّمْسِ فَإِذَا الْكُلُّ بَاطِلٌ وَقَبْضُ الرِّيحِ” (جامعة 1).. هل كتب سليمان الحكيم هذا عن شخص بعينه بعد أن أصابه الكثير من الاحباطات؟ أم كتبه عن الشعب المصري بأكمله بعد ثورة 25 يناير 2011، ثم بعد 30 يونيو 2013؟ ما هو الجديد اذا كانت الدولة والشعب يحكمها مواد دستورية عتيقة؟

إذا كان ما تم نشره على الانترنت يوم 8 يوليو 2013 قد حدث فعلا، فالمادة الأولى من الأعلان الدستوري الذي صدر في القاهرة، ورد به: “الإسلام دين الدولة، واللغة العربية لغتها الرسمية، ومبادئ الشريعة الإسلامية التى تشمل أدلتها الكلية وقواعدها الأصولية والفقهية ومصادرها المعتبرة فى مذاهب أهل السنة والجماعة، المصدر الرئيسي للتشريع”.

في 10 ديسمبر 2012 كنت قد كتبت مقالا بعنوان “أعاصير مشروع دستور مصر”، وكان ذلك في وقت كتابة مشروع الدستور الذي تم تعليق العمل به في 3 يوليو 2013 بعد ثورة 30 يونيو 2013. وحتى لا اكرر ما سبق ان قلته – والمقال ما زال منشورا للرجوع اليه –  أريد فقط أن ألخص ما كتبته من قبل، لعله يأتي بجديد تحت الشمس، ملفتا النظر الى الآتي:

أولا: هذه المادة تتناقض مع نفسها، فهي بينما تعلن أن : “جمهورية مصر العربية دولة نظامها ديمقراطى يقوم على أساس المواطنة؟” تقسم المصريين وتغرس بذور الفرقة والفتنة والصراع بينهم، فهي مادة غير توافقية، تفرض رؤية وثقافة واسلوب حياة معين على كل المصريين غير المسلمين وغير السنيين، وتجعل غيرهم مواطنين من الدرجة الثانية.

ثانيا: لايجب أن يكون هناك أي مواد دستورية  من وحي البشر – وليس من وحي الله – لتقرر ديانة الدولة وتوجهها الطائفي وعلاقة المواطنين بخالقهم. والسؤال الذي أطرحه على السادة المسئولين: من له الحق أن يقرر أن يكون  للدولة ديانة معينة دون غيرها؟ ومن له الحق أن يقرر أن يكون للدولة مذهبا دون غيره؟ الايمان والعقيدة هو امر يخص الله الخالق وحده، وليس من قرار أي سيادة بشرية، وأي تعدي على سلطان الله مصيره الزوال.

ثالثا: أقول باحترام للجميع وبحياء شديد: هل هذه المادة هي لحماية المواطنين المسلمين السنيين دون غيرهم؟ أم هي لحماية شريعة الاسلام السني دون غيره؟ ومن هو الوصي على أي منهم دون غيرهم؟ وهل يعقل أن يحمي البشر ما هو مفترض أن يكون إلهيا أي يخص الله؟ أم نحن رجعنا لزمن تحمي فيه الشعوب الوثنية آلهتها من الدمار؟

رابعا: “مبادئ الشريعة” امر مختلف عليها بين الفقهاء والمذاهب ومتغيرة بحسب الظروف والزمان والمكان، وقد تشمل أراء فقهية بالغة التعصب ولا تناسب متطلبات العصر، وعقلاء المسلمين الوسطيين يعلمون هذا أكثر مني. وهذا يضع مؤسسات الدولة تحت ولاية الفقيه ويهدد الإستقرار القانونى والاجتماعى وهو ما يتعارض مع مقتضيات دولة الحرية والعدالة التي يحكمها القانون.

