Third Sunday of Assumption

Sunday Messenger

August 30, 2020

Third Sunday of Assumption

The Storm and the Cross

When Mark tells the story of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee, any reader from the first century would have recalled other places in Scripture where the sea was mentioned and what it represented. The story of the exodus when the Hebrews passed through to the other side of the Red Sea on their way to the Promised Land would have come to mind, as well the story of Jonah, and not to mention the story of creation itself in which the world emerged from the dark chaos of the waters (Genesis 1:2). The sea then, was considered a place of darkness, chaos, and evil. It represented death and sin. Even the hymns of the Armenian Church maintain this imagery:

The sea of my sins tosses me about. You, the good Captain: grant me a harbor, O Father almighty. (Զերծո զիս)

And so, through Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee, a storm that threatened the very lives of the disciples with death, we see the Cross. Through the Cross, the power of darkness, sin, and death has been broken. Out of chaos, Jesus brings healing. Out of sin, he grants redemption. And out of death, he gives eternal life. Stepanos Siwnetsi commenting on the cause of our storms wrote,

The movement and turbulence signifies the turbulence of the souls and the tempest produced by Satan…the sea agitated and shaken by impiety and idolatry.

Thankfully, the Church, with Jesus as the Head, or Captain, directs us and gives us the means of stilling the storm, through repentance and the sacraments. And so we must confess our sin as did St. Gregory of Narek when he prayed, “Calm my stormy seas with your tree of life, the cross.” Also, prayerfully reflect on the following words from one of the hymns of the Armenian Church:

The sea of my life ever tosses me about. The enemy rises up against me like violent waves. Good Captain, be a refuge for my soul. I am about to go under; help me, good Captain. For the burden of sin has grown heavy upon me. God, hurry to help me! For the depths of evil are pulling me down the abyss. But you, be my Captain and stretch out your hand to me. Save me from danger, from the ship breaking up in the waves of the sea. For I am perishing from the error of my sins. (Ծով կենցաղոյս)


2Corinthians 1: 1-11 (pages 162-163) New Testament
Mark 4: 35-41 (page 35) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)
Isaiah 9: 8-19 (pages 689-690) Old Testament

“LORD, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night….” (Nehemiah 1:5-6). Prayers are requested for Ethel Terzian, Taron Poghosyan, Alice Charles & Theodora Mirakian.

CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)

Sunday 9/13: First Day of Church School
Sunday 9/20: Class of 2020 Church School Graduates Ceremony


There is no Church services on Sunday, August 30 or Sunday, September 6, as Fr. Hakob will be away.

The Church, however, will be open on both of those days from 10:00 a.m to 11:00 a.m, for those who would like to pray and/or light candles.