Deacon: He is the King of glory!
With a war that cost thousands of lives and the loss of land, another question surfaces: Who is this King, so mighty in battle, that we lost the war? Perhaps not as audible as the chants of the deacon in church, but in the solitude of the mind, many ask this question and for some, it becomes the tipping point to abandoning hopes in a Divine Protector, or just plainly, a disbelief in God.
The Q&A of Psalm 24 is about relevance. What is the relevance of our church service and our Faith to the events shaping the world today? It is an echo of Jesus’ condemnation, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” recorded in Matthew 23. What is the connection between our actions on Sunday mornings and our response to the tragedies that take place during the week? There is an existential crisis brewing in Armenia, in Artsakh, and ultimately, we have to ask, what does it mean to proclaim God as almighty – mighty in battle – in the face of horrific tragedies – rape, mayhem, and executions?
I began the week sharing with you my frustration at a Church which provided the Blessed Mother and grapes, without making the connection to their relevance and significance. We journeyed together along a path that looked at the faith we profess and its application in real terms, that is, to understand miracles as part of our daily life. We spoke of the transformation of the supernatural to the natural. Religion, and especially our religion, Christianity as practiced by the Armenian Church, is about accepting the truth of our belief, without compromise. In the case of Psalm 24 Q&A, Yes, He is the King of Glory, mighty in battle. Accepting this, now the burden is upon us – you and me – to believe it to the point where we stop looking for worldly and political solutions and trust the Faith that has brought us here against the odds.
Today’s lesson is a proclamation that has been repeated in our Liturgy for two millennia. If He was not mighty in battle, if He was not the King of Glory, we certainly would have written it out of the text of the Liturgy. There is a reason why it is repeated and repeated often, because it a profession of reality. We come to find this one profession is at the Center of our Divine Liturgy, which is celebrated throughout the world. In that profession, we are called to engage with the King of Glory. And so, today, we take one step closer, where we understand the answers and solutions to our dilemmas, difficulties, wars and evil, are not in the hands of others, but the invitation has come to us. We understand that the supernatural, is the natural, and it is in us – you and me. Now enters responsibility, our personal responsibility.
We will take a break here to continue next time. Until then, let us pray, “Lord our God, you have called each of us to serve within the Kingdom. Give me the strength and courage to overcome the difficulties of the day and bring my talents to the quest for Peace. Amen”