Armodoxy for Today: Two to Many – Advent Journey
As we move closer to Christmas on our Advent Journey, it becomes apparent that we will be meeting for Christmas on December 25th and then again on January 6th. Yesterday we spoke about the Winter Solstice, the birth of the sun and the Birth of the Son. Sometimes people, in their zeal to strike a conversation about Armenian Orthodoxy, will make a statement to the effect that Armenians are fortunate, they have two Christmas’ to celebrate. The statement is somewhat true, for in reality the Armodox understanding is even greater than two celebrations.
December 25th in the West and January 6th in Armenia are only dates of convenience, that is, dates on which the Birth of Christ may be marked and celebrated with official festivity, whether a worship service, a concert, or a party. Calendars are convenient means by which we measure time. There are groups that organize services by other calendars, for instance the Julian calendar, in which case their December 25th is on our January 7. Even within the Armenian Church there are differences of calendars. In Jerusalem the feast of Theophany – the Revelation of God – which we celebrate on January 6 is celebrated on the 19th of January.
Armodoxy, cuts through the conversion tables and date calculations and presents a very simplified – even more meaningful – proclamation of the date of Christmas. For a Christian, Christ is born every day. Imagine a world in which every day is celebrated as Christmas? The fundamental Faith that was expounded by Jesus Christ was exactly this! You don’t preach one thing, and live another way. You don’t turn on God today and forget about Him tomorrow. Christ is born and in our midst every day. The Christian lives with the celebration of God and man reconciled. The Christian every day strives for the message heralded by the angels on the night of Jesus’ birth, “Peace on Earth and goodwill toward one another.” (Luke 2:14) Looked at it another way, is there a day in our lives when we would not proclaim the Christmas greeting that Christ is born and revealed?
We learn today that Christmas is on December 25 and on January 6, but it also must be on February 11, August 31, September 7, in a word, every day. Armodoxy converts the two days of Christmas one final time to many days, to every day. It is with this understanding that we now proceed into the final days of the Advent season and our journey through it.
Let us pray, Lord God, help us to live as Christians every day of our lives. Celebrations of your birth are important markers on our calendars and reminders of a salvific event. Allow me to live my life so that I am marking every day as a day of celebration of the love you have for me and humanity. Amen.