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A Handshake

The Last Handshake By Mitiku Adisu Shaking hands may be on the way out, says Dr. Fauci of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases. According to him, handshakes could mean the difference between staying healthy and contracting a deadly disease.  How the dire warning will affect social relationships—especially within the believing community—will depend, to some extent, on the cultural context, as, for example, the Easterner will feel the severity much more than the non-Easterner. A host of questions demand our attention.  How will the "six-foot rule" define seating arrangement, congregational singing, hospitality, and the administration of the sacraments? Will visitors be looked upon as hosts to some deadly virus?  Will we see fewer visitors as a result?  Will eleven o'clock on Sunday morning worsen the already greatly diminished diversity that is the hallmark of Jesus’ new community? (Acts 2:5-13; 13; Revelation 5:9; 7:9)   Will we be seeing a

Pointers in the Present Crisis

Pointers in the Present Crisis By Mitiku Adisu COVID-19 now has the human race under its grip. We see parallels between the nature of the novel virus and our sinful nature; both intimate separation and stealthily decimate life. We don't, as yet, have a full picture of what is going on with our planet. But we can be certain that the God we worship, in his infinite wisdom, will bring us to a better understanding of himself and our situation.(Romans 8:28) We are in familiar and unfamiliar territory all at the same time. Conventions that nurture our humanity are summarily swept aside. Corporate worship is disrupted. We are in a lock-down against our will. Safety and fear are endured in physical isolation. Information swirls around us without let up—some of it useful, much of it a vexation to the spirit. "Why me, why us, Lord?" would be merely compounding the physical isolation . So what might we learn from the current crisis? (John 9:3) Firstly, the reality we ar

Eye of the Beholder

 Eye of the Beholder     17th c., Ethiopia    16th c., Italia

We Are Not Alone

‘I see that you are in every way an extremely religious people. For as I was going along and looking at your objects of worship, I saw an altar with the inscription, TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Well: I’m here to tell you about what it is that you are worshipping in ignorance. The God who made the world and everything in it, the one who is Lord of heaven and earth, doesn’t live in temples made by human hands. Nor does he need to be looked after by human hands, as though he lacked something, since he himself gives life and breath and all things to everyone. He made from one stock every race of humans to live on the whole face of the earth, allotting them their properly ordained times and the boundaries for their dwellings. The aim was that they would search for God, and perhaps reach out for him and find him. Indeed, he is actually not far from each one of us, for in him we live and move and exist; as also some of your own poets have put it, “For we are his offspring”. ‘Well, then, if w

The Way of the Cross

The Way of the Cross     Then [Jesus] called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” Gospel of Mark 8:34-38, NIV

Deal on the Nile

Deal on the Nile No Deal on the Nile  By Mitiku Adisu Ethiopians dreamt of one day using part of the Nile water to develop their nation. Lack of capital, expensive technology, and misplaced priorities made the dream untranslatable. Ethiopia’s agrarian economy continued to be subjected to the vagaries of seasonal weather and to poor and unstable governance. Only in the past two decades have efforts been made to transition to a state-led manufacturing economy. Some progress has already been registered despite embezzlement of funds, etc. To remain relevant, however, means ensuring stability and tapping into a reliable capital and energy source.  In 2011, Ethiopia under Meles Zenawi activated a 1964 national development plan initiated by Emperor Haileselassie (reigned 1930–1975). The Emperor had to bide his time due mainly to Egypt’s bickering over water rights. Then came the 1974 drought, followed by a famine that claimed over 200,000 lives. A public outcry quickly spread