Malankara World

Christmas - The Birthday of Jesus

Christmas - adoration Nativity of Our Lord

What shall we offer You, O Christ,
who for our sakes has appeared on earth
as a man?

Every creature made by You
offers You thanks,
the angels offer You a hymn;
the heavens a star; the magi gifts;
The shepherds, their wonder;
the earth its cave;
the wilderness, the manger;
and we offer You a virgin mother.

O pre-eternal God, have mercy on us!

Nativity Vespers, Mother Melania, The Nativity of Our Lord

His name shall be called Wonderful

The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth. - Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

They shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. - JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

All men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. - God ... hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. - Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come; and hath put all things under his feet. - He had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself ... KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out. - What is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?

ISA. 9:6. John 1:14. -Psa. 138:2. Matt. 1:23. Matt. 1:21. John 5:23. Phi. 2.9. -Eph. 1:21,22. Rev. 19:12,16. Job 37:23. Prov. 30:4.

Man is in as much need of communion with God as God is in need of nothing.
For this is the glory of man: to persevere and remain in the service of God.
Irenaeus, Against the Heresies: The Scandal of the Incarnation

This Christmas, Let Us ...

"This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again." - Howard W. Hunter

Malankara World Advent Supplement

For articles, sermons, daily advent reflections, bible reading plan, prayers, and hymns celebrating the Advent Season, see the Malankara World Advent Supplement.

 

Christmas Messages
Apostolic Message by The Patriarch - 2013

Christmas Message by Archbishop Yeldho Mor Theethose - 2013

Apostolic Message On The Holy Occasion of Christmas by Patriarch of Antioch and all the East (2011)

Christmas Message by Archbishop Yeldho Mor Theetos

Christmas Message - 2012 by HE Dr. Mor Athanasius Elias Metropolitan, Asst. Metropolitan: Thrissur Diocese and Patriarchal Vicar: State of Qatar (Malayalam - pdf)

Christmas Message 2012 from  Rev Fr Jose Daniel Paitel (Malayalm - pdf)

Transform Me. Renew Me. Change Me, Change Us All by Pope Benedict XVI
Homily during midnight Christmas Mass 2009

Christmas Message from HE Mor Gregorios Ibrahim, Aleppo, Syria

Message of Patriarch of Armenian Church on the Feast of Nativity and Epiphany 2011-12

A Christmas Message by Rev. Fr. Joseph Varghese

Christmas Message from Patriarch of Antioch and All The East (2010)

Christmas Message from HH Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and All The East (2009)

Christmas message 2010 from the World Council of Churches General Secretary

Christmas Message 2010 by HE Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim

Heads of Christian churches in Jerusalem issue Christmas Message - 2010

Christmas Sermon - 2010 by Archbishop Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan

Christmas Message - 2010 by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose

Merry Christmas by Rev. Fr. Johnson Punchakonam

Christmas Message LL Paulose Mor Gregoriose (in Malayalam - pdf)

Devotionals
A Christmas Meditation - The Feast of Love
We, as Christians, were told for generations that Christmas is the feast of love. Why do we call Christmas the feast of love? Let us have some thoughts into this question. ...

Why Jesus Really Came
I want you to try and picture those moments in heaven just before God the Son left His throne of majesty and came to earth as a baby. Think about it: The angels in heaven understood the life that lay before Him. The Father was putting Him on a path that would lead to humiliation and death. And Christ Himself knew the pain He would endure on the cross. ...

What if Jesus hadn't been born?
I want you to try to imagine what the world would be like without the birth of Jesus Christ. It's beyond our imagination, but just try to picture it. We certainly wouldn't know God as we know Him. In fact, we'd be fortunate to have even heard about the God revealed in the Old Testament. ...

Unfamiliar Christmas
Christian or otherwise, the Christmas story is often viewed as wonderful in its familiarity, calling forth each year a childhood delight in the monotonous, beckoning our imaginations to a stable and a story. Christmas hymns, full of imagery and story, are piped in as background music at post offices and malls. Manger scenes can still be found as part of familiar Christmas décor. ...

God's Love Personified
Recognizing Jesus as the reason for the season isn't just a nice Christmas card slogan - it's the whole message. When God wanted to demonstrate for us the ultimate example of the reality and depth of His love, He did it through a person - giving Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ. God's love, then and now isn't waiting out there until we are good enough to deserve it - it's fully operational in this moment. ...

Why Did Jesus Come?
Jesus Christ came to proclaim good news to the spiritually hurting, to preach the good news to us. He came to heal the broken-hearted. Medical science has found ways to reduce and even remove pain. But there is no cure for a broken heart. Jesus came to set people free who are bound by sin. ...

