“So They Set Out”
“One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, Let us go across to the other side of the lake. So they set out” Luke 8:22.
Jesus asks his disciples to take the boat to “go across to the other side of the lake”. They set out. As they reach the middle of the lake, they are caught in a terrible storm and the disciples are terrified. “Master, we are perishing,” they cry. Jesus calms the storm and says to his disciples, “Where is your faith?”
The shepherds are also “filled with fear” when “the angel of the Lord appeared to them”. The angel calms them down and says “Fear not”. The shepherds then decide to “go over to Bethlehem” in search of the “Star”.
The three wise men, too, are “caught” by Herod as they are on their way to search for the “Star”. Their inquiry “troubled” Herod and “all Jerusalem with him”. Nevertheless, they “went on their way” until they reach the place where the “child was”.
Similarly, we all face many challenges as we “set out” to live our daily lives. The Middle East is in the midst of great storms, uncertainties, and fear. The whole world is plagued with unprecedented economic, social and political unrest. How do we tackle these challenges? Where and how can we find peace?
In the Scriptures! The latter puts it explicitly: Peace is the natural consequence of faith. Faith will calm our anxieties. It will remove fear from our hearts. It will provide tranquility in times of uncertainty. What is really important though is to follow the Star that will take us to the place where the child is. It is the place where the Word became flesh and dwelt in us, Emmanuel.
The Armenian nation has been through many trials and trying experiences; however, our ancestors did not lose their Faith when they were forced to “set out” on their journey into the unknown. They maintained their Faith at the cost of martyrdom, having the assurance of the Resurrection. They followed the Star, the Christmas, the start of a life which culminated in Easter, the Resurrection.
Kristos dsenav yev haydnetsav. A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.