by Fr. Mardiros Chevian
Nearly 20 centuries ago, as our Lord Jesus Christ walked the streets of cities and towns, seasides and villages of the Middle East, His mission was to proclaim the Good News of Salvation and that “the Kingdom of God is at hand.” He did this by teaching, by preaching, by healing, by sharing meals, by reconciling people to their Creator and to one another.
As he went about this ministry of proclaiming God’s love and presence in human life, He invited people to join Him. The Twelve, the rich young man, Mary Magdalene, Zacchaeus, the 72, and countless young men and women were called to “walk with Him” and then sent out on a mission together to continue His walk, to continue His mission. They took with them no walking stick or traveling bags. They carried only themselves and the message and experience they had of Jesus Christ, who cared so much about them.
Each of us, in our own ministries within the Armenian Church, ordained or lay, must walk with Christ just as those who walked with Him back then. We must go to people who are spiritually hungry and thirsty. We must teach, preach, counsel and comfort our people. We must reach out to children, youth, young adults, single adults, parents, divorced, widowed, elderly. Our ministry (and each of us has one) is to proclaim to our people that “the Kingdom of God is at hand” and to share our experience of God’s love with all those around us. As we “walk the streets” of our local parishes, we too have the opportunity to invite people to follow Christ and to commit their lives to serving God and His Church.
This is called “ministering.” When we relate to people in their joys and sorrows, we are ministering.
When we share our excitement about God and His presence in our lives, we are ministering. When we witness an enthusiasm about who we are and what we are about, people, young and old, will learn not only about who Jesus Christ is, but also what service is all about and why service is an important part of our lives.
St. Nersess Armenian Seminary is dedicated to naming these moments of ministry and to helping our people discern the invitation of our Lord to walk with Him. St. Nersess is dedicated to the proposition that everyone is called to do something special for the glory of God. Each of us in one way or another can help people see and experience God’s call to holiness and service.
Let us all begin to more consciously listen to the invitation to follow Him who calls us to serve.
“For the Son of Man also came not to be served, but to serve. . .” (Mark 10:45).