Christmas Eve
On the night before Jesus was born, the shepherds would have seen the night sky the way they had seen it thousands of times before. That was a quiet night, in stark contrast to the following night, when an angel would appear with "the glory of the Lord," announcing the birth of the child--then join with a great company of heavenly beings proclaiming glory and peace....

Peace, Love, and Angels
In a world torn and ragged, Christ alone offers true peace. Let us soak in this peace as we remember the night he lay as an infant in a tumultuous world he would soon change forever. Let us soak in this peace as we partake of the Lord's Supper and remember that his body was broken out of love for us. Let us become this peace, in a world so full of violence, abuse, and ignorance. For we cannot change the world; but we can open up our own hearts to be transformed through Christ. ...

Peace on Earth?
One criticism unbelievers often have about Christ is that if he was supposed to bring peace, why do we have wars, why is there strife? ...

Christmas in Heaven
This is how heaven celebrated the first Christmas. On this holy night, in effect, heaven momentarily came to earth. Heaven and earth are always co-existing, but sometimes they can seem worlds apart and other times separated by only a thin veil. When tragedy hits, when illness prevails, heaven can sometimes seem distant. ...

The Purpose of Jesus' Birth
The spirit of this season is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but is it being done in the Spirit of Christ?

Five of the Best Gifts You Can Give Your Children
What parent doesn't want to give good gifts to their kids? But what kind of gifts should they choose? Here are five of the best gifts you can give your children...

A Worshipping Christmas
This Christmas, and every Christmas, we need to be reminded that Christ is the greatest gift and worship is the only proper response. After all, worship was the response of every actor in the very first Christmas drama.

Christ the Lord
The Christmas story is one of the most amazing moments in the Bible, probably rivaled only by the crucifixion. It's the story of Christ's birth, the moment when God took on human form.

From One Father to Another by Max Lucado
Dramatization of the thoughts of Joseph at Bethlehem - conversation/prayer with God.

The Essential Message of Christmas by Greg Laurie
We need to remember the essential message of Christmas, which is Immanuel—God is with us. And for the hurting person, the lonely person, the sorrowing person, this is the time of year to bring the gift of encouragement to them and say, "The message of Christmas is: God will be with you. God will help you. God will strengthen you."

A Christmas Journey
But the journey for the infant Jesus was much farther than 80 miles. He left His place in heaven at God's right hand, came to earth, and accepted our humanity. Eventually, He was stretched out on a cross to die, and He was buried in a borrowed tomb.

The Truth of the Nativity
We can't know Jesus if we don't understand He is real. The story of His birth is no allegory. We dare not romanticize it or settle for a fanciful legend that renders the whole story meaningless. Mary and Joseph were real people. Their dilemma on finding no room at the inn surely was as frightening for them as it would be for you or me.

What I Want for Christmas
I have always believed in the promise of Christmas. There has always been something special to me about this time of the year, going back to my earliest days of childhood.

The Greatest Gift of All
The real message of Christmas is not the gifts we give each other. Rather, it is a reminder of the gift that God has given to each of us. It is the only gift that truly keeps on giving, so I want to point out four things about it.

An Undeserved Gift
We generally don’t buy gifts for our enemies, do we? We don’t give a gift to the person who has slandered us in the past year. We don’t give a gift to the irate neighbor who never has a kind word to say. We don’t give a gift to someone who has tried to run us out of business.

Divine Gifts
Have you ever wondered why God gives so much? We could exist on far less. He could have left the world flat and gray; we wouldn’t have known the difference. But he didn’t.

The Gift of Christ's Humility
Because He was fully human, Jesus cried just like any other baby. And not only that, He poured out tears on numerous occasions because He suffered in his humanity. He worked and He became weary, all because He came in humility. And that’s what Christmas is really about… the humility of Jesus Christ.

The Audacity of Christmas by Mike Pohlman
Christmas marks the "fullness of time" when God, in his sovereign freedom, "sent forth his Son." The One who dispenses times and seasons determined that it was time to send forth the Son who had existed with the Father from eternity.

The Promise of Christmas by Greg Laurie
With Christmas, we have a sense of wonder, beauty, and anticipation. We look forward to being with loved ones, family and friends, and eating incredible food. It is a wonderful time of the year. It is also a time that is marked, for the most part, by an absence of meanness. There is a kindness that people will demonstrate toward one another, even strangers.

True Meaning of Christmas
Have you ever asked children what Christmas means to them?

