A week ago, I found myself writing about nameless blogging in Ethiopian Orthodox Church. After its publication, one of the comments I got have intriguingly clouted me. At the moment it made me feel a little appalled but as my politically savvy friends once said ,one needs words to think ,to judge ,to criticize and to justify; I did not have the right words and right way of reasoning to express my view about it. It is today, when I was watching a serial killer confession, that it all made sense to me.
Jeffrey Dahmer was a serial killer among other gruesome things, the detail I really don’t want to specify here. He has murdered 17 men and has been living this horrific life with dark fantasy from the age of 10 till he was arrested at the age of 31.When asked about when he felt guiltiness and remorse he said, it was when he comprehended about Jesus Christ being the creator of all and when he, for the first time, learned about the afterlife. His prior belief on evolution, which defines life as a sudden existence that comes to an end at the point of death, made life so cheap and maximally worthless, he describes. Knowing the creator of life and the world gave a brutal judgment to what he has done and the sorrow he has caused. It was not a shower of words or therapeutic treatment that brought him to his senses and to retrospect with deep regret, but the awakening knowledge of Genesis and the mystery of life in Christ.
Life in Christ is really a mystery, a mystery that cannot be rationally comprehended. Even though we can articulate about Divinity, it’ll ultimately go beyond what we speak. With that notion, Christianity is a mystery. Take the people hunter Paul, who was a devout follower, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; who violently persecuted Christians prior to his conversion. He point blankly confesses his deed. Although Paul did not see Jesus Christ in person we call him the apostle because of his encounter and his absolute conversion. His calling and conversion was a mystery which took place on the road of Damascus upon the vision of the resurrected Jesus Christ.
Orthodoxy, among other Christianity, is most known for keeping its mysticisms till this vintage point. An like other new generation beliefs that consider the body to be shell and valueless, Orthodoxy gives high value to the body since Jesus Christ ,God Incarnate has honored it and took it as His own. For instance the holy liturgy, the Laity will stand for the prayer, see it, touch and kiss the cross and the gospel, smell the incense and partake in the Holy Communion. No sense is left untouched and the senses we have are holy. Therefore our senses are exceedingly compelled to feel his presences as it says in psalm 34: 8.
The mystery does not end there, it goes all the way to the empty tomb .The empty tomb of the resurrected Jesus Christ, the beginning of the end where God reigns, Devil loses, creation is redeemed, , sorrow becomes finite and death is defeated. Looking back at Genesis, the origin of creature will all make sense. The perfection of the order of God’s creation; He brought all non-existing to existing, He made light in the darkness same as He did in His resurrection, and He brought light for those in darkness and salvaged those that were apprehended. The sublime joy that the Risen Lord gives attains a depth in our heart because the life of God has been made the life of man. This profound gift that we are granted is indeed a mystery. It is our baseline to view the world and others; the virtue for our life.
The comment I got was about being fit in the eyes of God and being the rightful one to speak about the matters of the Church. As for Jeffrey Dahmer the question was about salvation and one tiny piece of information gave peace to his mind because he finally faced his guilt and like the penitent thief, who asked Jesus for remembrance ; was purified (made fit) to join Jesus in his kingdom, the same opportunity was given to Jeffrey. This opportunity is given to everyone. Our request should be to get the peace of mind and the serenity in life that opt out judgment but with submission to live by the examples of Jesus Christ and the price He paid for us. This is done by the help of God himself when he grants us his grace. By his grace he makes us fit, by his grace we escape our sorrow by his grace we are purified of our sins. And as it say in act 15:11 “No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” by his grace we are saved.