We were blessed to celebrate with our local Armenian Orthodox church the commemoration of 100 years since the Armenian Genocide. The night was entitled, "Mercy and truth will meet. Justice and peace will kiss" In 1915 over 1 million men, women, and children had their lives on earth taken from them, but gained eternal life in heaven as they intercede for us as martyrs before the Throne of God.
The choir of martyrs has expanded in recent months beyond our sister church in Armenia to include those of the Coptic and Ethiopian churches as well as many Christians in Iraq and Syria that are persecuted daily for their faith. We pray that the Risen Christ who gave them victory over death grants His peace to the entire world. We also pray earnestly for those who persecute Christians, seeking their forgiveness. May the Lord open the eyes of their hearts to see the Truth and receive Him.
During the period of Lent and the Passion Week, it is very common for us to feel that we have grown very close to God and that we have gained virtues during this period. We may feel like we were able to push the world out of our lives for this period and focus only on Christ. People take the time as a time for repentance. A time to bring the body into subjection. A time to let the spirit grow while the fleshly desires are diminished.
The problem, however, that many of us face is that once this period is over, we tend to revert back to our old ways. Sometimes we may even swing the pendulum even farther back in the wrong direction! We feel like we’ve worked so hard and so this should be our time to kick back and relax. We say to ourselves, even the church tells us to relax. There is no fasting even on Wednesdays and Fridays and there is no metanias.
How then are we supposed to approach this period in the Church calendar? How can we make it one that is distinct from the other periods, but still allows us to gain something substantial? The first and most important thing to understand is that every period of the church has a different thing highlighted, but they all have the same focus-Christ
The resurrection of the Lord Jesus is one of the most important Christian doctrines, upon which many other doctrines depend. It is a great miracle and a unique event, like the virginal birth of Christ. Such event hasn’t happened in history and will not happen in the future: a person rising from the dead by His own will and power as He foretold prior to his death.
Christ’s Resurrection Proves His Divinity
He rose because He is God, and because He is God He rose by His own authority since it is obvious that the dead person is normally not able to rise by himself. It proves His divinity since death is a consequence of sin and its punishment, while Christ alone is holy, pure, perfect and sinless; therefore death has no power over Him. Therefore, since He died voluntary and willingly, for our salvation, He also rose by His will and authority. St. Paul emphasized this fact by saying, “… and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” (Rom 1:4)