Dear Sunday School families,
Armenians have a history of making bold stands for their Christian faith.
Today, we celebrate the Feast of Vartanank or Sts. Vartanants day. In 451, Armenians went to battle against the powerful Persian army to fight for their religious freedom. Led by General Vartan Mamigonian, the Armenians were resisting a Persian decree to renounce Christianity and (re)embrace Zoroastrianism.
The Armenians won the Battle of Avarayr decisively, although they were greatly outnumbered by the Persians. While Vartan Mamigonian died at Avarayr, his nephew Vahan continued to lead the resistance against the Persians and eventually negotiated the Treaty of Nvarsag, which granted religious freedom to the Armenian people.
It just so happens this year that Poon Paregentan immediately follows Vartanants. Paregentan, or the Day of Good Living, is the Armenian version of Fat Tuesday, in which we remember the riches and bounty that Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden of Eden before the expulsion.
Throughout the rest of Lent we experience life “outside of the garden,” apart from God, away from His grace. Not only do we fast from rich foods, a black curtain blocks our view of the altar (hope), there is no communion (grace & forgiveness) and there is no kiss of peace (reconciliation & joy). All of these things illustrate to us how abysmal our lives would be without God.
On Easter, we once again experience the good life, having been reconciled to God through Jesus’ death and resurrection. The beautiful altar, the kiss of peace, communion, yes, even choreg and lamb! Reminders of God’s abundant love for us and the hope that we have in Christ.
This, my friends, is what the Vartanank fought and died for. They had experienced the richness of a life spent with God, basking in His grace. They recognized the sacrifice that Jesus made and held strongly to their hope in Him. They would rather give up their lives than live “outside of the garden.”
“Do not be afraid little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” – Luke 12:32
Looking forward to celebrating the good life with you all at our Paregentan party on Sunday!
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It’s never too late to enroll your child in Sunday School! All children age 3 through Grade 12 are welcome to participate! Below is the 2017-2018 calendar and be sure to check the Sunday School page for more information.
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