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Der Samuels Sermon - September 24th, 2023

Before I start my sermon, I want to speak briefly about Artsakh. As you know these past few days have been hard for Armenians all over the world because our brothers and sisters in Artsakh are in danger because Azerbaijan is bombing unarmed people and forcing them to give up their land and everything, they have built all these years. So, I will ask you and those who are watching our Badarak to pray for our brothers and sisters in Artsakh and ask God to help them and give them strength so they can continue their fight for justice, for our Homeland Artsakh.

In today’s Bible readings, there was a reading from the Old Testament. The passage that I will read is taken from the book of Isaiah chapter 14, verses 12-17, and it says the following. “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. “Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, Who made the world as a wilderness And destroyed its cities, Who did not open the house of his prisoners? (Isaiah 14.12-17).

I don’t know if ever heard or read this passage, but it speaks about Satan. I will give you a brief detail about Satan. He was an angel before, and his name was in Armenian Arousiag. In this passage, the prophet Isaiah gives the example of Satan, who became proud and rebelled against God. He wanted to be more powerful than God, seeking to exalt himself above the creator (God). And you see what happened at his end. He fell to Hell.

Satan was Prideful.

In the story of creation, Adam and Eve wanted to be like God. As you see, pride has been a root cause of sin from the very beginning. One of the Church Fathers speaking about the sins said the following. – “The Pride is the mother of all sins”. In the same way, sometimes we are living too. We want to be the one who controls everything. We want to be the one who is most powerful. Everyone wants power, everyone wants to control others, and everyone wants to be the boss. While this passage directly addresses a historical figure, it serves as a timeless warning for us. We must reflect on the dangers of pride in our own lives. It can lead to our spiritual downfall, disrupt relationships, and create a divide between us and God. The key to overcoming Pride is humility and humbleness.

We see the examples of humility and humbleness in the whole Bible starting from the prophets, and saints. And of course, the greatest example gave us our Lord himself by humbling himself and descending from his throne to the earth, living like us, as human. Despite being God, he didn’t live in the castle, he didn’t want to be the governor of his time, instead, he explained to us how we can humble ourselves to be exalted in the end.

We must accept the fact that everything we have, including our abilities and accomplishments, are gifts from God. We are but vessels through which His grace flows. Humility allows us to acknowledge our dependence on God. Sometimes I think it’s easy to live in this world, but at the same time, it’s hard. Thanks to God we have almost everything or we can get what we want, but sometimes it’s dangerous because that makes us think that, we did that, we earned all the wealth that we have, we worked hard. And like this it makes us think just ourselves. But the truth is completely different, because God, gave us the ability, health, and everything as a gift. If we start living according to this concept, then we are in the right way and in the right direction we are going.

Once again, I ask you to pray for our brothers and sisters in Artsakh, because, at the same time, they are fighting to live like us. May God protect them, and may God protect us so we can live a peaceful life and glorify the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit forever and ever, AMEN.

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