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Der Samuel's Christmas Sermon - January 6, 2024

Today is a special day for the Armenian Apostolic Church as it was on December 25 for other churches worldwide because we are celebrating the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I’m sure we all know the story of the birth of baby Jesus.

Generally, when we read the story of the birth of Christ, we don’t focus too much on the details. But today, let's go deeper into the narration and see under what conditions our savior was born. As we know from the bible when the days of giving birth were approaching, the Virgin Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem, but since there was no place to stay in hospitals at that time, they had to remain in a stable, and there, the baby Jesus was born. After giving birth, they did not put him in the bed; instead, they put him in the manger. He was not wrapped in soft cloths, but they swaddled him. It was heated not by fire, but by the breath of animals.

He did not complain; he did not say that I am God, I am a king, and therefore, I should have a birth worthy of a king. No, he wanted it most humbly. By his birth, he wanted to teach us that greatness lies in humility, not position or wealth. Nowadays, we have almost everything, or at least we can have it, yet we are not happy. From the birth of Jesus, we must learn to be thankful for what we have.  Do you know the reason for his birth? To save us from sin. To bring peace into the world, to teach us how to love. To give us hope.

Christmas signifies the embodiment of hope. The birth of Jesus brought hope to a world in need. In the midst of darkness, a light was born, a light that signifies hope for all humanity. One of the keys to continuing this life is to have hope. It’s hard to live without hope. In other words, hope gives us a reason to live. And Jesus, by his birth, gave us that reason to continue our lives.

The birth of Jesus heralds a message of hope—a hope that pierces through despair and darkness. It’s a beacon that illuminates our paths, guiding us toward a future filled with promise and the possibility of a better tomorrow, a better future, and a better life.

There is no doubt that Christ's birth was an expression of his love for humanity. After all, Christ was born to save us from our sins while living in this world. He was born so we could be born with him with a new, pure soul and heart. He was born to show what true love is. To love not only our relatives, our friends, or our family members, but everyone. To love without expectations, without conditions. It is true if we read the Bible, we will see that the promised people were only the Jewish people, but with the birth of Christ, with the New Covenant, God wanted to prove through his only begotten Son that this love is for everyone, for all humanity, believers, or non-believers. As we celebrate Christmas, let us also embody this love by showing kindness, compassion, and generosity to others and those around us by how we live. It remains for us to share the fruits of that love with everyone, to convey to everyone the love that Jesus conveyed to us at his birth.

As we celebrate Christmas, let us remember that the true essence of this day lies not in material gifts but in the gift of hope, love, and peace that Jesus Christ brought into the world. May we carry these virtues in our hearts today and throughout the year. Let us spread Joy, kindness, and goodwill to all those around us, reflecting the true spirit of Christmas.

I want to end my sermon with a prayer. - Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate today. Help us embrace the hope, love, and peace that He brings into our lives. May our actions reflect His teachings, and may we be a source of light and love to others. Amen.

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