10114Malankara World Journal Christmas Special Issue 184
- Dec 23, 2013Malankara World Journal Issue 184, Christmas Special
The Malankara World Journal Issue 184 Christmas (Yeldho Feast) Special is available online at:
TABLE OF CONTENTS Issue No: 184
Christmas (Yeldho Feast) Special
1. Bible Readings for Christmas (December 25)
Bible Readings For Yeldo / Incarnation of our Lord (Christmas)
2. Sermons for Christmas (December 25)
Sermons for Christmas
3. Inspiration for Today: Bethlehem's Babe
Long ago, You looked down and gave the world its most prized possession. Bethlehem's babe, Jesus, born in a manger - what a humble, yet extraordinary beginning! Lord, my heart will be Your Bethlehem, where You can place Your throne. You're welcome in my home anytime. ...
4. Featured: Christmas Message from HH - The Patriarch
We are at the threshold of Christmas and New Year. With the Mother of God we should also proclaim, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior" (St. Luke 1:46, 47). God looked with favor the humility and gentleness of Blessed Mother Mary. From her, behold the Savior was born, with the same attributes of her, who declared in His public ministry, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (St. Matthew 11:29). Christmas is a time for all of us to learn from Our Lord, to learn the humility and gentleness of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, and to find comfort in Him, in a world of war and restlessness. ...
5. Solemnity of The Nativity of The Lord by Pope Benedict XVI
"God stoops down." This is a prophetic word. That night in Bethlehem, it took on a completely new meaning. God's stooping down became real in a way previously inconceivable. He stoops down - he himself comes down as a child to the lowly stable, the symbol of all humanity's neediness and forsakenness. God truly comes down. He becomes a child and puts himself in the state of complete dependence typical of a newborn child. The Creator who holds all things in his hands, on whom we all depend, makes himself small and in need of human love. God is in the stable. ..
6. God's Greatest Gift
In the Old Testament only one person once a year could come into the presence of God, and then only after elaborate washing rituals and sacrifices. But now God takes on flesh and people could walk right up to him and touch him, talk to him, interact with him face-to-face! And yet the vast majority of people who encountered Jesus during his earthly life had no idea they were encountering God with us.
At this point you may be thinking, "That's great for them, but Jesus is no longer walking the earth. How is God with us now that Jesus is gone?" Would you believe that there is something even better than Jesus dwelling WITH his people? ...
7. Disturbing Christmas: The Manger and the Horrors of the Cross
The days before Christmas can be a tiring season of preparation, planning, shopping, and wrapping. But I think as we prepare for the Christmas celebrations, dinners, travel, and gift giving, it's equally important that we pause and prepare our souls for Christmas.
During this time of year, it may be easy to forget that the bigger purpose behind Bethlehem was Calvary. But the purpose of the manger was realized in the horrors of the cross. The purpose of his birth was his death.
Or to put it more personally: Christmas is necessary because I am a sinner. The incarnation reminds us of our desperate condition before a holy God. ..
8. Prayer: The Messiah Was Born in Bethlehem
Syriac Orthodox Liturgy
Christmas - Evening Service
9. A Love That Breathes, Bridges, and Brings Beauty
The story of Christmas - the story of the birth of Jesus - is the story of life, of hope, of freedom. The beautiful and mysterious intersection of humanity's depravity and Divinity's provision. A complex invasion of darkness by light. By love. By a love that breathes and bridges and brings beauty. ...
10. A Divine Birth Announcement
When God announced the birth of His Son, whom did He tell first? It seems likely that he would have started with Caesar Augustus. He could have sent the angel Gabriel to appear in Caesar's court and announce, "Check this out, buddy. You are not God! The Savior of the world has arrived!"
Or He might have had Gabriel appear to the religious leaders and say, "Wake up! The Messiah has been born! The One you talk about, the One you pray for - He is here!"
But that didn't happen. Instead, God first announced the birth of Jesus to shepherds. ...
11. The Low Road
Egyptians were scholars, not shepherds; they elevated the life of the mind, not the management of animals. And their attitude foreshadowed the upper classes in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus' birth. It was beneath the dignity of the Pharisees and Sadducees to dirty their hands and robes, wrangling sheep day and night. So why do you think God chose shepherds to receive the first announcement of the birth of His Son in Bethlehem? ...
12. Christmas Fears
I've been reading the first two chapters of the Gospel of Luke this month as I prepare my heart for Christmas. And I found something that surprised me. In the one hundred and thirty-two verses of those two chapters, an angel tells three different main characters to not be afraid.
He tells Zechariah not to fear because his prayer has been heard.
He tells Mary not to fear because God has a surprise for her (quite the understatement, don't you think?).
And he tells the shepherds not to fear because he's here to announce a great and joyful event.
I think I underestimate the part that fear plays in my life. ...
13. Why the Angels Worshiped at Christmas
Biblically speaking, angels were frightful creatures, not because they were ugly but because of the strangeness of an encounter with a heavenly being. The most common response, throughout the Bible, to such an encounter was fear. Nearly every episode resulted in the human falling prostrate before his visitor. Thus, we hear the frequent refrain, "Fear not." In the book of Revelation, the picture becomes more frightening as the angels of God's avenging wrath await release. Clearly, angels are not to be taken lightly. ...
14. The Unspeakable Gift
Long ago, there ruled in Persia a wise and good king. He loved his people. He wanted to know how they lived. He wanted to know about their hardships. Often he dressed in the clothes of a working man or a beggar, and went to the communities of the poor. No one whom he visited suspected that he was a wealthy, educated man, let alone their ruler. ...
15. Malankara World Advent and Christmas Supplements
To learn more about the spiritual significance of Christmas and Advent Season Malankara World has created special supplements so you can read all about them in depth. Click below to visit:
Malankara World Christmas Supplement
Malankara World Advent Supplement
We also invite you to read the Malankara World Journal Special on Christmas in 2012 (Issue 115). You can read it from our archives here:
Malankara World Journal Christmas Special - Issue 115 - December 23, 2012
16. Family Special: Three Steps to Making the Most of Your Relationships During the Holidays
Even in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it's important to remember that the real gifts we've been given boil down to our relationship with God and with others. Let's seek to make the most of our relationships this year and always. ..
17. Unexpected Gifts
My friend, so frequently this time of year we race from store to store, and from party to party, and we tear open present after present. But, isn't our motivation for giving often concern that the other person may bring us something and we don't want to be caught empty handed? ...
18. About Malankara World
Read all the articles and features in this week's Malankara World Journal online at:
Thank you for your support and help.
In HIS Service
Dr. Jacob Mathew
Malankara World Journal