Armodoxy for Today: The Primer
There is one word for love “սէր” (pronounced sehr) in Armenian and in this one word, the erotic (eros), brotherly (philia), and unconditional (agape) elements of love all come together, remarkably, but not surprisingly.
In science and specifically in the field of physics attempts have been made to describe all the fundamental forces and the relationships between elementary particles in a single theoretical framework. A unified field theory has been the quest of many great physicists. During my youth I was fascinated by the notion that everything might be explained in a unified field theory. I carried my interest and curiosity for an answer with me into seminary. If there exists one explanation, if there is a unified field theory, I thought, why must it be limited to the physical world? A true unified field theory would also pertain to the emotional, psychological, and spiritual world and therefore be explained as a part of religion. From a religious vantage point, particularly a Christian one, the unified field theory would also account for God. The problem there, of course, is that God has to be greater than the words that can contain or describe Him. And so, I thought, is it possible that God is the Unified Field Theory? But, who in the scientific community would entertain such an assertion?
Throughout the years as I contemplated this puzzle, I was fascinated by the work of physicists who pondered the question and came up with theories. I would dive, even if shallow, into experiments with particle accelerators and the latest with Higgs boson or Higgs particle, especially when the term “The God Particle” was assigned to the work.
Something was missing. There was a missing piece to everything I was absorbing. I needed a primer – a piece of the puzzle that would give meaning to everything else. And then it happened! One Sunday morning as we were singing the Hymn “Aravod Louso” a verse that I had sang a thousand times before jumped out at me. St. Nersess Shnorhali writes, in the 36 verse hymn, in the 29th verse, the words, “The name of love is Jesus.” It clicked! From that moment on, I saw something very clearly, that relied on the truth of pure logic, that is, if A = B and B = C, then A = C. If God = Love and if Love = Jesus, then God = Jesus. In other words, the primer opened the world of understanding by expressions of equality. God, Jesus and Love could be used interchangeably.
I went ahead and tested this discovery. Jesus makes a statement, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” This has caused isolation and rejection of Christianity by people who only had a superficial understanding of the terms. Testing began. I interchanged the word “Love” for Jesus. Can we now agree – everyone agree – that Love is the way. Love is the truth. Love is the life? It works! It was remarkable but not surprising. Jesus Christ, is the fulfillment of the law and the profits, the Alpha and the Omega. The Way is a person, the Truth is a person and Life is a person. They are Jesus Christ. The primer works! It connects the story of Jesus Christ to all of eternity, to the beginning and end of time. Armodoxy makes this bold proclamation, and everything we teach is based on this solid foundation, that there is only one element from the beginning of the universe to the end, and that is love. It is the strongest element in this universe. It is the beginning and the end.
Let us pray, O Lord Jesus Christ, you are the way, the truth and the life. Help me to walk in your path of love. Guild me to proclaim boldly the name of Jesus Christ and in so doing, may I carry this message to the hurting world. Amen.
Cover: Luna & Gregory Beylerian