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Der Samuel's Sermon November 19, 2023

Today’s gospel reading, although is short, nevertheless has a great lesson to convey to us. As you have already heard, today's Gospel reading consists of three main sections: the first one talks about the last days of Jesus' life, the second section is about who would be the greatest among them, and the third section is about those who preach and perform miracles in the name of Christ. I would like to discuss the second section, which talks about greatness. Although the Armenian word is different and gives the right word, which is (մեծ), and if we wanted to translate the word medz it would be big. However, the story is as follows. the disciples gathered with Jesus and began arguing about who among them was the greatest. And Jesus, knowing the problem of their dispute, took a child and standing next to him, said: "Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Because whoever is the least among you all, let him be the greatest."

I am sure that in our own lives, we all have had the same dispute that occurred between the apostles in this story, be it in school, in the family, or in our daily work life, about who is the greatest. Who will be the greatest? When we were children, we wanted to grow up quickly. But today, I'm sure all of us would like to be children again.

For many people, being great means being the owner of an establishment or business. For others, being great means ruling over people. For some, to receive respect from people. And for others, being great means treating people as servants. As you can see, there are many ways and understandings of being great among people.

The greatest one of all time is God himself; however, being great in Christianity has a completely different meaning, and our Lord Jesus Christ describes it with by following statement. "The greatest among you will be your servant" (Matthew. 23:11). As Christians, in everything, we should take our example from Christ and look to his life. Undoubtedly, there will be people around us who really set an example with their lives and deeds, but we are all human and make mistakes. Thus, Christ should be our example because he is the only one who is infallible. It was who came down from his greatness; in other words, he stepped down from his divinity and became a human like us; lived like us. He kept his greatness by serving and helping others like him, and yet he never proclaimed himself to be great. Through his deeds, he showed what greatness is and what is the way to achieve greatness. It is understandable when we want to be great in our life, business, or social life, but we cannot achieve that greatness without any effort and hard work. In order to gain that greatness, we cannot harm people. To gain greatness, we cannot disrespect and humiliate people. Look at history; all those who really served the people, felt the people's pain, and tried to be useful were the greats of history, and people made them great through history. It doesn’t mean you are great when people respect you because they are afraid of you. Fear

I pray that we learn lessons from this narrative and try to incorporate it into our lives. Let's try to change our life, realizing that change begins when we behold Christ and not man, and we see the life lived by Christ. Because we all make mistakes, but God will never make mistakes. By looking at him, by looking at the lives of the saints, we can bring our Christian life onto the right path.

Finally, I would like to close today's sermon with the following verse: "All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted" (Matt. 23.12). Let us live our lives with humility and meekness and let God himself perform his greatest works through us from eternity to eternity. Amen.

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