Armenian Feast of Theophany

ՔրիստոսԾնաւեւՅայտնեցաւ

Christ is born and revealed

ՕրհնեալէՅայտնութիւննՔրիստոսի

Blessed is the revelation of Christ

 

God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself….” 2 Corinthians 5 v 19

As Armenians on this coming Monday 6th of January we will celebrate Theophany…the birth of Christ the Saviour…which inspired Armenian men and women like St. Krikor Lusavorich…Vartan Mamigonian, Mesrop Mashtots, St. Sahak Bartev, St. Shnorhali, Naregatsi, St. Herepsime and Gayane, the creation of great literature, Armenian Church architecture such as Geghart, Etchmiazin, Hagartzin…Sanahin …and countless more beautiful Churches in Armenia and Eastern Anatolia.

Christ transformed lives, and given Armenia its identity.

2000 years ago, the God who created this vast universe, became a tiny seed in the womb of a humble young woman called Mary (Asdvazazin). The Word became flesh…. God who had made man in his own image himself became a human.

The incarnation of God challenges all of us whether one embraces the atheist and the agnostic beliefs or genuine faith in Christ.

St. Paul the Apostle, inspired by the Holy Spirit, in his letter to the Corinthian church writes a most wonderful and encouraging thought…”For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation”. 2 Corinthians 5 v 19

This thought that God who fills this vast universe, the all knowing God, the all powerful God… becomes a tiny seed in the womb of a young woman… and is born in the flesh like us as a baby…defying all natural laws that we know and acknowledge as human beings.

The main purpose of His coming… is to “reconcile us to Himself…”…”to save us from our sins…our rebellious state”. This is the most wonderful message of the Christian faith.

St. Paul again writes to the Corinthian Church…”For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich“2 Corinthians 8 v 9

This was wonderfully expressed in human words to us by C S Lewis: “If God creates a miraculous spermatozoon in the body of a virgin, it does not proceed to break any laws. The laws at once take over. Nature is ready. Pregnancy follows, according to all the normal laws, and nine months later a child is born”.

The Evangelist of the Old Testament… the Prophet Isaiah wrote what science could never have told him. Inspired by the Holy Spirit… he foretold Christ’s birth on earth not in nine months but nearly seven hundred years before it happened: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9 v 6-7

God with His infinite love … lavishes upon us His greatest gift  “Unto us a Son is given…” His only Son…. the Saviour of the world.

These words, full of deep and powerful mystery, ring true precisely because they are true.

At Christmas we exchange gifts as an expressions of love, affection or gratitude. It is, however, possible for someone to accept a gift and yet reject the giver.

In our world there is much of good…but there is also much evil – suffering, discrimination, poverty, exploitation, war, fear, loneliness and abuse….

Who of us would dare to say that there is nothing we need to be saved from – anger, hatred, destructive attitude, greed, spite, envy, dishonesty and hypocrisy, egocentricity…to name but a few?

God speaks to us a message full of hope and joy: “You shall call his name Jesus for he shall save his people from their sins”. Gospel of Luke 1 v 31

Because Christ is both God and man he can offer us His salvation as a gift …. forgiveness of sins, peace with God, new life and hope.

Like all gifts presented, it has to be received with joy and gratitude….in this case it must be by the deliberate and willing act of repentance and trust in Christ the Saviour of the world.

A simple message God gave us for Theophany….. BUT profound

 

ՇնորհաւորՆորՏարի եւ Ս. Ծնունդ

 

Happy New Year and blessed Theophany

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