Etchmiadzin – Universal

Armodoxy for Today: Universality of Faith

The feast of Holy Etchmiadzin has a descriptor in its official name. It is “universal.” While the word implies the connection to the larger Body, that is, to the Christian Church, it also gives us a direction for ministry, especially when we understand that Etchmiadzin is Mission.

In a world that is plagued with war, disease, poverty, intolerance and indifference, the feast of Holy Etchmiadzin is essential for the survival of humanity. This is not hyperbole, but confirmation that compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice, selflessness, and tolerance, that is love is the only answer for us as a planet.  The original Christian message was, and still is, applicable to the entire world – in the here and now – and accessible to everyone. This is why we say Armodoxy is the expression of OG Christianity.

According to the verses in Genesis 2 the Garden of Eden, the birthplace of humanity is in Armenia. According to Genesis 8, the resting place of the Ark, the second chance at life was on the Mountains of Ararat, the peak that shadows Armenia. The Christ Light which shines from Holy Etchmiadzin is the hope for humanity. Herein is the universality of Holy Etchmiadzin. These three physical locales – the Garden, the Mountain and the Cathedral –  although they exist in Armenia, belong to all of humanity. They cannot be confined to a group or tribe of people. They contain the elements and energy of life proclaiming God’s ever-presence in human history. Holy Etchmiadzin completes the holy trinity of physical locations that radiate the love energy, from spiritual vortexes in this small patch of land.

On the Feast of the Universal Church Etchmiadzin, we make a pronouncement to the entire world the words of the hymn: The only-begotten descended from the Father and the light of glory was with him… The patriarch Gregory saw the great light and joyfully told of it… Come let us build the sanctuary of the Light, for therein shone forth light unto us in the land of Armenia.

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