Holy Prophet Micah

Micah is the final prophet whose memory we celebrate in the Feast of Light. However, in many of his prophecies, he speaks out of darkness. He was an ancient prophet, of whom Jeremiah says: ““Micah of Moresheth used to prophesy in the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah, and he said to all the people of Judah: Thus says the Lord of hosts: Zion shall be plowed as a field, Jerusalem, a heap of ruins, and the temple mount, a forest ridge” (Jeremiah 26:18). Micah laments, in words that could be repeated in our own times: “The faithful have vanished from the earth, no mortal is just! They all lie in wait to shed blood, each one ensnares the other” (7:2). Yet for all that, he most clearly foretells the coming of the Prince of Peace.

Jesus is to come from the most humble town in Judah, “But you, Bethlehem-Ephrathaha least among the clans of Judah, From you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel; Whose origin is from of old, from ancient times” (5,1), and the Hymn of Light for the Vigil of Theophany informs us, “In Bethlehem you were born in the flesh from a virgin, now you hasten to the Jordan to purify all the sins of those born on the earth, leading those in darkness to the light.” Micah tells us the Lord will come as both judge and man of peace, “He shall judge between many peoples and set terms for strong and distant nations; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again” (3,3). He will be our shepherd and the guarantor of peace, “He shall take his place as shepherd by the strength of the Lord, by the majestic name of the Lord, his God; And they shall dwell securely, for now his greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth: he shall be peace” (5:3-4).

Holy Prophet Micah, pray that we, as Christians, can be followers of Jesus and a people of peace.

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras

Holy Prophet Obadiah

We know nothing certain about the life of the Prophet Obadiah. The Synaxarion identifies him with the servant of King Ahaz, who left to become a follower of Elijah, but that is not possible, since Obadiah’s prophecy was against Edom, pointing to a time after the exile. He is one of several prophets commemorated in the Phillip’s Fast, and verse 21 can be related to the coming of Jesus into the world: “And deliverers will ascend Mount Zion to rule Mount Esau, and the kingship shall be the Lord’s” (Obadiah 21).

When our Lord was born, he was given the name “Jesus,” our Savior or “Deliverer.” The Greek text, however, is “men saved.” Certainly the wicked Herod thought him a king to rival him, and so persecuted the innocents of Bethlehem. Obadiah tells us that the Lord alone is our true king, who told Pilate at his trial, ““My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here” (John 18:36).

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras

Holy Prophet Zechariah

“Thus says the Lord: I have returned to Zion, and I will dwell within Jerusalem; Jerusalem will be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the holy mountain. Thus says the Lord of hosts: Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of old age (Zechariah 8:1-2).

Zechariah was the prophet of the restoration of Jerusalem. In faith, we see this restoration in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was born in Bethlehem, in the environs of Jerusalem. He fulfilled the prophecy, “I have returned to Zion, and I will dwell in Jerusalem.” He is the light of the city. In the Feast of the Encounter, we see our Lord in Jerusalem, in its spiritual center, the temple and we see Zechariah’s prophecy fulfilled again. “Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem,” and in the present feast we see the old man Simeon and the old woman Anna in Jerusalem welcoming the coming of the Lord. Zechariah sees the Lord coming to Jerusalem as its king, prophesying Palm Sunday, “Exult greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem! Behold: your king is coming to you, a just savior is he, humble, and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9).

Zechariah thus sets the seal on our pilgrimage in the feast of lights, as we come to the spiritual Jerusalem, welcoming Jesus as our Savior, our priest and our king. To find life in him is the continual renewal of our faith.

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras