Armenian Christmas is coming to a close, and though I will definitely miss the lights, songs and joviality that goes along with celebrating the birth of our Savior there is much about 2013 that I will not miss.


As I was preparing my preaching schedule for Thanksgiving and Christmas I had planned on giving a sermon series on the “Virtues of Christ”.  The first week was going to be on peace, the second hope, the third love, and then I wanted to spend some time on joy.  The purpose of the holiday series would be to see a few of the virtues of Christ displayed through in His life, so that we might have the please of experiencing them in our average day to day life here in Orange County.


Honestly, I was chomping at the bit to start my studies and share God’s word with you all during my favorite time of the year; I even had a designer working on an advertising campaign to go along with it—I couldn’t wait to learn what Christ had to teach us.


Then I fell ill, and have been on a leave of absence from church since Thanksgiving.  Needless to say this season of my life hasn’t been memorable for the usual reasons, and I am not naive to the fact that many of us could say the same.  Life in general is laden with pain, suffering, and unanswered questions


Now what does this all have to do with Christmas, or Armenian Christmas for that matter?  I admit it doesn’t sound very merry.  However, it has everything to do with Christmas.


It has everything to do with Christmas, because, Jesus, God incarnate, the creator and sustainer of the universe, the person who controls every leaf that falls to the ground, the God who literally brings about the rise and fall of nations throughout history came to experience the pains and joys WE experience as WE experience them.


He didn’t come to tell us why things happen the way they do in every instance, he didn’t come to answer all our philosophical questions about pain and suffering, but he did come to show us that he is right there with us, and he abhors suffering and evil even more than we do.  He knows what it feels like to be disappointed, to lose a loved one, to experience betrayal, physical torment, and sadness and he entered into our pain willingly.


God loves us that much!  That is really what makes Christmas Merry.  He came to be with us as he also came to teach us and save us.  He came not only to tell us that we can have peace, hope, love and joy, but to literally bring these virtues in our life as we come into relationship with Him through the Holy Spirit.


If there is one thing I have learned this Christmas season is that God really is with us and he loves us.  Jesus is with you, and he will continue to be with you this year.  He may not tell you what He is up to in your life, or why He is doing what He is doing in and through you, but he will faithfully love you and show His tender care for you.


“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

(Hebrews 4:14–16)


With Love,


–Pastor Shant


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