Tag Archive for: Pentecost

Holy Spirit Then and Now

Armodoxy for Today: Holy Spirit then and now

Something happened this year on the feast of Pentecost that connected us the event 2000 years ago when the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles. Sticking to our charter of bringing apostolic evangelism to an electronic universe, Epostle.net facilitated a conversation with a gentleman named Malkon who lives in Jerusalem. Malkon is an Armenian Palestinian who lives by the Christian credo of not resisting evil and praying for the enemy. His family has been exiled several times from their homes and land throughout the decades. He finds himself in a country filled with animosity toward him and his people.

We connected with him because of our background as Armenians who attest to the Christian faith as expressed and demonstrated by Jesus Christ. Having experienced Genocide in 1915, and then having lived through the totalitarian communist regime for 70 years, while it spewed its atheistic propaganda, we found independence in a world that ignored us. In 2020 and 2023, we were forced out of our historic homelands, in a broader scheme that targeted the existential destruction of a nation. The world looked on in the pose of the three monkeys blocking their eyes, ears, and mouth: “See no evil,” “Hear no evil,” and “Speak no evil.” We had to meet with Malkon, because even more than exonerating ourselves from the evil of apathy and being accused of monkey-see/monkey-do, we had to connect with a person for whom the tenants of Christianity were part of his daily ritual of overcoming evil with love!

At Epostle.net, every day we preach a message of Christianity from our ancient roots as the first Christian nation. What we call Armodoxy is the application of that ancient Christianity in the world today. Often it gets assigned to a category of idealism and its application is assumed to be impossible, and therefore, not even tried. Malkon presents a model we need to identify with. He moves from theoretical Christianity to the practical side of faith, and it works! Here we witnessed the expressions of a man who lives in and with war, facing every day an enemy that is consumed with killing him and erasing the existence of his people off the pages of history.

We were encouraged by the number of people who attended this event virtually as well as on our new Metaverse platform. In the weeks to come we will be releasing excerpts from the discussions that manifested at the event. For today, we announce it with the excitement that must have surrounded the Apostles who were touched by the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. The Risen Lord is speaking in what the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, has brought to us this day.

We end with the words of our Lord, who spoke then, and speaks now:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)

Pentecost: Beyond History

Armodoxy for Today: From History to Sermon

The sermon begins “Today is Pentecost” followed by a story from the pages of the Book of Acts. We hear the story of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Disciples, turning them into the evangelists for Christ’s Holy Church. What’s our take-away from this sermon? There was an event, on the 50th day after the Resurrection – pente, 50 – and with the reception of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles embarked on their sacred mission to evangelize the world.

This is what’s known as a history lesson in the guise of a sermon. The purpose of a sermon, unlike a history lesson, is to preach a lesson to the listener, a lesson which applies to their lives today. It was for this reason that Jesus promised the Disciples to send the Holy Spirit, so that they would not merely present Jesus as a figure of history, but as the Living God that affects and interacts with His children in their lives today, as He did 2000 years ago. Pentecost is the event that invites us to the holiness of the Church. It is in His Sacred Church, where that message is revealed.

When Jesus began his ministry, he invited the Disciple to “Come and follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) At the end of his ministry on Earth he said to them, “Go and make disciple of all…” (Matthew 28:16-20) “Come” says Jesus to learn as my Disciples, “Go” says Christ to teach as my Apostles.

A simple but powerful prayer by St. Nersess Shnorhali reminds that the Holy Spirit has touched the Disciples and purified us by working and acting within us all. Today is a day to be receptive to the joy that fills our lives with godliness.

Spirit of God, true God, who descended on the river Jordan, and into the Upper Room; who enlightened me by the baptism of the Holy Font, I have sinned against heaven and before you. Purify me again with your divine fire, as the fiery tongues purified the Holy Apostles.
Have mercy upon your creatures, and on me, a sinner. Amen.

Pentecost: Non Denominationalism Up Close

Pentecost, Non Denominational, Bible & Church

As a kid I remember a commercial on television featuring a nice looking building. A voice asks, “Nice building, huh?” Then the camera zooms in to reveal cracks and chips that were painted over, and without skipping a beat the voice would divulge the truth, “…until you look up closely!” The body of the voice would then come on screen to plug some kind of texture coating that hid the scars of the building.

