As part of organizing our services, we’re putting together a core set of values that we should live and serve by as deacons. We have picked 5 core values that all of us will focus on. This means that every action we do will directly map to one or more of these core values. This is done in order to set a goal for ourselves and for our services in order to serve God according to the calling with which we are called.
Out of many good and applicable values we have intentionally picked only 5 for many reasons.
Firstly, we can easily remember 5 things. It also signifies something we can hold on to since it matches the number of fingers in our hands.
Secondly, numbers in the holy scripture hold different meanings. The number 5 is 4 + 1. In the Bible, the number 4 points to the weak and fallen world (eg: 4 navigational directions, 4 seasons, etc…). The number 5 points to the grace and power of God that is added to complete this weakness. For example, God chose Abram and filled him with His grace and changed his name to Abraham (Genesis 17:5). The difference in the Hebrew name is:
Abram = אַבְרָם
Abraham = אַבְרָהָם
The difference is that God added a 5th letter in his name. Also, that letter “הָ” is also the 5th letter in the Hebrew alphabet. This signifies that God has poured out His grace and power on Abram the chosen one so that Christ would come from him Who is the source of all grace. Similarly as well, Christ has fed the 5,000 from 5 loaves which is also the work of God’s grace (John 6).
It is also worthy to note that we each have 5 senses, 5 fingers (symbolizing our actions), and 5 toes (symbolizing our paths that we can take), so if we are to sanctify our senses, actions and paths which is our responsibility and our free choice, God’s grace will be poured on us. Sanctifying means to dedicate and direct it to God. God’s grace is not given to those who don’t respond to it and those who don’t value it. This is also why the bible talks of 5 wise virgins and 5 foolish ones since the oil is available to all, but the lamps are our responsibility (Matthew 25). Those who are filled with God’s grace live a heavenly life, which is why God fed 5,000 people: 5 X 1,000 (signifies the heavenly hosts). We again have to stress our responsibility since God pours His grace on those who deserve it. This is why God only fed the multitude after they offered the few loaves of bread that they had (our effort), then God blessed this offering and fed the multitude (God’s grace).
Lastly, the number 5 is repeated in the measurements of the tabernacle that God specified (Exodus 26 & 27), and the tabernacle points to the people of God enjoying God’s grace Who is “Tabernacling” (i.e. dwelling) with them.
What are the Five Core Values?
We believe deacons should be adorned with the following 5 core values:
Why These Five?
We will be discussing each of these values in future emails,God willing, since this email is already too long. We will prepare a small spiritual write-up on each of these values.
Resources & References
Fr. AntoniosFikry Bible Commentary (Arabic) on the book of Exodus