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Malankara World Journal Issue 19- August 19 2011- is online

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  • Dr. Jacob Mathew
    The Malankara World Journal Issue 19 (dated August 19, 2011) is now available online at: http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Newsletter/MWNews_19-August-19-2011.htm
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 18 11:19 AM
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      The Malankara World Journal Issue 19 (dated August 19, 2011) is now
      available online at:

      http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Newsletter/MWNews_19-August-19-2011.htm

      Next Sunday (August 21) is the first Sunday following Shunoyo Feast.
      Coming after two consecutive weeks of major feasts, viz.,
      transfiguration (on August 6) and Shunoyo (August 15), this weekend
      provides a short breathing spell before the action picks up again for
      the start of 8-day lent on September 1 and St. Mary's birthday on
      September 8. It is worth mentioning that aside from that of Jesus
      Christ, our church only celebrates the birthdays of two saints, viz.,
      John the Baptist and St. Mary, the mother of God. Both these saints'
      intercession are sought in the beginning of the public celebration of
      our Holy Qurbana.

      The Gospel reading for Sunday, August 21 is Mark chapter 10 vv. 35-45.
      As the disciples walk along with Jesus, a couple of the disciples say,
      "Lord, grant us to sit at your right and your left when you come into
      your kingdom." Those who sit next to the chief are those who share power
      with the chief. In other words, "Lord, when we get you elected Messiah
      and your Kingdom is come, grant us to sit on your Cabinet!"

      One of the reasons for the power and effectiveness of the Bible is that
      the stories depicted in the bible are very realistic. We can feel quite
      at home there even now centuries after it is written! This story of the
      two brothers who just want to grab a seat of honor when Jesus Christ
      establishes His kingdom, on the first glance, is not unreasonable. After
      all, they have left everything and followed Jesus. They walked with
      Jesus along his way. They believed that Jesus was the long-awaited
      Messiah, the great leader who would come in, raise an army, kick out the
      Romans out of Judea, and set up Israel again as the most powerful nation
      in the world.

      It had not been easy walking behind Jesus through Judea for miles and
      miles of rough unpaved footpaths. So, what is wrong with asking Jesus,
      "Lord, when you finally get everything together and win your kingdom,
      let us sit beside you in ruling your realm."

      Remember, the gospels were written many years after the death of Jesus.
      The Mark's gospel is believed to be the oldest. The environment at that
      time influenced the style of writing to some extent. For example, when
      St. Mark was writing his Gospel, the early Church was having a lot of
      trouble with its leaders who were at first very dedicated and
      self-sacrificing, but whose human weaknesses were now beginning to show.
      According to Father Gerry Pierse (Sundays Into Silence: Reflections on
      the Sunday Gospels in the Light of Christian Meditation), "One of the
      ways in which Mark responded to this situation was by portraying the
      disciples in all of their human weakness in his Gospel story. The lesson
      was this: if there was such human weakness amongst the disciples of
      Jesus, should you be surprised to find the same weakness in our present
      leadership - and within yourself? Then, if this weakness is ever
      present, we need to learn to lean more on Jesus than on our own weak
      selves."

      We have the same issues with our leadership today, making Jesus'
      response to the request by the two disciples quite relevant for us.

      Father Gerry continues:

      "The reaction of the other disciples is one of great indignation. Being
      themselves most ambitious, they very much resented the two who tried to
      get an inside track on them in the political race. This is a very human
      story that is still being acted out where human beings work together. It
      is to be found in the army, the government, business, the home and even
      in the Church. The higher up one goes in all of these institutions, the
      more subtle and the more ruthless the protagonists tend to get."

      "Jesus brings them back to the realization that *kingship or authority
      is not about wearing a crown but about carrying a cross.* This often
      forgotten message, learned by Moses when he, the chosen one of God, had
      to bear with such criticism and condemnation from the people, is still
      being learned today by parents, politicians and managers.

      Then Jesus really got to the point. *What is leadership all about? It is
      not about self-glorification, but about the service of, and the
      upliftment and empowerment of others. It is not for lording it over
      others but for standing under others. *For Jesus that is not a
      theoretical teaching; he himself lived it. "For the Son of Man himself
      did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom
      for many."