Usually things look nice from a distance, but upon a closer look the cracks start showing. The same holds true for religion. We will confine our discussion today to the Christian religion. One of the popular designations of Christianity that needs to receive a closer look is the term “non-denomination.” It is fairly popular these days because it is presented as a free-spirited version of Christianity. “Generally, non-denominational churches believe that the Bible is the sole authority that dictates every aspect of the church, with scripture shaping their beliefs and philosophies.” (source: christianministryedu.org)

Now, before taking a closer look, let’s remember the course we have travelled to get to this point. We went through a period of preparation called Lent. We celebrated the Resurrection, and then continued with the formation of the first Christian communities. Currently we are in that period between Ascension (40 days after Easter) and the Pentecost (50 days after Easter).

There is a reason the Church asks you to take this journey. When Jesus was crucified, there was no Bible. When he resurrected, there was no Bible. When he ascended, there was no Bible. In fact, there was no formal Bible for a few hundred years! However, at all those same events – crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and on into the formation of the communities –there was the Church!

Those who claim to be non-denominational say that they accept the Bible as the sole authority in matters of their faith. By their own admission, they have excluded themselves from major events of Christian history and development. History shows that everything we know about Jesus Christ has arrived to us because of His Holy Church.

God’s greatest gift to humanity was not the Bible. Much more important than the Bible is Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God the Father. Jesus’ gift to humanity was not the Bible, rather it was his holy and precious Body, namely the Church. And it was the Church that compiled the books together to give us what we refer to as the Bible.

The Armenian word for the Bible is Asdvadzashunch, which literally means the Breath of God. The Armenian Church refers to it as the “breath” because it guides us as spirit, not as a book of laws and regulations, along the path of Truth, Hope and Love.

The appeal of non-denominationalism is understandable in our world today, where everyone is given a platform to interpret. Often those interpretations create a derivative of Christ’s holy and sacred message. In other words, within the non-denominational category, you can have several hundred or thousand derivatives of the faith, which means, there is no such thing as non-denominational. Everyone’s reading creates a new denomination.  This is why when we speak of the Armenian Apostolic Church, we are grounding ourselves in a Tradition that dates back to the time of Jesus Christ himself, that is, before there was a Bible.

At this feast of Pentecost – the Coming of the Holy Spirit and therefore the birthday of the Church – it is important to understand that the Armenian Church is not a Bible-centered community of believers; we are Christ centered.  We make this proclamation unapologetically. Non-denominationalism is very nice looking, and appealing, but when you look up closely you notice the chips and the holes. Jesus set up his Church and it is guided by the Holy Spirit. In his unfailing words Jesus says, “The gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church!” (Matthew 16:18)

We conclude with a prayer from the Holy Divine Liturgy of the Armenian Church: We thank you, Father almighty, who did prepare for us the holy Church as a haven, a temple of holiness, where the name of the holy Trinity is glorified. Alleluia. We thank you, Spirit of Truth, who renewed the holy Church. Keep her without blemish through the faith in the Trinity forevermore. Amen.

Want something more? Try: Pentecost: Language after Asphyxiation

Cover Photo: Luna & Gregory Beylerian, 2023

Coming of the Spirit

Armodoxy for Today: Pentecost

A young girl in a parking lot
Was preaching to a crowd
Singing sacred songs and reading from the Bible
Well, I told her I was lost
And she told me all about the Pentecost
And I seen that girl as the road to my survival…
~Paul Simon (Duncan)

The Pentecost is a turning point event in the life of the post-Resurrection Christian Community. While the word Pentecost alludes to the 50th day after Easter, let us refer to it by its Armenian names Hokegalust as it is more descriptive and, therefore, more meaningful for the Christian. Translated, Hokegalust means the coming of the Spirit. Jesus promised the Great Comforter. On this day, the promise is fulfilled. We read the story in the Book of Acts, chapter 2.

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they [the Disciples] were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? …we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”

The first and most important take-away from this story is that the Uncreated Essence, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, the One that was floating above the Earth before time, the Holy Spirit, had landed upon this group of individuals – each from a different background – and was transforming them into a Community, which would eventually change the world. This is a sacred mission of the Church. It transforms the world because it has an understanding of peace, harmony among people, and the golden key that turns the locks to every door, namely, love. And it learned this from Love Incarnate, namely, Jesus Christ.

The Disciples were ordered to go to the world and spread the message of faith, hope and love. Thus, the Disciples turned into Apostles, meaning one who is sent. In Armenian, the word Arakyal (apostle = one who is sent) comes from the verb Arakel (to send).

