Over two millennia since the miraculous and Glorious Birth and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ, once again we exchange good wishes and collectively celebrate the “Great and Marvelous Mystery” that was revealed and declared to the world with the angels’ song of praise. Centuries later, the tidings of the angels continues to resonate in our lives and brings warmth to our hearts and souls.
The Birth and Theophany of our Lord is the greatest of miracles, unlike any the world has ever known or has known since. What transpired on that silent and holy night was indeed the miraculous appearance of the Glory of God on earth; the incarnation of our Lord in Christ. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). God Himself came down from heaven and took on the nature of man; He took on the joys as well as sorrows of mankind, dwelt in our hearts, and gave us the promise of eternal life. Therefore, let us rejoice in the spirit of Christmas, which is peace; the miracle of Christmas, which is hope; and the heart of Christmas, which is love.
In actuality, many miracles surrounded the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord, beginning with the virgin conception of Mary and the annunciation by the archangel Gabriel who annunciated to Mary, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest (Luke 1:30-32).
Also miraculous is the prophecy by the Prophet Isaiah foretelling of the Birth of Jesus seven hundred years prior. So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:22-23).
Following the Glorious Birth, it was the angels who marvelously appeared to the shepherds to announce the good tidings, “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), and proclaim, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14). This occurrence inspired the three wise men to set out for Bethlehem bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, to glorify and praise the “King of Kings”, and they reached the manger by another miracle which was the Star of Bethlehem that guided them to Jesus.
The extraordinary events leading up to and including the Birth of our Savior is the miracle that has been celebrated for thousands of years and that we continue to celebrate today. God had a plan of salvation for mankind and He fulfilled that promise so that we may have eternal life if we believe and welcome Him into our lives. Jesus was born not only into the world, but in our hearts and spirits as well. Year after year, this timeless message continues to inspire us and gives us faith to follow the bright and shining star that is our Savior.
In this season of gift-giving let us remember that the Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest gift and new beginning God offered to mankind. God demonstrated His love for mankind by sending His only begotten Son to deliver us from sin and to transform those who embrace Him. The gift that God gave us on that blessed day is a new spiritual beginning for mankind as a whole as well as for individuals and it is a gift that never fades. The gift of salvation, eternal life, and love that God granted us is one that is renewed each time we accept Jesus in our hearts.
With these thoughts and feeling, I pray that our lives be transformed in the New Year by the wonder of the miraculous Birth and Theophany of our Lord. Let us thank the Lord for His love, share the wonder of our Savior’s Birth, and behold the Glory of God, which is the true meaning and significance of the season.
On this blessed Feast we extend our filial love to our Pontiff His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, wishing many more years of health and prosperity in the spiritual guidance of the Armenian people. We pray for wisdom and success to the leaders of our homeland in their civil service to our brethren. We convey our warm wishes of love and peace to the members of the Religious and Executive Councils, Representatives Assembly Delegates, Boards of Trustees, educators, sister organizations, sponsors, and faithful parishioners.
May the tidings of love, hope, peace and goodwill radiate throughout Armenia, Artsakh, and the Diaspora and illuminate the lives of the Armenian people.
May the bright star of Bethlehem guide us on our spiritual journey just as it guided the Wise Men over two thousand years ago.
May His love fill your hearts with peace and joy during this time and always.
Happy New Year
Christ is Born and Revealed.
Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate
Western United States