خامسا: مثل هذا النظام السياسى يهدم مرجعية الدستور والقانون، ويسمح باستغلال السلطة لبعض الفقهاء، كل بحسب رأيه وحسب رغبة السلطان فى تبرير أى قرار. ومثل هذا النظام سيؤدي أولا إلى عدم الاستقرار القانونى والدستورى، لاختلاف أراء الفقهاء والصراع بينهم، وثانيا سيؤدي إلى تكفير كل من يخالف رأى الفقيه واتهامه بالكفر والالحاد وربما بالخيانة العظمى، وسيعصف مخربا البلاد بأعاصير الطائفية التي هي أشد دمارا من أعاصير كاترين وايرين وساندي. ولا أقصد بهذه الأعاصير الطائفية بين المسلمين والمسيحيين وحدهم، بل وأيضا بين المسلمين أنفسهم باختلاف ارائهم الفقهية ومذاهبهم الطائفية وتوجهاتهم السياسية، والتاريخ يثبت ذلك.

سادسا: أعتقد أنه قد يكون المقصود من كتابة هذه المادة الدستورية هو “التهدئة” و”الموازنات”، ولكن ارجو ان نعي الدرس ولا نكرر أخطاء الماضي. لقد سبق أن علق الدكتور مرسي عن انسحاب الكنيسة من اللجنة التأسيسية للدستور السابق بسبب عدم موافقتها  أنه “أمر لا يستدعي القلق”.  ووقتها كتبت: “”سيادته يعلم جيدا أن الأعاصير hurricanes والدوامات الهوائية  tornadoes لا تميز بين رئيس ومرؤوسين في عملها التدميري… فالواقع والتاريخ يثبتان ذلك”. ويبدو أن سيادته لم يعي الدرس، وقامت اعاصير 30 يونيو لتهدم صنم الدستور والعابدين له.

سابعا: قد يظن البعض أن مثل هذه المواد الدستورية أمر لا محال منه، وأنه ليس أمام من يدعونهم “القطيع الصغير” سوى أن يخضعوا ويقبلوها. ولكننا بثقة وإيمان بالله، وباسم رب الجنود، نثق أنه لن يثبت سوى ما يوافق مشيئة الله، الذي قال: “رَأْيِي يَقُومُ وَأَفْعَلُ كُلَّ مَسَرَّتِي” (اشعياء 46 : 10)… واذا لم يكن هناك جديد تحت الشمس من عمل البشر، فسيكون هناك الجديد بقوة الرب الاله الذي وعد شعبه: “هَئَنَذَا صَانِعٌ أَمْراً جَدِيداً. الآنَ يَنْبُتُ. أَلاَ تَعْرِفُونَهُ؟ أَجْعَلُ فِي الْبَرِّيَّةِ طَرِيقاً فِي الْقَفْرِ أَنْهَاراً” (اشعياء 43 : 19)..

سيكون هناك أمرا جديدا تحت الشمس في مصر، ولكل شعب الله في كل مكان..!! نصلي للأب السماوي، باسم الرب يسوع المسيح،  من أجل سلام مصر وخلاص كل شعبها في المسيح يسوع.

القمص أبرام سليمان



Successful Revolution in Egypt, not a Military Coup

What happened recently in Egypt is NOT a military coup, but a revolution. That is greatly evident by the following facts:
1- More than 33 million in the streets have protested against the ousted regime.
2- Well respected figures shared, with the military, in planning and accepting the road map. Each of these figures represents millions of people.
3- The power has not been transferred to the military army.
4- The accounts of one year of suppression and failure of the ousted regime have been more than enough for the eruption of such great revolution.
5- It is blessed by His Holiness Pope Tawadros II. He is the spiritual leader of more than 20 million Coptic Christians of the Egyptian church that have more than 2000 years of history and credibility.
Sadly, the hearts of some people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that God should heal them (Acts 28:27). We pray for the peace of Egypt in the name of Jesus Christ.

The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses” (Daniel 4:25).

Daniel answered and said:

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,

For wisdom and might are His.

And He changes the times and the seasons;

He removes kings and raises up kings;

He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding”

(Daniel 2:20-21).

