Lenten Meditation: The One
To my beloved Syrian Orthodox brothers and sisters in Christ.
Greetings in the name of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
I've spent several hours in contemplation of such notions, and
because it has been beneficial to me, I found it worthwhile to
mention these ideas in brief. If you my brethren, would permit me
to share this meditation, I'd be most honored.
God is one; not only is God one, but He is the One. Such a concept
of oneness is fascinating on so many levels. Likewise, when God's
Meaning (Meltho Logos) became incarnate for all mankind, He was
dubbed the YiHidoyo. In the English language we translate this as
"Only-Begotten," though in Syriac, its meaning is much deeper.
YiHido has a meaning of "one." Therefore, one who is YiHidoyo is
the person of one, or we might say, unique. Because Christ is the
YiHidoyo of God, we experience the perfection of God in His
Messiah. Our calling in Christianity is to become as Christ, to
undergo a process of transformation from what we areimperfect
beings, into what we should beperfect, as our heavenly Father is
perfect. (Matthew 5:48) We call this process of transformation,
YiHidoyoutho, wherein we become YiHidoye like Christ, who is the
Many times people associate oneness with individuality, and
individuality with division. This is true to a great extent, as
humanity often sees oneness as that thing which identifies a person
as distinct from others. Yet, this is what the teachings of Christ
serve to counter. Instead, we are to consider God who is the one
who exists and the creator of our very existence. We are taught
that the greatest commandments are to Love God and our neighbor
(Luke 10:27)--because outside of our selflove, we find the
opportunity to love in the state of oneness with God.
Since sin is that thing which keeps us from being one with God, is
it not our duty to rid ourselves of such a plague?
Consider oneness. In expresses itself in many ways, yet ultimately
is one. It is God who commanded the Apostles to be one, as the
Father and Son are one (John 17:11). God called the light Day, and
the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was
morning, one day (Genesis 1:5) We cry out during the Qurbana, "One
Holy Father, One Holy Son, One Holy Spirit," echoing the Oneness of
the Trinity. The great saints of the Christian faith again remind
us of the oneness of God's one divine incarnate nature. If each of
these examples, and there are many more, are indeed many yet
ultimately one, let us consider the idea of "one." Meditate on
the very number.
Every number after ONE, is but a series of ones. For instance, two
is one and one; three is one and one and one, etc. The alternative
to one is zero: nothing. Oneness therefore, shares a parallel with
existence. This is the same with God. He is existence in its
purest form, creating all other things. The alternative to
existence is non-existence: nothingness. And because the way of
existence (and thus, the way of God) is love, God's Messiah, who is
nothing less than the incarnation of Love's meaning, is the
YiHidoyo the One. Let us therefore take this Lent to observe
oneness and take part in YiHidoyoutho, making ourselves one with He
who is the one.
O Good One have pity and mercy on us.
St. Ephraim Syriac Orthodox Cathedral
Burbank, CA USA