Malankara World Journal Issue 65 is available online
- The Malankara World Journal Issue 65 (March 22, 2012) is available
Today (March 20) is the first day of Spring in North America. Usually,
we have 10-15 feet of snow piled up at the end of our driveway at this
time of the year. Normally, it does not get cleared till April.
This year, it is amazing! We had practically no snow. The temperatures
had been in the seventies and even approaching 80s - something we don't
see till June usually. Deer is out in full force eating the grass. The
Great Lakes, usually frozen solid in winter, didn't freeze this year.
It is spring/summer all around us. The magnolias are already in bloom.
Cherry blossoms are out already. In our back yard, hyacinths have nearly
finished blooming and dahlias are in full bloom. The peonies, which
typically bloom in June, is already off the ground. All around us,
things are growing. However, for people suffering from allergy and
asthma, this is not a good time. The pollen count, which normally is
around 2000 at this time of the year, is now over 9000 making it a real
miserable time for them. Is there a spiritual lesson in all these?
Laura MacCorkle, one of my favorite writers, wrote in her devotional today:
"If they could talk, I'm sure many of the flowers around us this first
day of spring might say something in this refreshing season of the year.
They're in the midst of a growth spurt. What was once hidden from the
human eye is now bursting through sometimes rocky and root-filled ground
and ready to realize its full potential. I'm sure it's not exactly an
entirely pleasant growing process either, even though it eventually
yields a glorious beauty that can be appreciated by all and undoubtedly
points to the master Creator.
I dare say it's similar to the Christian walk, is it not? Usually the
times of growth in our lives are painful and involve traveling through a
dark valley. And then there's usually a turning to the Lord. It's just
what we do as humans. When we hurt, when we are pressed upon, when we
experience discomfort in our lives, we cry out and turn to our Creator.
Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my
distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer (Psa. 4:1).
I've called out in this manner many, many times in my life. And although
I wasn't immediately delivered from whatever difficult circumstances I
was going through at the time, I knew that God was with me, working in
me and walking right beside me as I made my way along the valleys.
Pastor Tony Evans of "The Alternative" radio broadcast ministry reminds
"If you're in emotional turmoil, know by faith the Lord is with you. And
know that means that his power is there and his grace is there. And what
they will do is comfort you. . . . There is a valley that God calls us
to walk through. . . . What I can promise you is that in the valley of
the shadow . . . that you don't have to walk through alone . . . God
will be with you and if you will cast your eyes on Jesus Christ, he will
meet you where you are. So you keep walking. You don't throw in the
towel . . . you don't walk this road alone."
When we go through valleys in life, we are changed because this is by
God's design. And our victories point to the One who has brought us
through. Praise God for the new life he gives us through Jesus Christ!
And praise him that he doesn't give up on us as we continue growing in him!"
As David said in Psalm 23, when we go through the valley of death, we do
not have to be afraid, because, God is with us. When we partake on the
passion of Jesus Christ in less than 2 weeks, let us keep that in mind.
The suffering today will be turned into joy tomorrow for those who trust
in God. And nothing is impossible to God as angel Gabriel reminded Mary
when he revealed her role in the God's plan for the redemption of mankind.
This week, Pope Shenouda III, spiritual leader of the Egyptian Coptic
Church since 1971 and a president of the World Council of Churches (WCC)
from 1991 to 1998, died at the age of 88. Pope Shenouda III held the
ancient office of Pope of Alexandria. He was a successor to Saint Mark
the Evangelist who, according to tradition, brought the gospel of Jesus
Christ to the great Mediterranean city in the first century A.D.
"As a leader he taught us that modesty is the best way to serve Christ,"
said WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.
Malankara World readers are familiar with the excellent scholarship of
Pope Shenouda III. We had featured several of his articles in the past.
There is another one of his articles included in the next issue of the
MW Journal. We convey our deep condolences to our Coptic Orthodox
brethren on this big loss.
