Tag Archive for: Matthew

Advent 48-50: Not Matthew, Not Luke

Advent Day 48 of 50: Not Matthew and Not Luke

There are three Nativity narratives. Two of them are the popular stories around which most Christmas celebrations take place.

In the Gospel of Matthew we briefly encounter the conception, and announcement of the virgin birth of Christ to Joseph. Wise men from the East visit Jesus and bring gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Because there are three gifts, most traditions believe there were three men, even though the Gospel does not specify the number of men. Beautiful stories and legends have evolved about the travels of the “Three Wise Men.” Following their visit we read one of the horror stories of the New Testament, “The Massacre of the Innocents” (Matthew 2:16-18). After a stay in Egypt, the Holy Family settles in Nazareth, and Jesus was therefore known as a “Nazarene.”

The Gospel of Luke, where the second Nativity narrative is found, is a bit more descriptive. It begins with the conception of both Jesus and his kinsman John the Baptist. We read about the miraculous birth of both and the meeting of their mothers, Elizabeth and Mary. A precious song sung by Mary the Asdvadzadzin glorifying the Lord. Prophecies are exchanged about Jesus and John. The Birth of Jesus takes place during a trip that Joseph and Mary have taken to comply with a census. Jesus is born in a stable, wrapped in swaddling cloths, and laid in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (2:7) Angels and heavenly hosts sang the praises of God. Beyond the Birth of Christ, Luke records Jesus’ presentation at the temple 40 days after his birth and Simeon’s proclamation (2:22-35). He also recounts a story of the 12 year old Jesus, who amazes scholars at the temple.

Both Matthew and Luke pick up Jesus’ biographical sketches at age 30 at the River Jordon where he was baptized, the beginning point of his ministry. These are the stories that have inspired Hallmark writers to produce cards and movies for the Christmas season and holiday. Front lawns are adorned with nativity sets and bright lights remind us of the path the Wise Men took. There is one more Nativity narrative which is not often shared, but is the cornerstone for Armodoxy. We will visit that story tomorrow as our Advent season comes to a close.

Today, we read the Song of Mary, sometimes referred to as the Magnificat, in Armenian, Medzadzustseh “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.” (Luke 1:46-55)

Ascension: Beyond Resurrection via Healing

Next Step #312 – May 29, 2014

In the continuing quest for relevance in traditional Orthodoxy, Fr. Vazken challenges listeners to find healing in life beyond the message of resurrection. Appealing to the story of Jesus’ Ascension (the feast is today), here is a fresh look at the story found in Matthew 28. Destiny, fortunes, superstitions are discussed in religious folklore. Pope Francis in Jerusalem – the schisms not because of our misunderstanding of God but caused by our misunderstanding of each other.
The “In” in In His Shoes is the operative word and it makes all the difference as the Christian story of salvation. Forgive and forgetting is the difference of resurrection and ascension. Preview to the 100th Anniversary of Commemoration.
Song: “Vijag” by Zulal
Foreplay” by Boston
Pope Francis in Jerusalem with Patriarch Bartholomew
Pope Francis & Netanyahu
Ascension – Healing
Dr. Harry HagopianMENA Analysis
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Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net
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Barking at Caravans

Next Step #231 – November 8, 2012

Extending the concept of “undanik” to “under heaven” in understanding the family of God (Storm Sandy and walking In His Shoes). Fr. Vazken explains that Matthew 12:46-50 is not a lesson in biology as rude as it may seem. Extending Christian values and Church to Genocides and wars in Darfur and Syria as well as the death in our own backyards via In His Shoes. The Obama Victory: The silly-willy Armenian politics that bark at the caravan. “As for me,” says Fr. Vazken, “I was there with Obama – no brag, just fact.” Youth and the Church – the problem beyond Armenian Church. More on the crimes of the priest who was defrocked. Grandpa & FDR Democrats/Grandma’ baklava for James Roosevelt – it was her thanks for the last station of the caravan.
Sermon: “Politics, God & the Kingdom
Song: “Caravan” by Armen Chamakian
Obama’s Acceptance Speech
Sun Sash: http://sunsash.blogspot.com
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net
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Olympic Size Divorce