      Jesus is teaching the disciples the principle known as '*Servant
      Leadership*.' We had covered this topic a few times in the past. It is
      the most important principle you learn from bible apart from the
      principle of unconditional love. Damien Spikereit says that being a
      servant is not sufficinet; the leaders should behave like slaves! He
      explains the servant leaders as follows:

      "But Jesus goes on to say... If you want to be first in my kingdom, then
      you must become a slave. If you want to be great and powerful and be in
      a high standing in my kingdom, you must be a servant, a slave to all.
      Because if you want to go through what I am about to go through, then
      you must serve instead of being served.

      *After all, it's not just leaders who are called to be servants. All
      Christians are called to serve others. All Christians are called to
      think of the interests of others before their own interests. All
      Christians are called to the difficult task of putting the needs of
      others above their own needs. All of us must become servants. *

      But, it is leaders who are to be the example. They are to lead the way.
      They are the ones who are to demonstrate what it means to serve instead
      of being served. To be quite frank, and open.... I am not sure it is
      possible to be a Christian without being a servant. And, I certainly
      know this without doubt.... *you can not be a leader in the church
      without first being a servant*. It's impossible. Now don't misunderstand
      me. I am not saying you can't attain a title, it's possible to have a
      title without being a servant. I might be called a minister, you might
      be called a teacher, or elder, or deacon. We may have the title, but
      having a title doesn't make us a leader. Being a servant, makes us a
      leader. And if we are not servants, then we are not leaders. And if we
      are not servants, then we shouldn't be given the title of a leader.
      Because it is the leaders of the church who are to be the examples of
      servants."

      In this week's Malankara World Journal we have several articles/sermons
      and bible commentaries that describes this concept of servant
      leadership. You can read about them here:

      Sermons and Bible Commentaries for the 1st Sunday after the Shunoyo
      Feast
      <http://www.Malankaraworld.com/Library/Sermons/Sermon-of-the-week_1st-sunday-after-Shunoyo.htm>
      http://www.malankaraworld.com/Library/Sermons/Sermon-of-the-week_1st-sunday-after-Shunoyo.htm

      We also have a classic sermon by Martin Luther king, Jr. (considered to
      be one of the top 5 sermons given by MLK Jr.) that further illustrate
      servant leadership. He calls this 'Drum Major Instinct.' I strongly
      recommend that you read this article as it is quite relevant to our
      church today.

      Servant Leadership is also applicable in our family life as the article
      by Erin Smalley, famous marriage counselor, notes. Drawing from her
      personal experience as well as the experience of her patients, Erin says
      that to have a healthy relationship, the partners should be willing to
      serve each other (Just like our church tells them during the marriage
      sacrament to love each other like Christ did for the church ultimately
      dying for the church.) Erin says: "Honor [or service] is the single most
      important principle I know of for building healthy relationships. It's
      important for a husband and wife to begin applying it toward each other.
      The results of allowing 'honor' to reign can be dramatic and
      life-changing. Honoring your mate and serving your mate is the
      prescription for a healthy marriage. As we serve our spouses, we make
      them feel as if they're the most important thing to us. This is the
      essence of the second greatest commandment, 'Love your neighbor as
      yourself.' (Matthew 22:38). Serving our mate needs to be a decision that
      we make every day." That is what the bible tells us too!

      I recommend that you read all the articles and meditate on the message.
      Read it again. Think of how you can apply these biblical principles in
      your life. You will see a big difference in your life soon.

      *Table of Contents (Issue 19)
      *

      Editor's Note <#Editors>

      Bible Readings for This Sunday <#Bible_Readings>

      Sermons for This Sunday <#Sermons>

      Sage Advice from a Cherokee Elder <#inspiration>

      Pope Recommends Bible For Vacation Reading <#featured>

      The Drum Major Instinct by Martin Luther King Jr. <#article1>

      Chicago's Incredible Floating Rosary <#article2>

      To The Supreme Being <#article3>

      Family/Relationship: Becoming a Great Date <#Health>

      Serendipity: Unhappy people make stupid choices <#article4>

      About Malankara World <#Malankara_World>

      Please tell your friends and acquaintances about MW Journal and
      Malankara World website. Thank you for your support and help.

      http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Newsletter/MWNews_19-August-19-2011.htm

      In HIS Service

      Dr. Jacob Mathew
      Malankara World
      http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/

      Malankara World Journal
      http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Newsletter/

      Hudson, Ohio
      ID No: 956
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