Table of Contents Issue No: 65
1. Editor's Note
2. Bible Readings for This Sunday (March 25)
This Sunday, our Holy Church celebrates two events. It is the sixth
Sunday of the Great Lent. Hence the Lectionary Reading is the Jesus
Healing the Blind Man. This is the last of the miracles recalled during
the Great Lent.
On March 25, the Holy Church also celebrates a very important feast. It
is the day of the Annunciation to St. Mary. ...
3. Sermons for This Sunday (March 25)
Sixth Sunday of Great Lent- Samiyo/ The Blind
Annunciation to St. Mary
4. Inspiration for Today
5. Featured This Week: Lovely Lady
This article is an all-time favorite of mine. In a storytelling style,
the author tackles difficult topics in Christology, Mariology, Faith and
Mystery. It is easy to read and very captivating. A must read as we
approach one of the most important feasts honoring St. Mary, the Mother
of God - annunciation.
Dorothy' poem assumes the most fundamental of human relationships, that
of mother with child, and then assumes from there all of the normal
emotions for God that inform human childhood. What the prayer does, in
other words, is almost naively, but very persuasively, give us a God who
has an emotional life. Such a daring feat becomes a shocking one when it
is pulled out and articulated for what it is, but buried in the
innocence of a small poem, such a feat becomes a shrewd and small, but
mighty, miracle. ...
6. Book Excerpt: In the School of Prayer - Lesson 29: Our Boldness in Prayer
One of the greatest hindrances to believing prayer is with many
undoubtedly this: they know not if what they ask is according to the
will of God. As long as they are in doubt on this point, they cannot
have the boldness to ask in the assurance that they certainly shall
receive. And they soon begin to think that, if once they have made known
their requests, and receive no answer, it is best to leave it to God to
do according to His good pleasure. ...
7. Prayer and Love
The deep, sure ground of answer to prayer is God's forgiving love. When
it has taken possession of our hearts, we pray in faith. But also, when
it has taken possession of our hearts, we live in love. God's forgiving
nature, revealed to us in His love, becomes our nature. With the power
of His forgiving love dwelling in us, we forgive just as He forgives. ...
8. Friendship with God
Genesis 18 brings out the delight of true friendship with God, as
compared with simply feeling His presence occasionally in prayer. This
friendship means being so intimately in touch with God that you never
even need to ask Him to show you His will. It is evidence of a level of
intimacy which confirms that you are nearing the final stage of your
discipline in the life of faith. When you have a right-standing
relationship with God, you have a life of freedom, liberty, and delight;
you are God's will. ...
9. Solve 90% of Church Problems Before They Ever Exist
The number one reason most church problems do so much damage is that the
people in the know, those charged with leadership, have not anticipated
these things and done the hard work necessary to head them off. Good
preparation will end most church problems before they arise. Here are 10
rules which, if implemented, can stop the next church split in its
10. Spread the Joy Around
As Christians, we revere God's name. And we've been healed and forgiven.
When God looks at each of us, washed in the cleansing blood of Christ,
he sees something incredible-absolute perfection! We've been "released."
How can any of us consider keeping such news to ourselves? ...
11. Why Do You Go to Church Every Sunday?
A young woman asked her older co-worker: "Why do you go to church every
Sunday? Does something happen there that can't happen somewhere else?
And does it happen every Sunday?" ...
12. Recipe: Potato Mushroom Pie
13. Family: Tending Our Marriage
When I was young, I attended the wedding of an extended family member. I
don't remember much about the ceremony, dancing or food. But I do
remember the terrible fight at the reception. In front of all the
guests, a woman screamed at her husband, broke down in tears and hid in
a corner while her friends consoled her. The man yelled back, threatened
to hit her, then stormed out of the building with his friends. He did
not return that night.
It might shock you to learn that I'm describing the bride and groom. But
it probably will not surprise you to learn that their marriage lasted
less than a month. ...
14. A Lesson in Logic
15. 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