The revolution starts now. Jesus came and he touched the Disciples and the people with his message, but it was on this day that his message was given the feet with which to walk and change the world.

From the 5th hour of St. Nersess Shnorhali’s prayer, we pray, Spirit of God, true God Who descended on the river Jordan and the Upper Room. Cleanse me once more with your divine fire, as the tongues of flame cleansed the Holy Apostles. Have mercy upon your creation, and on me, a sinner. Amen.

Structure

In this post-Pentecost week, we have been talking about certain characteristics of the Church which point to structure and discipline. Whether its order vs. chaos or the canon laws of the church, it becomes clear that the Christian Church has a structure and a system of operations, which often becomes difficult for people, especially in the West, to understand and accept. We have a tendency to oversimplify some of the most critical and important concepts in Faith.

We have all heard preachers who call people to a “Bible based Church.” That’s fine and certainly within their prerogative, but the Apostolic Church was and continues to be a “Jesus based Church.” This is not merely a word play, but a built-in mechanism to assure that faith is beyond words, but actually engaging with Christ. Often, we hear a preacher or Christian teacher take a passage from one book of the Bible, verify it with a passage from another book, justify it with yet another verse from yet another book. The Bible was never meant to be read like that. The Bible is one book, about God’s love for us. From beginning to end, it is one book. It has its place within our Church – the collective body of Christians – as the “Աստուածաշունչ,” that is, the “Breath of God.” It is sacred, as the Breath of God certainly is.

As we learned, from Ascension to Pentecost, the Church took form. And through the centuries the Church evolved, like all living bodies. But the centrality of Christ never changed because the structure, the discipline of the Church was codified in the canons. This is what gave order and stability to the Church. There is a hierarchy within the Church made up of bishops, priests and deacons, and each has a role. This structure comes from the Apostolic era. We believe that the Holy Spirit guides the Church, and calls individuals to the collective work of the Church, each according to the gifts given to them.

As we conclude this post-Pentecost week, we read St. Paul’s message concerning the different gifts of the Spirit and how it is essential to honor the structure, the order and discipline of the Body. In reading it, we understand even in those early years of the Church’s history, this rebellion against structure was at issue. But we also hear that structure, order and discipline were essential for the Church.

From the 12th chapter of St. Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians, he writes,

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.

If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.  And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers…. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way. (NKJV)

Changing over to Apostle

Armodoxy for Today: Changing over to Apostle

There comes a time when children want to leave the nest and part of the parenting skill is finding the opportunity to encourage that move. Sometimes it requires a push, so the young one can catch the wind as they spread their wings. In preparation for their departure parents have given their children the necessary upbringing and education. Of course, the education process continues through life activities and events.

When Jesus stood at the Sea of Galilee and called his disciples to follow him, his invitation was simple: Come. After his Resurrection, at the Ascension, the command was just as simple: Go. He first invited them to come, follow and learn. At the Ascension he said it is time for them to go, teach others.  It is precisely at the Ascension that the Disciples (students) become Apostles (those who are sent = missionaries).

The Apostles received the tools with which to do their missionary work on the day of Pentecost, hokegalust in Armenian, which means “Coming of the Spirit.” As we read yesterday in the Book of Acts 2, the Holy Spirit gave the gift of utterance to the Apostles.

The gift of God is communication. We are not created as robots, but entities with the ability to process thought and communicate it to others. Is it any wonder that the human being is the only member of the animal kingdom that procreates, makes love, facing each other. In the most intimate of positions, the human being has the opportunity to communicate at all levels with thoughts, speech, feel and touch. Language is the skill to communicate with others.

Armodoxy rejects the idea that at Pentecost the gift of utterance was a secret sound-code that was understood by only some. Scripture says that the people who heard the Apostles talking said, “And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? … we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” The sounds that people heard were languages, not non-sensical words or sounds. The gifts of God are always practical; they have a function.

Words express our thoughts and teach, that is, they pass along knowledge. The object of those teaching-lessons is harmony among people. The idea that God would give people confusing sounds, or would want to confound people’s attempts to understand one another is foreign to Christian thought. The gift of the Holy Spirit brings us together, not draws us apart.

Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. With the Holy Spirit, the Church would now move to continue the work of Christ. The Church is community. There is no such thing as one-Christian. Christianity is about working together, so that “Thy Will be Done, on Earth as it is in Heaven” (from the Lord’s Prayer).

