The birth of Jesus Christ celebrated by the Ethiopia Orthodox Church this week recognizes the son of God who was sent to teach human beings as creations of God how to live and relate to each other. Man’s justification by grace was a free gift however his salvation from sin had to be earned by following God’s rule over his creation through a transformation of the self. Quite definitively this stated that all men were created in God’s image. Each man has the potential for sin because God gave him absolute free will in the hope that he will voluntarily find happiness and fulfillment in life by following God’s instruction. However, each man has the potential for salvation as well. Although the voluminous Bible tells the story of man’s discovery of God the essence of Jesus teaching can be simplified into two statements. Love God above all else and love your neighbor as yourself.
Today in Ethiopia the leadership is celebrating a homecoming. Even though on their calendar it is the day to celebrate Jesus birth this fact on this day is at best a side show. This week the world has seen an infant, Surafel, dying of starvation in a Tigray hospital blocked from helping him by the Ethiopian government, the drone attack on an Eritrean refugee camp killing children, and copiously spewed statements of hate from numerous Ethiopians promoting genocide in defiance of Jesus message of love. It seems the love of God in Ethiopia once admired by the rest of the world has been replaced by idolatry to a deranged sense of Ethiopian nationalism which is really a façade for ethnic hatred.
The lure of power with its intoxicating effect on morality predicted in the Old Testament when the ancient Israelis requested a king once again seems to have come true in Ethiopia with Abiy Ahmed and his supporters. They have built a golden calf making an idol of Amharic nationalism to replace God. Consumed with his own essence he ignores God’s command to love thine enemy and extend charity to him.
The ancient laws forbidding starvation, protecting innocents, and harboring a sense of forgiveness have apparently left the souls of leadership of Ethiopia in favor of greed, revenge, and bloodlust. They want a high place in the United Nations but defy the humanitarian goals which created its foundation in the aftermath of world war. Rather than seeking to be servants of God to better the life of others they harbor an insatiable hunger to acquire more power to wreck greater havoc on their brother.