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Worship: Our Response to What God Has Done

Worship: Our Response to What God Has Done

Hello Church Family,

Easter is one of the biggest holidays in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church—it is a busy day full of rituals and ceremonies. On Easter, believers go to church and perform different kinds of spiritual activities—all under the guidance of the chief priest. At the service on Good Friday, faithful Orthodox men and women kneel down and rise up 100 times or more until they get too tired to continue. This is done in the name of worshipping God and pleasing him.

Another holiday that is eagerly looked forward to and celebrated each year is called Kulbe Gabriel. Kulbe Gabriel is a very famous church. It is a pilgrimage site known for annual spiritual ceremonies and processions held by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Pilgrims travel from miles around to Kulbe Gabriel to fulfill their vows and give gifts to the church in an attempt to please God. Many people walk to this church bare-footed—feeling that this will please God more. The church is located at the top of a hill. Some pilgrims, seeking extreme devotion, carry heavy rocks on their backs up the hill to the church. Oftentimes, by the time these same pilgrims are ready to return home, they are physically exhausted or too sick.

These examples showcase human effort to please God. But they are not successful.

Biblical Christianity is a work of God only. We have nothing to offer God; God has accomplished everything for us in his son. There is nothing we are expected to do to earn God’s favor. All we must do as sinners is acknowledge our desperate need and cast ourselves upon Christ for mercy. We come to God empty-handed, and by faith, we receive the blessing of eternal life. Our status with God does not depend on our righteousness; it depends on Christ’s. He made us alive with Christ and made us his own. He made us new creations in Christ. Therefore, we give no credit for ourselves—only a heart that is filled with worship for God. Having understood our salvation is a gift from God by faith in Jesus Christ, we are left with one response: worship. Our lives should be a continuous act of praise and love for God for his goodness to us in his son Jesus Christ. Worship is not a duty; it is a response and attitude. God does not want our strenuous efforts or our “rocks”—he wants our hearts. The Apostle Paul says in Romans 11:33-36,

 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

In Him,

Tamene Menna
Northpoint Prayer Ministry