Christ taught his Disciples. When the time came and the Disciples were ready to continue the mission, what we may refer to as “spreading their wings,” Christ commissioned them to “Go” and share what they had learned, ensuring the continuity of his message in perpetuity.

The perfect vehicle for this is the group of people, that is community, that reach out to one another with hands, legs and voice, to find strength and work for what Jesus sought: Peace on Earth, good will toward one another.

The Church is one when it reflects this harmony in its teachings.

Today’s prayer will come from the last verses of Acts, chapter 2, the first Christian community after Pentecost:

44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (NKJV)

Pentecost – Hokegalust

Armodoxy for Today: Pentecost

A young girl in a parking lot
Was preaching to a crowd
Singing sacred songs and reading from the Bible
Well, I told her I was lost
And she told me all about the Pentecost
And I seen that girl as the road to my survival…
~Paul Simon (Duncan)

The Pentecost is a turning point event in the life of the post-Resurrection Christian Community. While the word Pentecost alludes to the 50th day after Easter, let us refer to it by its Armenian names Hokegalust as it is more descriptive and, therefore, more meaningful for the Christian. Translated, Hokegalust means the coming of the Spirit. Jesus promised the Great Comforter. On this day, the promise is fulfilled. We read the story in the Book of Acts, 2nd chapter.

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”

 Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”

The first and most important take-away from this story is that the Uncreated Essence, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, the One that was floating above the Earth before time,  the Holy Spirit, has landed upon this group of individuals – each from a different background – and has transformed them into a Community, which will eventually change the world. This is a sacred mission that is here to transform the world, its understanding of peace, harmony among people, and the golden key that turns the locks to every door, namely, love.

The Disciples were ordered to go to the world and spread the message of faith, hope and love. Thus, the Disciples turned into Apostles, meaning one who is sent. In Armenian, the word Arakyal (apostle=one who is sent) comes from the verb Arakel (to send).

The revolution starts now. Jesus came and he touched the Disciples and the people with his message, but it was on this day that his message was given the feet with which to walk and change the world.

Join us tomorrow as we continue on the theme of the hokegalust – the Sacred turning point and beginning of the Revolution, on Armodoxy for Today.

Non Denominational Closeup

Non-Denominational Closeup

As a kid I remember a commercial on television featuring a nice looking building. A voice asks, “Nice building, huh?” Then the camera zooms in to reveal cracks and chips that were painted over, and without skipping a beat the voice would divulge the truth, “…until you look up closely!” The body of the voice would then come on screen to plug some kind of texture coating that hid the scars of the building.

Usually things look nice from a distance, but upon a closer look the cracks start showing. Religion is also included in this rule. We will stick our discussion today to the Christian religion. One of the popular designations of Christianity that needs to receive a closer look is the term “non-denomination.” It is fairly popular these days because it is presented as a free-spirited version of Christianity. “Generally, non-denominational churches believe that the Bible is the sole authority that dictates every aspect of the church, with scripture shaping their beliefs and philosophies. They are also self-governing entities, with elders often overseeing the church’s organization, structure, and traditions.” (source: https://christianministryedu.org)

Before we take a closer look, let’s remember the course we have travelled to get to this point in Armodoxy for Today. We went through a period of preparation called Lent. We celebrated the Resurrection, and then continued with the formation of the first Christian communities. Currently we are in that period between Ascension (40 days after Easter) and the Pentecost (50 days after Easter).

There is a reason the Church asks you to take this journey. The Bible does not exist as a Book unto itself. When Jesus was crucified, there was no Bible. When he resurrected, there was no Bible. When he ascended, there was no Bible. In fact, there was no formal Bible for a few hundred years! However, at all those same events – crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and on into the formation of the communities –there was the Church!

Those who claim to be non-denominational say that they accept the Bible as the sole authority in matters of their faith. By their own admission, they have exclude themselves from a major part of Christian history and development.

God’s greatest gift to humanity was not the Bible. Much more important than the Bible is Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God the Father. Jesus’ gift to humanity was not the Bible, rather it was his holy and precious Body, namely the Church. And it was the Church that compiled the books together to give us what we refer to as the Bible.

The Armenian word for Bible is Asdvadzashunch, which literally means the Breath of God. The Armenian Church refers to it as the “breath” because it guides us as spirit, not as a book of laws and regulations, along the paths of Truth, Hope and Love.

