Prelate’s Christmas Message – 2010

THE HOPE OF CHRISTMAS: A GREAT SOURCE OF JOY

“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord”.    (Luke 2:10-11)

As we prepare to welcome the New Year 2010, we find ourselves once again spiritually fulfilled by the uplifting and inspiring message of the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is the time when we relive the miraculous events of centuries ago when the bright star shined above Bethlehem heralding the Glorious Birth of our Savior.  The first to receive the good tidings were the humble shepherds in the fields, though soon that bright star illuminated the world and the good news was spread to all mankind by the angels’ songs.  The Light also reached the Armenian nation, where for centuries it has guided our people and our path.

Let us welcome the Feast of the Nativity and Theophany with hymns passed down to us throughout the centuries, praising our Lord and praying for peace and harmony for mankind.  Let this be a time of renewal of our vow to live a life of faithfulness to our Christian values and ancient traditions, and together let us proclaim,

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14)

Dear Beloved,

The Feast of the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord is a celebration of the birth of hope, a new hope that our Savior Jesus Christ provided with His Glorious Birth.

In that humble manger in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago, hope permeated the world as the Light shined from the manger and illuminated a darkened world.  What transpired on that silent and holy night was the beginning of God’s redemptive plan for mankind.  God sent His only begotten Son to bear our burdens and to sustain us; the Word became flesh and lived among us.  Christmas is a reminder that the Lord gave Himself to us in Baby Jesus and brought us a Light that no darkness can extinguish.

The past year has been a trying time for all peoples around the world.  The global economic climate has left many unsettled and despondent.  Furthermore, the Armenian people were thrust into a state of uncertainty about the future of our cause and our nation.  The year 2010 marks the 95th anniversary of the Genocide.  It is easy to feel disparaged as it seems unclear what the outcome of our decades-long struggle for our national rights will be.  Now more than ever we must continue to place our hopes in our Lord Jesus Christ, for “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:7).  The Lord has sustained us and guided our path as a people for centuries and we can be certain that at this crossroads too, He will lead us as we labor for our goals and our dreams.  Let us not place false hopes on those who will disappoint, but rather in our Lord Savior Jesus Christ, for God knows and will meet our needs.  As the Apostle Paul asserts in Romans, “hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5).

Dear Faithful,

In this season of gift giving, let us remember that we have been bestowed the greatest gift of all; Jesus Christ’s presence and hope in our lives. Let us remember not only during Christmastime but throughout the year that He, and only He, is our hope and the Light of the world.  We all face times of darkness; however let us rejoice in that the Lord has given us enduring hope even in our darkest hours.

On this glorious occasion, I convey my blessings and extend my well wishes for health and prosperity to our clergy, Executive Council, delegates, parishes’ representatives, educators, members of sister organizations, faithful parishioners, and friends.

I pray that the Christmas hope is born anew in all of us and for the Light of Jesus Christ to radiate in us and fill our lives with peace.  “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”. (Romans 15:13)

A happy and blessed New Year to you all
Christ is Born and Revealed

Prayerfully,
Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian
Prelate, Western United States

New Year and Christmas 2010

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