Parish Priest’s Message from the “Key” Newsletter – 25 December 2011
Today – December 25th is celebrated as Christmas throughout the world. Our Armenian Church celebrates the “Theophany” (Աստուածայայտնութիւն ) on January 6. It includes the nativity and the celebration of Christ’s Baptism, when His Ministry took birth and form.
For an explanation of the reasons why we celebrate on a different date, check out this week’s “In Step With Christ” on our Youtube.com/Armodoxy channel. It is not the focus of this day. The date of Christmas, is a secondary issue next to the “message of Christmas.” It is that message that we Christians are called to celebrate, today and every day.
Too many people are consumed with the mundane and secondary issues of Christianity. Many time I hear people bickering over who correctly celebrates the Christmas feast. Is it the Armenians on January 6? Is it the Western world on December 25? Is it the Russians on January 7 or the Jerusalemites on January 19?
Our Lord Jesus Christ gives us the answer plain and simple. He says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (Jn 13)
The message of Love is what it’s all about. To correctly celebrate Christmas, you don’t need to worry about the date, rather you need to focus on the message. God loved us first. He gave us the gift of Life through Christ. We have an obligation to Love others– on Dec 25, Jan 6, Jul 17, Sep 11 & everyday!
Whether you choose to celebrate Christmas today or on January 6, begin this day by loving. If there are disagreements and difficulties between you and others, resolve them. Celebrate Christmas today and every day by giving Love. ~Fr. Vazken
*The “Key” is the weekly newsletter of the St. Peter Armenian Church, Glendale, CA – Jesus asked the Disciples, “Who do YOU say that I am?” Peter responded “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus promised the Keys to the Kingdom for this profession of faith. (Mt 16) At the St. Peter, Glendale Parish, our faith and actions are based on that same profession of faith. It is the Key that opens the doors to our journey as Christians…