I understand the appeal of non-denominationalism, especially in our world today when everyone is given a platform to interpret, or even worse, to create a derivative of Christ’s holy and sacred message. In other words, within the non-denominational category, you can have a few million or billion derivatives of the faith. This is why when we speak of the Armenian Apostolic Church, we are grounding ourselves in a Tradition that dates back to the time of Christ, that is, before there was a Bible. We are not a Bible-centered community of believers, we are Christ centered.  Non-denominationalism is very nice looking, and appealing, but when you look up closely you notice the chips and the holes. Jesus set up his Church and it is guided by the Holy Spirit. In his unfailing words Jesus says, “The gates of Hell will not prevail against it!” (Matthew 16:18)

We conclude with a prayer from the Holy Divine Liturgy of the Armenian Church: We thank you, Father almighty, who did prepare for us the holy Church as a haven, a temple of holiness, where the name of the holy Trinity is glorified. Alleluia. We thank you, Spirit of Truth, who have renewed the holy Church. Keep her without blemish through the faith in the Trinity forevermore. Amen.

Business Model

Armodoxy for Today: Business Model

Many clergymen cringe when they hear someone mention the word business next to their church. It is insulting, they think, to refer to the church as a business. Understandably, if the Church is ordained by Christ, and is the dwelling place of God, it should not be tainted with models from the college MBA textbook. God should take care of His Church and speaking of a business model which brings tangible returns can be seen as anathema.

When I was growing up, as I was contemplating the priesthood, I had a conversation with my parish priest, Fr. Krikor Hairabedian (of blessed memory), who shared his understanding of the Church. He said, if Christ is the head of the Church, then he is the “boss.” Why would I worry about any of the tangible matters? God will take care of His Church. And Fr. Krikor proceeded to tell me how throughout his own lifetime, God had always taken care of every one of his needs. Needless to say, Fr. Krikor was a man of great faith. Now, 40+ years into my priesthood, I often think about that conversation with the good priest and can attest the same with my experience in the Church. “The Lord is my shepherd,” says the psalmist (23) and follows up with a declaration, “I shall not want.”

There is a mystical dimension to the Church that overlaps the material Body of Christ. And certainly, it is the formula by which the Armenian Church has “worked” for the last 2000 years. God is in charge, and everything falls into place and is taken care of.

The material Body of Christ is what functions on Earth. It is the legs, the arms, the mouth, the voice of Christ in the here and now. As such, it needs material support. The word “business” refers to the actual mechanism by which the work gets accomplished. Yes, we shy away and cringe at the statement that the church is a business, but in fact it is. It’s goal, however, is not the physical wealth, but the spiritual soul that resides in every human being.

A business – say a restaurant, insurance company or a department store – has as its ultimate goal the creation of more wealth. It has an obligation to its investors to make a profit, however, along the way, it accomplishes other tasks, which we can call overt goals: the restaurant feeds hungry people, the insurance company provides security for families, and the department store furnishes clothing and goods for people. The Church follows the same model but the ultimate goals and the overt goals are swapped. That is the Church has as its goal the salvation of the soul and accomplishes this by the teaching the message of love that Christ demonstrated. Along the way, needs to take care of electric bills, property maintenance and pay for supplies. Calling it a business does not discount the participation of God, it merely establishes an order, a system by which things get accomplished.

During this period, between Ascension and the Pentecost in the post-Resurrection era, the Church was being formed. The order and the systems were being put into place to accomplish the greatest work of all, functioning as the Body of Christ.

We conclude today and these thoughts with the reading of the first Psalm:

Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. (Psalm 1)

Holy Spirit Building the Church

Next Step with Fr. Vazken #730: From the words of St. Paul (Ephesians 4) to the vision of Bishop Daniel Findikyan, “Building Up the Body of Christ” is the next step in direction and opportunity for the Armenian Christian experience. Pentecost and the witness of the Holy Spirit building Christ’s Holy Church: Direction for the Christian Church. Spiritual music from the Monastery of Holy Geghart. “Going back to move forward” – a quick look at Luke 2.
Building Up the Body of Christ by Bishop Daniel Findikyan (text & audio)
Second Palm Sunday Sermon
Unleashing his vision (2018 Interview with Bp. Daniel)
Story of Pentecost
Cover: Ruins of Havuts Monastery Armenia at Sunset, V. Kulkov
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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