فَقَالَ دَانِيآلُ:

لِيَكُنِ اسْمُ اللَّهِ مُبَارَكاً مِنَ الأَزَلِ وَإِلَى الأَبَدِ

لأَنَّ لَهُ الْحِكْمَةَ وَالْجَبَرُوتَ.

وَهُوَ يُغَيِّرُ الأَوْقَاتَ وَالأَزْمِنَةَ.

يَعْزِلُ مُلُوكاً وَيُنَصِّبُ مُلُوكاً.

يُعْطِي الْحُكَمَاءَ حِكْمَةً

وَيُعَلِّمُ الْعَارِفِينَ فَهْماً”

(دانيال 2 : 20-21)

رسالة الرئيس مرسي للأخوة المسيحيين

قال الرئيس مرسي: “نحمل للإخوة المسيحيين ودًا وتقديرًا وبرًا، نحن شركاء بلد واحدة،  أني  لا أشعر براحة كبيرة من علاقات فاترة خلف الزيارات والبروتوكلات التي تجمعنا” وأضاف: “وإن كنت أقدر حجم المخالفات الذى جعل كل ماهو إسلامي فزاعة، لكن المتديين هم أكثر الناس حرصا على بعضهم البعض وعلى البلاد.”

سيدي الفاضل: شكرا على ما قلته أنك تحمل “ود وتقدير للأخوة المسيحيين”، وان كان هذا هو حقهم… ونأسف لشعورك بعدم الراحة مما اسميته “علاقات فاترة”… ولكن، هل كنت تتوقع أن يصفق لك المسيحيون تصفيقا حارا، بينما مسلسل القتل والخطف والتدمير مازال مستمرا، دون أن تفعل شيئا؟.. وأن كان من أسميتهم المتدينون – من جماعتك ومن شابههم – هم “أكثر الناس حرصاعلى بعضهم البعض وعلى البلاد”، فلماذا هذا المسلسل البغيض؟ ومن وراءه؟

الموضوع كله هو إعلان لفشل ما يسمى “الاسلام السياسي” وعدم مصداقية الفكر الذي ورائه.!!

نصلي للآب السماوي من أجل سلام مصر وخلاص شعبها، باسم الرب يسوع المسيح..!!

Finding Refuge From Unrest in Egypt: A Christian Response

The New York Times has shared in raising awareness to the recent wave of immigration from Egypt, by publishing an article with the headline: “Refuge From Unrest in Egypt”. A version of this article appeared in print on April 21, 2013, on page MB1 of the New York edition.

The author of the article successfully portrayed some of the faithful efforts employed by one of the Coptic Churches in the U.S. in accommodating Arabic speakers fleeing from Egypt looking to find refuge in the U.S. The same can be said of the Coptic Churches in the area of Jersey City, Brooklyn and other neighboring cities.

In emphasizing the effort geared toward the Arabic speakers, the author overlooked the faithful effort to accommodate the English speakers as well, as in the case of St Mark Church in Jersey City, mentioned in the article.

Fr. Markos Ayoub, a priest of St Mark Church of Jersey City commented: “I believe this is not an accurate characterization of the Church of St. Mark. Our church fully caters to both English and Arabic speaking congregations, with a dedicated weekly Sunday liturgy service in English, and another one in Arabic. Most of all children activities are conducted in English. Other services for children & youth on Fridays & Saturdays are held entirely in English. Even for seasonal occasions… parallel services are held in either language.”

“Our church,” added Fr. Markos Ayoub, “has thankfully been and still is a pioneer in ministering to English speaking Copts who grew up here for many years as well as to the recent immigrants who are Arabic speakers. Moreover our church has pioneered using the internet and webcast/satellite broadcast technologies to minister to the broadest spectrum of Copts who live here and beyond.”

An English speaking congregant and servant also commented: “Many of my close friends comment on our English service and especially how we give the youth the big church upstairs and give them an all-English sermon. Add to that Bible Study, Sunday School, the Media team, the retreats, the new building, and on and on and on and I have no idea how someone could say that we are not catering to the English speakers.”

