Celebrating The God Who Makes His Home With Us
The sad wilted branches of our family Christmas tree always embarrassed me growing up. All the other families on the block threw their Christmas trees out the day after Christmas, but not the Tovmassians. No, our Christmas tree stood proud and pathetic all the way through January 7th – a dangerous fire hazard for our whole household (and potentially our whole block).
If you’re Armenian, certainly you know the reasoning behind this odd and unusual practice. Every year, on January 6th, Armenians all around the world celebrate Armenian Christmas. We greet each other with the words Քրիստոս ծնաւ եւ Յայտնեցաւ (The Christ is Born and Revealed) to remind each other of God’s Good News.
The Gospel writer John makes a bold announcement:
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us!”
This is the message of Good News and great joy that Armenians celebrate on this blessed holiday.
Think about the importance of our words. With our words, we share our life with one another. We use our words to express ourselves and communicate our passion and joy. We use our words to share pain with one another.
John says, God has expressed Himself to us. He has entered into a conversation with His creation. God Himself has communicated His will to us – shared His passion and His joy. Even His pain, his lament over our mess and our sin has been shared with us; and it has been done in the flesh – in a man we have met. The Word became flesh in Jesus of Nazareth.
John celebrates what this Good News means for the world. In Jesus, we have seen the glory of God. In Jesus, we have received unimaginable grace and have been invited to know God deeply and intimately. We know that God is full of faithful love and generous in His grace because Christ was Born and Revealed among us. In the life of this man Jesus of Nazareth, God has made Himself known to us and that’s what Armenian Christmas is all about!
Քրիստոս Ծնաւ եւ Յայտնեցաւ – Christ is born and revealed
Ձեզի Մեզի Մեծ Աւետիս – Good News to us all!
Good News indeed!