The late Joseph Haroutunian was a Presbyterian theologian who taught at McCormick Seminary in Chicago. As a youth, he immigrated to this country from Armenia. When Joseph arrived, someone took him aside and said, “Joe, your accent is a problem. But you can work on that. Your name, though, is something else. Nobody can spell ‘Haroutunian’ and it will become a handicap to you here in America. Why don’t you change it to something like ‘Harwood’ or ‘Harwell’ — something Anglo-Saxon.
Haroutunian asked, “What do they mean?”
“What do you mean, ‘What do they mean?'”
“Those names, Harwood and Harwell. What do they mean?”
“Well, nothing, I guess. They are just easy to spell.”
“Back in Armenia,” Haroutunian replied, “when my grandfather was baptized, they named him Haroutun, which means ‘resurrection.’ He bore the name of the resurrection, the central event of our Christian faith. When my father was born, they named him Haroutunian, which means son of the resurrection. I am Joseph Haroutunian. And I will be a son of the resurrection all of my days.”
A son of the resurrection, a child of the resurrection. In Luke 20:36, Jesus says, “…they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection.” But what does it mean for us as Christians to be ‘children of the resurrection?’ Yes, Jesus is referring to life eternal. But ‘children of the resurrection’ also has meaning in the here and now. God wants us to be fully alive while we are on this earth…our lives should be characterized by courage, strength, and yes, joy.
As children of the resurrection, the power of Easter becomes a reality in our lives. We live the way Jesus has called us to life. Bottom line is, that if we are children of the resurrection, then we live our lives differently. We love our neighbor as ourselves…no matter who they are or what they believe or how they act…we love them just because they are our neighbor. And we love our neighbor, not just in the abstract, but in the concrete, through our acts of forgiveness and compassion, caring for the sick and the hurting.
We are indeed Children of the Resurrection…may each day reflect that reality!
Grace & Peace,