Following the Example
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifce to God. Ephesians 5:1-2
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
The Bible is the only reference we have that tells us about the nature and character of God as well as His plans for mankind since the beginning of time.
These verses tell us that God is a father, a loving father. He is the father of Jesus and since He created us all He is also the father of the entire creation. Moreover, God loves us all and wants to save us from death to the point where He is willing to see the death of His only begotten son. God is a loving father whose love extends beyond His begotten son to the rest of humanity and we are the beneficiaries of His love.
God’s love for humanity is also manifest in the Old Testament even though the relationship is more restricted there to the people of Israel. As early as the delivery of the Ten Commandments, God promises to love and show mercy to those who love Him and keep His commandments. Even the concept of loving your enemies is found in Proverbs 25:21 where we read “If your enemy is hungry give him bread to eat and if he is thirsty give him water to drink.” More frequently we read this same verse in Romans at the end of Chapter 12 where the Apostle Paul gives a long list of instructions on how to live as a good Christian. God’s love for us takes a totally new dimension in the New Testament where He comes to express that love by making the ultimate sacrifice for us so that we may have life and have it more abundantly.
Can we really follow God’s example of total giving and self-sacrifice, can we really “surrender all” as we often sing in one of favorite hymns? It’s not easy but we can try and we should try. We need to follow God’s example of loving our brothers, neighbors and even enemies and expressing that love by giving them material and moral comfort, by giving food to the hungry, water to the thirsty, and moving beyond their physical needs quenching their thirst for education, knowledge, and Christian spiritual revival.
This is our mission and this has been the mission of the AMAA for almost a full century. 2018 is only a year away and the celebrations have already started. But celebrations and commemorations alone will be meaningless without a resolve to follow the example of the founders and pursue this mission to raise it to a higher level during our second century. This is where the Centennial Campaign comes in with a goal to raise $20 million. The Campaign will enable us to continue our efforts to help the orphans and needy children of Armenia and the families that are struggling in war torn Syria and the border villages of Artsakh. It will help us continue providing education through our day care centers in Armenia and our day schools in Armenia, the Near East and the United States, to build and renovate our Christian Summer Camps in Hankavan, Shushi, the KCHAGs in Lebanon and Syria and Camps Arev and Arevelk in the U.S. And lastly, it will enable us to complete the construction of our church complex in Gyumri, and repair other churches in Armenia as needed.
As we gather to commemorate the birth of our Savior one more time let us remember those who are less privileged than we are and those who are su ering and are in need. Let us follow God’s example of loving and giving and let us do it all in the name of Jesus giving thanks to God the father through Him.
Nazareth E Darakjian, M.D.
President, AMAA Board of Directors