The author of the article may be excused for not being fully aware of the services of the Coptic Churches in the U.S. However; the article raises a serious question of how Christians in the U.S. should respond to what is so called in the article, “the sudden tsunami of new arrivals after the revolution.” It also raises more serious questions about the whole concept of church in the light of a diversifying congregation and how to teach our children to respond to it.

Christians of the U.S. should see the wave of the arrival of the newcomers not as “sudden of tsunami” but as “showers of blessing” (Ezekiel 34:26). They deserve such honor to be called “showers of blessing”, as many of them have lost beloved ones, suffered persecution and the confiscation of their properties for their faith in Christ (Hebrews 10:34). In church history, those who survive of persecution are called “confessors”, the saints who have suffered persecution and torture for the faith, but not to the point of death.

In the First Council of Nicaea, in 325AD, many of the assembled fathers – for instance, Paphnutius of Thebes, Potamon of Heraclea and Paul of Neocaesarea – had stood forth as confessors of the faith and came to the council with the marks of persecution on their bodies. They were greatly honored by Constantine the Great. The emperor left his seat and knelt down to kiss the wounds of Paphnutius, who had been persecuted for his Christian beliefs. The influence of these marred confessors has been substantial.

In His lengthy discourse, the Lord Jesus considered the wounds, needs and the afflictions of His people as his personal wounds, needs and afflictions. It is a wonderful opportunity for blessings to minister to the body of Christ through the wounded, needy and afflicted families coming from Egypt. The Lord Jesus said, “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’… ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” (Matthew 25:34-40).

Those who leave the church, because of many of newcomers, do not realize what they are doing. They are missing the blessings of ministering to the body of Christ in the person of the wounded, needy and afflicted families. Instead of being hospitable and helping them, they desert them. The Christians of the U.S. should examine their ways of dealing with the newcomers and be more positive in helping them.

The opportunity to partake in the blessing of ministering to the newcomers is also missed by our children when they are taken away to churches where there are fewer newcomers. Failing to teach our children to love, communicate with, and minister to the newcomers is failing to teach them how to integrate and minister to the body of Christ, in the spirit of love. Difference of language is not an excuse. Christ’s love is stronger than the barrier of language.

Church history is rich with the stories of preachers, evangelists and missionaries who went out of their comfort zones and ministered to others in foreign countries. And even without going that far, in St Mark Church of Jersey City, we see wonderful and faithful English speaking servants helping, in amazing ways, the newcomers’ families and their children.

The Christians of US have to examine their perspective of what church is all about. The church is not a social setting for peers to hang out. It should not be culturally oriented or derived. In the biblical, theological and spiritual sense, there is neither an “English Church” nor “Arabic Church”. There is only the “One Only Holy Universal Church” as we recite in the Nicene Creed; one body of Christ.

The Church that is designed to be exclusively for English speakers, intentionally excluding newcomers, such would be a church that is shutting its doors in the face of Christ Himself as He said, “inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me” (Matthew 25:45). That would be a Christ-less church.

The Christian of the U.S. should learn how to integrate with people of other languages, in love, to portray the true image of the church in heaven. In front of the throne of the Father and the Lamb: “a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9).

Fr Abraam D Sleman


732 718-4129




عيد الظهور الالهي – القمص أبرام سليمان

20130119 Epiphany – Fr Abraam Sleman – Arabic
هناك كثير من التساؤلات حول موضوع عيد الظهور الالهي، ومنها ما معني “ينيغي أن نكمل كل بر”، ولماذا كانت الضرورة لحلول الروح القدس علي السيد المسيح؟ ومن هو صاحب الصوت السمائي: هذا هو ابني الحبيب الذي به سررت؟ وبعد ذلك كله: ما هي أهمية كل هذه الأمور لخلاصنا وحياتنا الأبدية. أدعوك لتسمع كلمات النعمة في هذه العظة.

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