Next Step #217 – August 2, 2012

Olympic size problems are in the 100th of seconds. Winners and losers are defined by milliseconds. We’re not as tolerant when it comes to divorce – “hard-heartedness” prevents us from opting for faith, hope and love. Following up on the “Divorce Comma” from last week’s lectionary reading – Matthew 19. Armodoxy answering the questions we ask. Armodoxy as a logical approach to daily dilemmas.
Sermon: The Divorce Comma
Song: Ov Siroon Siroon, Adiss & Vatche
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net
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Ascension (Hampartzoum) Offensive

Next Step #156 – June 2, 2011

Forty days after Easter – it’s the feast of Ascension (Hampartzoum). Drop the superstitions and get into gear – a look at Matthew 28:16-20 as a message for then and now. Fr. Vazken looks for inclusion in the 1933 King Kong tribe and the chorus of Anush Opera. Meanwhile – avoid those virgin martinis by taking the Christian Offensive and stopping the numbskulledness.
Music “Miteh” by Shiraz https://www.facebook.com/shiraz.yeghiazarian
Hele Hele” by Richard Hagopian http://www.traditionalcrossroads.com/shop/category_2/Armenian-Artists.html
“Anush Opera” by Spenderian/Toumanian http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anoush_%28opera%29
Ani’s Bubble – The price of a child
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net
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Born Again to the End Times

Next Step #148 – April 7, 2011

Back from Phoenix through the Arizona/California desert, in time for the Sunday of Advent. Earthquakes, upheaval in the Middle East, Economy – what does it all mean? The “Signs of the Times?” A look at Scripture for answers – exploring Mark 13, Matthew 25 & Matthew 22. Whether you’re “Born Again” or waiting for the Rapture – you will be able to put together the pieces and find out the best way to wait / prepare for end times – A True Orthodox perspective – Armodoxy for us all. Specialists for everything but religion. Another revelation: Believe it or not, patience is not one of Fr. Vazken’s virtues (really?); April 24 – Easter Sunday and the FAST for DARFUR – Transforming Victims to Victors in Christ!
Check out: Dr. Harry Hagopian – consultant to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales on the Middle East http://www.catholicchurch.org.uk/mena-4
Ani’s Bubbles: Helping Hands
Music: Rouben Hakhverdian “Im Spitak Aghavnie”
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net
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Grey Matter and the Law

Next Step #112 – July 29, 2010

Getting Involved in Darfur: the moral imperative against rape and genocide. No grey areas for Al Bashir. Reacting by walking “In His Shoes” and the power of Love through Armodoxy. Savoring the flavor of life. Matthew 19 – Separating the brain from heart and law from heartbreak. Extra: The hierarchical Sees – Etchmiadzin, Cilicia, Jerusalem and Constantinople.
Song: “Sevani tzugnors bar” by Yeghish Manoukian (Echo of the Mountains)
Gor Mkhitarian “Day”; Purchase SPIRIT album
Ani’s Bubbles: Try Changing the World; (http://scrubsmag.com/author/aniburr/)
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net

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Freedom to Weed it Out

Next Step #108 – July 1, 2010

Matthew Chapter 13 gets a special pruning, as the weeds are pulled from the grass. You won’t find a theodicy here, instead, it’s a meditation on true freedom from within. Blasting away the bonds of hatred and animosity. A most fitting reflection on this pre-Independence Day Celebration. It’s all here, even if you only hear “leb” along with a Fathers’ Day wish.  Now? Here’s a theory of why things happen at epostle.net. Drugs in Glendale: http://araratmagazine.org/2010/06/lost-kids-arm-america-1/ 
Music: “About God” by Gor Mkhitarian; Purchase SPIRIT album
Ani’s Bubbles: Ice Cream; (http://scrubsmag.com/author/aniburr/)
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net

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“Circular Breathing”

Next Step #50 – May 20, 2009

Can the discipline of inhaling while exhaling have applications Moutside of music? The Armenian duduk and the Scottish bagpipe meet each other on common ground. But when Obama goes to Notre Dame, or the Pope goes to Jerusalem, can there be “common ground?” It’s all about the drone that keeps a monotone unchanging intonation throughout a song, a hymn, a chant or the sound of the universe. Today’s message ends with the story of Jesus’ Ascension. While Matthew 28 records the last words of Jesus on Earth, just before Ascending, the call to preach is better defined by His first words, as recorded in Mark 1.
Music: Gor Mkhitarian’s “Yeraz” (Dream)
Ani’s Bubles: “Stone Soup”

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