Malankara World Journal Issue 59 is available online
- The Malankara World Journal Issue 59 (March 01, 2012) is available
About two decades ago, I took my family and my visiting cousin from
Kerala for a trip to Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. While there, we
went into a store selling unique Native American collectibles. There was
a unique vase made by an artist who was recently featured in Wall Street
Journal and whose works were in great demand at that time, with price
going through the roof. True to a Native American artist, she signed her
works with an animal symbol, in this case a frog (She was popularly
known as 'Frog Woman.') This store had a one of a kind vase made by this
Frog Woman and her daughter, who signed the work as a 'toad' - baby frog.
I bought that piece as it was a one-of-a-kind collectible (my wife
thought I was crazy to do so.) and brought it home and stored safely.
About 10 years later, we bought a new house and moved all our
possessions to the new house. All the collections were carefully packed
and moved. One day, my wife came to me and said, " I have some bad news
for you. I know how much crazy you are about a piece of art.
Unfortunately, it broke on transit. I asked which piece was that. She
didn't want to say first. Later said it is the work of the Frog and Toad.
When I read the sermon titled "The Unreality of God," by the Rev. Dr.
Robert Dykstra from Princeton, winner of the Alfred P. Klausler Sermon
Award, and his narration of the story of the broken Steuben Glass Vase,
I knew exactly how the landlady felt when she learned that her beloved,
one of a kind, irreplaceable, masterpiece was broken. Please be sure to
read that sermon:
(It is one of the best in my opinion.)
We will be into the third week of Great lent this weekend. This Sunday,
we will reflect on Jesus healing the paralytic. Last week, we talked
about the healing of the leper. We learned that leprosy was a dreaded
disease because you are thrown out of the community and has to live a
segregated life away from the main stream. So, the person suffers severe
emotional pain in addition to the physical pain. Jesus showed compassion
to the leper and healed the emotional pain too. The same thing happens
to us when we sin. We are separated from God when we sin. So, the
healing involves both physical healing and spiritual healing too. In
today's miracle, Jesus proclaims that he has authority to forgive sin
and, thus, heal the whole person.
In the last week's healing of the leper, the healing came as a result of
direct prayer to Jesus by the patient. In this week, the patient could
not help himself. The initiative was taken by his friends. So, we can
say that this is an example of intercessional prayer. (Read more about
intercessional prayer in our lesson from the School of Prayer today.)
I am impressed by the persistence and tenacity of the friends of the
patient. They just do not give up! They faced many obstacles on the path
that would have turned most people back. They had to carry the person
for a long distance. They could not enter the house because it was jam
packed with people. Most of the people would have given up
('paralyzed'). Not them. They were 'out of the box' thinkers. 'There has
to be a way,' they thought. They thought about the roof. But the roof
was made like a terrace. Flat roof, made with baked clay reinforced with
wood frames. The mud was hardened like concrete so people can walk on it
or use it for drying grain. Cutting it is very difficult and would
require specialty tools that these people didn't possess. They still
were not 'paralyzed.' They managed to find a way to dig a hole big
enough on the roof just above where Jesus sat and lowered their
paralyzed person in front of Jesus.
There was no need for any further explanation. Action speaks louder than
words. Jesus was impressed by 'their faith.' He accepted their intercession.
When Jesus talked of prayer, he said we should pray unceasingly. Pray
continuously and do not give up. These people showed the best example of
intercessional prayer. They believed and they will not be stopped till
they get what they wanted. Jesus answered their prayer.
When we pray, we often get discouraged fast. We think that something is
impossible based on our realty. We forget that, 'with God, nothing is
impossible.' The broken Steuben Glass Vase can be rebuilt if we search
for a way to do it. Like Dr. Dykstra says:
'Our realities are so small, yours and mine. Our realities are, "You
can't fix broken crystal," or "Nerve cells don't regenerate," or "You'd
better turn back since there's such a crowd around Jesus," or "You can't
forgive someone's sins unless they've sinned specifically against you."
These realities are true, yes. True, but too small.'
Our focus article talks about dreamers who built the 'American Dream.'
These are the people, like the friend of the paralyzed man, who find a
way to do things and not give up the first time they meet an obstacle.
Enjoy this week's MW Journal.
Table of Contents Issue No: 59
1. Editor's Note
2. Bible Readings for This Sunday (March 4)
Third Sunday of Great Lent (M'shariyo/ Paralytic-Palsy Sunday)
3. Sermons for This Sunday (March 4)
4. Inspiration for Today
"I am the Lord who sanctifies you."
5. Featured: America, Keep Rewarding Your Dissidents
This is the greatness of America and why this country leads the world:
Disagreements and debates are cherished. Challenging the norms, thinking
outside the box, and questioning those in power is encouraged and
celebrated. The louder you speak the more prominence and respect you are
given. Society's heroes aren't merely revolutionaries or political
figures, but opinionated, non-conformist entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs
and Mark Zuckerberg. ...
6. Book Excerpt: With Christ In the School of Prayer - Lesson 26:
Christ, the Intercessor
The Christian life is no longer the vain struggle to live right, but the
resting in Christ and finding strength in Him as our life, to fight the
fight and gain the victory of faith. .. It is the sight of Jesus in His
intercession that gives us power to pray in His Name: all right and
power of prayer is Christ's; He makes us share in His intercession. ...
7. The Key to Effective Prayer
The key to effective prayer is getting our will in alignment with God's
will. Nothing lies outside the reach of prayer, except that which lies
outside of the will of God. ...
8. St. Paul's Prayer Fellowship
A weekly prayer fellowship via teleconference on Tuesdays at 7 PM (US
9. Pursue God in Life's Quiet Moments
How much do you really know God? You may have accumulated a lot of
information about Him, but knowing God personally is different. Getting
to know God personally requires spending time with Him often. There's
always more to learn about God, and the best way to do that is by
pursuing God in life's quiet moments, free of distractions. Here's how
you can use quiet moments to get to know God better. ...
10. The Greatest Love
There is no greater love than what Jesus did for us on the cross. He
laid down His life so that all would have the opportunity to be clean,
pure, and blameless before God the Father.
11. Spicy Tomato Salsa Recipe
This is a spicy salsa recipe more in tune with our taste. Add more
spices, if desired, to your taste. For example, add more pepper or chili
powder to make it HOT.
12. Family: Talking Sex with Kids - What Dads Wish They Could Tell Their
While most dads hate to talk to their teenage daughters about sex and
relationships, Dr. Kenneth Ryan, father of three girls, never runs away
from the talk. As a relationship expert, he seeks to help parents have
normal, comfortable conversations about these important life topics. No
one feels the pain of a bad boyfriend more than the dad so start talking
before she has a boyfriend - before her mind turns to mush.
13. Humor: Who Reads Newspapers?
14. 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
ID No: 956