Christmas Message from Eastern Prelacy

“The Good News of the Sun of Righteousness
O, Sun of Righteousness,
You arose from your Father
to illuminate the creatures.
Glory to you, Lord.”

The hymn writer portrays our Lord Jesus Christ as the “Sun of Righteousness,” who by his birth came to illuminate all Mankind with His Godly rays. That light penetrates the soul, heart, and mind of all Christians to make them more faithful, more benevolent, and more righteous in their thoughts and deeds. The Sun of Righteousness, like justice itself, represents eternal truth and is God’s presence in us and amongst Mankind to see and do His will. During the days preceding the festive days many and various thoughts and concerns come to us. The most beautiful thing we can do is to be introspective and to see in us the fullness of Jesus’ presence and to see ourselves with Him, so that the light He brings with his birth never diminishes or darkens within us.
That Light Comes,
1. To our soul. How fortunate we are to have been born Christians as an individual and as a nation. God’s light first dawned upon us, guiding us from darkness into light, from unknowingness to knowledge, and from death to life. That light ennobled our soul, opened and illuminated our spiritual eyes, and with His love of Mankind He became like us so that we could become like Him. A pure and clean soul is God’s dwelling, where we find only goodness and love, where we find ourselves face to face to God’s with feelings of prayer, sacrifice, and devotion.

Christ’s Light Comes,
2. To our hearts. With the birth of Christ the angels gave Mankind the Good News of “good will among men.” In a word he turned Mankind into brothers and sisters—God’s family where mutual love, respect, sacrifice, and harmonious life are an absolute sacred condition. Mankind’s attachment and dedication to each other is not a theoretical condition. Living together with good will is not a stagnant or inert situation, but rather is an impulse to help each other, to be compassionate, to be comforting to each other, to support each other, to be joyful of the success of others, to care for the needy and create an environment and world where human laws and power do not dominate, but rather where God’s will, brotherhood and justice—the justice of Christ-Sun—rule. “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied” (Mt. 5:6). That righteousness is Mankind’s equality with each other, whose absence creates greed, neglect, arrogance, deprivation, and covetousness.
The Sun of Righteousness Comes,
3. To our mind. When the soul is illuminated and God’s presence is felt through our heart and when Christ becomes our way and end, then it is the time to use our mind and establish the Righteousness of the Sun. Living a righteous life is the duty of all Christians. The desire for justice and spreading it is our vocation where deprivation ends and right is established. A right which is given to all individuals, a right which every nation enjoys, so that “Wars end and attacks by the enemies cease,” (Book of Hours). As children of the Armenian Church and inheritors of the Armenian nation, the desire for justice is as strong and as real as our faith. Justice is our right. In our quest for justice, we have never sinned, and our quest has never weakened. Yes, the “hunger and thirst” for justice has always been in us, believing that we would be finally “satisfied.” As a classical Diaspora, survived and re-established from the Genocide, the right of our martyrs and sacredness of their blood and legacy were part of our piety and prayers. We never wanted the good will of our leadership of our Homeland as seen during April and September of 2009, to become bankrupt in our quest for justice. We would never want the leadership of our Homeland to place diplomacy and politics above eternal virtues and especially above justice and restitution. We would never want to see misunderstandings between the Diaspora, which became victim to Genocide, and Armenia believing that the Homeland is the Motherland for all of us and the government of Armenia is our government. Our future well-being should be established on the sacrifices of the past, and the restitution and rights of our Martyrs so we can continue to live and struggle with ever-living hope and ever-shining light.

At the threshold of a New Year and Holy Nativity, may the ever-shining and eternal Sun of Righteousness illuminate our soul, heart and mind to joyfully welcome the birth of our God and Lord Jesus Christ and the Good News of victory.
O Sun of Righteousness, glory to you.
Christ is born and revealed. Good News to all of us.
Archbishop Oshagan
Prelate, Eastern Prelacy
Armenian Apostolic Church of America
Holy Nativity, 2010

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