THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
December 4, 2022
Second Sunday of Advent
Scripture and Feast Day Notes
From Today’s Reading
Luke 13:1-9 Jesus refers to two local tragedies: Galilean pilgrims massacred by Pilate and people killed by a collapsing tower. He counters the world view of the time that those whose lives were cut short must have sinned in some way. No indeed! They were no better nor worse than any of us. But the fact that lives may tragically and suddenly end calls all the more for repentance; without skipping a beat, our Lord tells the story of a fig tree which has yet to bear fruit but is spared for one more year. Cultivated and tended it has been given every opportunity to be fruitful. Discuss/reflect: What kind of “death” do you think Jesus refers to in verse 5? What are the different ways your faith has been nourished? What fruit has this produced in your life? If none or little, what are you waiting for?!
I Thessalonians 4:1-11 St, Paul commends the Thessalonians for acknowledging God’s gift of holiness, as a result they shun sexual immorality, exert honorable self-control, and love others as one might a sister or brother. Paul encourages them to love even more expansively. Discuss/reflect: Paul taught this community how to live in order to please God (4:1). Whom do you live to please? How would you live differently if it were God you were aiming to please?
Isaiah 36:22-37:11 Assyria has leveled the Northern Kingdom and is now at Jerusalem’s door, threatening Hezekiah and mocking his God. Yet King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah remain steadfast in their trust in God. Discuss/reflect: God is unequivocal in His response to Hezekiah’s fear, in summary: Do not be afraid! Listen! I have an answer… (37:6-7) Think of a worry or fear of your own. How might these emphatic words comfort you?
Saturday, December 10 is the Feast of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker
From a young age, St. Nicholas (c 270-343) was known for his kind-heartedness and unwavering faith. He was imprisoned during the persecution of Christ ians under Emperor Diocletian and remembered later for his inspiring encouragement to fellow prisoners. As Bishop of Myra, he attended the Council at Nicaea in 325. His moniker “wonderworker” came from the many miracles his prayers and deeds prompted — saving unjustly condemned prisoners, drowning men at sea, and even his city from a terrible famine.But his name is most associated with Christmas and with the boundless love he had for those in need. One well-known legend of his charity concerned the bags of gold he secretly gifted to three very poor girls whose father was about to turn them out of the house. This led to the practice of giving presents to children at Christmas in his name, which itself evolved from St. Nicholas to Santa Claus. The modern day image of Santa also draws from the story of the pagan god Thor who was associated with winter and the Yule log and rode on a chariot drawn by goats named Cracker and Gnasher. Reflection: Explore the life of this remarkable saint. Emulate his loving dedication to the poor, the hungry,and the persecuted.
REQUIEM SERVICES: Hokehankisd today will be for:
- Michael Hajatian Sr. and James Vosbikian on the occasion of their birthdays; requested in loving memory by Michael and Lynn Hajatian & Family
ALTAR FLOWERS AND CANDLES – are lovingly donated today by Michael and Lynn Hajatian and Family.
COFFEE HOUR today is sponsored by Greg and Diane Yazujian in celebration of their Aunt Alice Karabian’s 87th birthday.
PLEASE JOIN US NEXT SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11 as the Men’s Club will be requesting Hokehankisd for the following past executives & members: John Terzian, Harry Mirijanian, Larry Der Hagopian, Richard Weinsheimer, Harry Sarkisian, Mike Hajatian Sr, Roman Radynsky, Rich Kazigian, Butch Kumkumian, Albert Der Pilbosian, Andy Vartanian and Babe Vartanian.
Pastor’s Weekly Zoom Bible Study: Every Wednesday, Fr Hakob will lead us through the Gospel of Matthew; chapter by chapter, we will explore the activities and teachings of our Lord to find the Truth behind the sacred text. We will meet every Wednesday evening from 7:00-8:00. Flyers are available in the narthex. To register and receive the Zoom link, contact email@example.com. As always, beginners are welcome.
REMINDER: According to the Diocesan Bylaws, membership dues are to be paid no later than December 31st each year in order to be a member in “good standing” and to be eligible to vote at the annual assembly. Any monies received after that date will be applied to the new year. For any questions regarding your status, please call the church office.
Seeking Part-time Organists: – The Choir of Holy Trinity is looking for multiple talented musicians who would be seriously interested in playing the organ for the Sunday morning Divine Liturgy (Badarak) on a rotating schedule. Organ lessons will be provided to the interested candidates, along with one-on-one direction from a senior choir person. For further information, contact Karinne Andonian @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
New in the Bookstore: Thanks to the generosity of Sergey Ter-Simonyan, we offer our readers a moving account of one family’s escape from the ethnic cleansing of Armenians in Baku. Written by Livah Babayan, Liminal: A Refugee Memoir takes us into a child’s perspective of war, violence and homelessness. Based on the author’s journal entries, it presents an emotional reflection on the loss of innocence and life after genocide. The memoir gives readers a glimpse of life in America from the point of view of a refugee family—their struggles as newcomers seeking to assimilate with little or no support. It also captures their unwavering faith and sheer determination.
Also new—Three Apples Fell from the Sky by Narine Abgaryan. High in the Armenian mountains, villagers in the close-knit community of Maran bicker, gossip and laugh. Their only connection to the outside world is an ancient telegraph wire and a perilous mountain road that even goats struggle to navigate. Three Apples Fell from the Sky is an enchanting fable sparkling with sumptuous imagery, warm humor and the irresistible joy of everyday friendship. The bookstore is open every Sunday following Badarak; come in and browse.
LOST AND FOUND: Please look at the coat racks in the hallway as we have begun to accumulate miscellaneous pieces of clothing. We will be donating any remaining items to charity in December.