From the Pastor's Pen

Pastor Sally’s Devotional 10/22

| October 23, 2020

Dear Friends,  

As I was preparing my message for Sunday, I included a quote from a Coptic (Egyptian) Orthodox Monk by the name of Matta al Meskeen.  His name means Matthew of the poor. Matta al Meskeen was appointed as the holy father of St. Macarius Monastery in 1969 when the monastery was down to only 6 remaining monks.  Largely through his efforts monasticism was reborn in Egypt.  I visited St. Macarius in the summer of 1982 while on a mission trip with seminary friends to the Middle East.  There were well over 100 monks at that time.  The monastery is located in the desert halfway between Cairo and Alexandria.   During our visit two wonderful monks took it upon themselves to show us the monastery and to give us a history of monasticism in Egypt over a four day period.  We worshiped with the monks at their calls to prayer and ate from their table.  Two of their monk physicians tended to our sickness while we were there.  We had picked up a parasite from the water.  It was quite an experience.

We were not able to meet the holy father, they referred to as Matthew, using the English for our sake.  Matta al Meskeen was staying in the caves in the desert at the time.  He was fasting and deep in prayer.  I was quite fascinated by such devotion.  While looking for his picture to include with the quote in the sermon this Sunday, I came across several other quotes by Matthew of the poor.  Here’s one I’ll share with you now.

I felt I was late to come to the knowledge of Christ; studying the Bible appeared such a daunting task. In desperation, I asked the Lord to give me either a long life to have enough time to study the Bible well, or enough wisdom to grasp its hidden meanings. In His everlasting generosity, God gave me both.”  Matta al Meskeen.

May God grant to us such a hunger to know the Lord as we study the scripture and delve in prayer.


Pr. Sally

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