My beloved spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
ON JULY 20th
OUR HOLY ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH CELEBRATES THE FEAST
OF THE HOLY AND GLORIOUS PROPHET ELIAS THE THESBITE (ELIJAH
A man who saw God, a wonderworker and a zealot for faith in God, Elias was of the Tribe of Aaron, from the city of Tishba, whence he was known as ‘the Tishbite’ . When Elias was born, his father Sabah saw Angels of God around the child, swaddling it with fire and feeding it with flames. This was a foreshadowing of Elias’s fiery character and his God-given fiery powers. He spent his whole youth in prayer and meditation, withdrawing often to the desert to ponder and pray in tranquility. At that time, the Jewish Kingdom was divided into two unequal parts: the Kingdom of Judah consisted only of the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin, with its capital at Jerusalem, while the Kingdom of Israel consisted of the other Ten Tribes, with its capital at Samaria. The former Kingdom was ruled by the descendants of Solomon, and the latter by the descendants of Jeroboam, a servant of Solomon’s. The Prophet Elias came into the greatest conflict with the Israelite king. Ahab, and his evil wife Jezebel, for they worshipped pagan idols and turned the people from the service of the One, Living God. On top of this, Jezebel, being a Syrian, persuaded her husband to build a temple to the Syrian god, Baal and appointed many priests to the service of this false god. Elias performed many miracles by the power of God: he closed the heavens, that no rain should fall for three years and six months. Ravens brought him food for his need when, at God’s command, he was hiding by the torrent of Horrah. He multiplied the little flour and oil of the poor widow of Zarephath of Sidon, who had given him hospitality in her home, and when her son died, he raised him up. He brought down fire from Heaven upon Mount Carmel, and it burned up the sacrifice offered to God of Israel, that they might know the truth. At the torrent of Kisson, he slew 450 false prophets and priests who worshipped idols and led the people astray. He received food wondrously at the hand of an Angel and being strengthened by this food he walked for forty days and forty nights. He beheld God on Mt. Horeb, as far this is humanly possible. He prophesied to King Ahab that the dogs would lick up his blood, and to Jezebel that the dogs would devour her — which came to pass, and performed many other miracles and foretold many events. He talked with God Himself on Horeb and heard His voice in the calm after the great wind. At the time of his death, he took Elisha and appointed him heir as a Prophet; he parted the Jordan with his mantle and was finally born to heaven in a fiery chariot drawn by fiery horses. He appeared, together with Moses, to our Lord Jesus Christ on Mt. Tabor. At the END OF THE WORLD, ELIAS WILL APPEAR AGAIN, TO BREAK THE POWER OF ANTICHRIST (Revelation 11).
Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn. Fourth Tone
THE incarnate Angel, and the Prophets’ summit and boast,
the second forerunner of the coming of Christ our God, Elias,
the glorious, from above sent down his grace upon Elisseus;
he doth cast out sickness and doth also cleanse lepers; and
unto all that honor him, he poureth forth streams of cures.
Kontakion Hymn. Second Tone
O RENOWNED Elias, Prophet and seer of the mighty works of God,
who by thy word didst check the rain clouds: Intercede in our
behalf with the only Friend of man.
“Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry)
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George