“For those who are ready to open the eyes of their heart, Christ’s light reveals life’s true meaning and its glorious purpose,” says Bishop Daniel in a Christmas video message to the faithful.
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Dear People, it is my great joy to greet you during these holy days of Christmas and the New Year.
Jesus says: “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” The twinkling lights of our Christmas trees and lawn ornaments, the dazzling displays in store windows, and the flicker of Christmas candles are all reminders that Christmas is all about light.
It is no coincidence that the Armenian Church’s Christmas celebration begins on the evening of January 5 with a ceremony called Jrakalooyts: “the lighting of the lamps.” And all of our Christmas hymns exuberantly celebrate Jesus as the Light. He is the holy Light that God has shined on Earth. He is the radiant Savior born to Mary the Mother of God. He is the heavenly lamp that illuminates the path of our lives, allowing us to recognize our blessed purpose in life; and giving us the privilege of seeing God and knowing God.
So many people have yet to discover the Light of Christ. They stumble aimlessly from day to day in virtual darkness, blind to the mysterious thrill that comes from knowing the Creator of the universe personally. For them Christ is fantasy and Christmas is just another holiday.
But for those who are ready to open the eyes of their heart, Christ’s light reveals life’s true meaning and its glorious purpose. The mission of the Armenian Church has always been to lead our people along this luminous path with God, for all eternity, and to shine God’s light into the world.
At the beginning of every Badarak, as the priest ascends the altar steps, he recites the hope-filled words of Psalm 42: Առաքեա՜, Տէր, զլոյս քո եւ զճշմարտութիւն քո, զի առաջնորդեսցեն ինձ եւ հանցեն զիս ի լեառն սուրբ եւ ի յարկս քո։ “Lord, send your Light and your Truth to lead me; to take me up to the holy mountain and to your holy realm.”
That is my Christmas prayer for all people and for each one of you. May God shine the life-giving light of the Christ upon you, your families and loved ones, to lead you to his holy realm, today and always.
Քրիստոս ծնաւ եւ յայտնեցաւ։ Օրհնեալ է յայտնութիւնն Քրիստոսի։
Christ is born and revealed. Blessed is the revelation of Christ.