The Library’s Mission is to inspire the love of God in children; to provide orthodox reference books for parents and teachers; to spread the Word of God and knowledge of the Lord in the individual and the community. The Library provides Orthodox Christian Armenian resources to support and enrich the curriculum as imparted at the community schools and to inspire the Christian spirit of service and leadership throughout the world.
A Review of…
Beside Still Waters: Day by Day Through Lent
Written By: Albert A. Keshgegian
Albert A. Keshgegian, a deacon at Holy Trinity Armenian Church in Pennsylvania, writes: “Great Lent is an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with God […] Lent is a time to turn to the Lord”.
The namesake of the library, Mario Gumushdjian, taught Bible studies on Wednesday evenings to young adults before his passing. One of his most memorable assertions was that, when we miss out on an opportunity to do God’s Will in our lives, God presents us with another to make up for the one we lost; and in that, as children of God, we may see His glory in our lives when we follow Him.
Beside Still Waters gives readers a tangible opportunity, and tools to guide us through the Lenten period of sacrifice. Each day, readers are provided with Scripture, sacred songs and literature from the Armenian Church.
On Tuesday of the Second week, Keshgegian offers the following scripture reading:
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us of our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. My dear children, I write this to you so that you do not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have one who speaks in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys the word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.
– 1 John 1:8-2:6
This reading offers an opportunity to meditate on the Word of God, to learn and to grow, gaining true, Godly wisdom. Recognizing our faults and our patterns of disbelief allows us to change our ways, and turn our strides towards God’s Will.
Each day of Great Lent then, becomes an opportunity to look objectively on our relationship with God; taking steps toward discipline and obedience of God’s commands, made clear by the very word of God.
For if we do not challenge ourselves to the discipline of God, and change entirely, we in turn put ourselves above God’s command in the belief of self-righteousness and therefore, prove ourselves as sinful in the eyes of the Lord.
Who are we to claim we do not sin? That we do not need to sacrifice to atone? Or worse, who are we to claim we do not need, with every fiber of our being, to walk with Him and be in Him?
Jesus sacrificed himself for us; don’t we owe him then, at the very least, to sacrifice and take advantage of the opportunity he gives us to be close to Him?
Wake your spirit and participate, feeling the blessings of God in your life when you submit to His Will, and obey His commands. If you have not given all of yourself, heart and soul, to God this Great Lent, take this opportunity to read Beside Still Waters and give some of God’s time, back to Him.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, […] a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak…
– Ecclesiastes 3: 1-4; 7