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The first in a series of Easter Week reflections from a Middle Eastern perspective by regular Ekklesia contributor Dr Harry Hagopian. These talks (see MP3 below) are being broadcast by Premier Christian Radio, and are reproduced with their cooperation.
Christians from both the Eastern and Western traditions came together on Sunday to celebrate Holy Easter and proclaim the Feast of the Resurrection. As we are reminded in First Corinthians, chapter 15, both the sting and victory of death have been vanquished by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. This is a truly liberating message!
In my own Armenian Christian tradition, the period of Lent that leads to our New Covenant with God is sealed by the sacrifice, death and resurrection of Christ. It remains a season when we focus on our spiritual journey and spend time contemplating our common faith, the Church, baptism, salvation, sin, death and life beyond death.
But it is also a time when we think of our earthly journey as followers of Christ and as sons and daughters of a nation - Armenia - that has endured many struggles and sacrificed many lives for the sake of its people’s Christian faith.
In this joyful season, I hope we can examine whether we are truly imitating Christ. Do our lifestyles really honour the memory of all Christians across centuries who were martyred for our faith?
So let me wish you today an Armenian Haryav ee Merelots! Orhnial e Haroutiune Chrstosi! Or translated into English, Christ has risen from Death! Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ!
© Harry Hagopian is an international lawyer, ecumenist and EU political consultant. He also acts as a Middle East and inter-faith advisor to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales and as Middle East consultant to ACEP (Christians in Politics) in Paris, and he is a regular Ekklesia contributor (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/HarryHagopian). Formerly, he was Executive Secretary of the Jerusalem Inter-Church Committee and Executive Director of the Middle East Council of Churches. He is consultant to the Campaign for Recognition of the Armenian Genocide (UK) and author of The Armenian Church in the Holy Land. Dr Hagopian’s own website is www.epektasis.net