God’s Faithfulness Revealed
“A wonderful and great mystery is revealed on this day…Rejoice heavens and let the foundations of the earth be glad, for God eternal appeared on earth and walked among mankind in order to save us….”
With all praise and glory to Almighty God we welcome a new year, a time to begin anew with new hopes, dreams, and resolutions to do and be better than we did and were in the past year. The spirit of Christmas is all around us. There is sense of childlike wonder, joy, and serenity in the air. Our hearts are cheerful and our spirits brighter as we gather with loved ones to enjoy dazzling Christmas displays, sing carols, and exchange presents. Though these are beautiful traditions which we all enjoy, may we be ever mindful that the true blessing and essence of Christmas is that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14). With the incarnation of Jesus Christ, God’s faithfulness was revealed in our hearts, in our souls, and in our lives. That, is one the most beautiful and heartening messages of Christmas.
God’s faithfulness is undeniable, unfailing, and unchanging, and Christmastime is a wonderful time to remind us of this truth. From the time of creation on, even though man was mired in sin and had turned away from God, God remained faithful in His love, and every promise He made came to pass. His greatest promise, that of salvation and everlasting life prophesied by the prophet Isaiah centuries before, was fulfilled “when the fullness of the time had come” and “God sent forth His Son” (Galatians 4:4). What an uplifting assurance that God is always faithful to all of His promises, and though it may take some time, in the end, all of His plans for us come to fruition. Furthermore, no matter how many times we fail or fall, even “if we are faithless, He remains faithful” (2 Timothy 2:13) for His steadfast love extends to the heavens and His faithfulness to the clouds (Psalm 36:5).
As children and disciples of our Lord, how can we render unto Him for His faithfulness and multitude of blessings? We certainly cannot repay the Lord for His goodness, for nothing we can do will equal that which He has done for us. Thus, the proper response to His faithfulness toward us is our faithfulness toward Him. God’s greatest hope for us is to become more like Him, faithful in all our ways; in our promises to Him and to our fellow man, in adhering to His commandments, with the gifts He has blessed and entrusted us with, including our time, talents, and resources, and in our relationships and interactions with all of His children.
There are countless examples of faithfulness to God found in the Bible to inspire us, Noah, Moses, Abraham, and more. Throughout their struggles, they remained faithful and longsuffering and, in due course, they and their descendents were indeed blessed. The greatest example of faithfulness, however, and that which we must strive to emulate, is that of our Lord Jesus Christ Who submitted fully to the will of the Father and fulfilled the mission for which He was sent to this earth.
As we come together to celebrate the Birth and Revelation of our Lord, let us celebrate His love, humility, and faithfulness which was manifested on that holy night centuries ago and which “endures to all generations” (Psalm 119:90). Let us resolve to live a faithful life in thought, word, and deed and to bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit which are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. With hopeful hearts let us strive and serve for an even brighter and more fruitful year and future, particularly for our homeland Armenia which was undergone a positive and promising transformation. Let us remain faithful also in our service to our Lord and our Church, with the mystery and message of the Star of Bethlehem as our guiding light, and inspired by His love and mercy.
On this blessed occasion, with a heart full of joy and gratitude I greet our clergy, councils, parishes, educational institutions, community organizations, and faithful, and convey my heartfelt wishes to all for a truly healthy, happy, prosperous year for us all, individually and collectively.
May the glory of Christmas remain alive in our hearts throughout the year and bring hope, joy, peace, and meaning to our lives.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL
CHRIST IS BORN AND REVEALED
Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian
Prelate, Western United States