A Son is Given by Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
God’s judgment is just as terrible as his salvation is wonderful. Nowhere is this made clearer than in the Isaiah 9, as the Lord describes in vivid detail the impending doom that He will bring to those who have continued in rebellion against Him.

It's All About Him by Greg Laurie
This Jesus who was born in a manger, .., is not some mere historical figure, although He was that. He is alive, and He is still in the business of changing lives. That is the reason He came: to put us in touch with God, to forgive us of all of our sins, and to give our lives purpose and meaning.

What does Jesus think of Christmas? by Marcus Honeysett
I asked a group of friends last week what they think of Christmas and got some interesting answers and some slightly ironic ones. A Ghanaian lady said how shocked she was when she arrived in the UK to find that Christmas involves giving presents, but without any real thought about why.

Christmas Then and Today
Christmas is about love that is, giving and giving sacrificially. It is the blessed season that engages the world in a covenant of love.

True Seekers
The story of Christ’s birth is one of the Bible’s most famous and loved stories, probably one that most people who are not even familiar with Scripture have heard at one time or another. And certainly a story we hear repeated every Christmas is the account of the wise men being led by the star to the place where the King was to be born.

No Room in the Inn
It might be surprising to know that the majority of people missed the very first Christmas as well. People just carried on with business as usual, paying no attention to what was happening just a few feet away.

Do Not Be Afraid
Have you ever felt overwhelmed or even afraid of what God has called you to do? Maybe you were pursuing a dream or goal and things didn’t turn out the way you planned. Joseph had planned to take Mary as his wife, but when he found out she was pregnant, he didn’t know what to think.

The Focus Of Our Message
Never be sympathetic with a person whose situation causes you to conclude that God is dealing harshly with him. God can be more tender than we can conceive, and every once in a while He gives us the opportunity to deal firmly with someone so that He may be viewed as the tender One.

Are you ready to be laid in the manger?
There are a lot of people around us who are without food, shelter, clothes, and many other necessities. Are you ready to be laid in the manger so that the needy can share your food, shelter, clothes etc.

Christmas in Heaven
On this holy night, in effect, heaven momentarily came to earth. Heaven and earth are always co-existing, but sometimes they can seem worlds apart and other times separated by only a thin veil.

Christmas Carols and Hymns
Christmas Hymns in the Orthodox Church by Alexander A. Bogolepov
The observance of a special period of preparation before the Feast of the Nativity of Christ has long been an established part of Christian practice. In the Orthodox Church this period is made up of the Christmas Fast and the special days of preparation before Christmas itself, with the week of the Holy Forefathers and the week of the Holy Fathers.

Silent Night, Holy Night

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

O Little Town Of Bethlehem

While Shepherds Watched Their Flock By Night

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day

Hymn: Shine, Jesus, Shine

All I Want for Christmas

Away in a Manger

O Come All Ye Faithful

The Night Before Christmas

What Child Is This

Gentle Mary Laid Her Child

The First Noel

O Holy Night

Christmas Prayers and Poems
Private Prayer to be Said on the Nativity Lent

Transliteration of Christmas Songs

Immanuel- poem by C. H. Spurgeon (1852)

Nativity of Our Lord by Mother Melania

Christmas Stories, Backgrounders, etc.
About - The Christmas Season
Here are a few interesting things to know about Christmas.

Searching for Christmas
One Christmas night, Our Lord came down into a modern city to see what people were doing. Every­one was celebrating 'Happy Holidays!'

How December 25 Became Christmas
The earliest mention of December 25 as Jesus' birthday comes from a mid-fourth-century Roman almanac that lists the death dates of various Christian bishops and martyrs. The first date listed, December 25, is marked: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae: "Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea." ...

The True Story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
A guy named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night. His 4-year-old daughter, Barbara, sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bobs wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer.

Yes, Virginia, There Is
Simply put, St. Nicholas was one of the great heroes of the faith, and worthy of honor. Even during times when "saints" were less than celebrated, such as the Reformation, Nicholas remained popular. ...

Pain of the Birth (Piraviyude Nombarangal)
A Malayalam article about Christmas by EV Paulose, Deepam Publications. in pdf

Silent Night and The Christmas Truce -- Could it Work in our Churches?
Perhaps those of us who celebrate the birth of the Savior could learn a lesson from this Christmas miracle as we engage those who do not share our beliefs and faith in Jesus. Those on the other side of the cultural trenches are not unlike us. The message delivered in Bethlehem was peace and goodwill toward all men.

This is what Christmas is all about...by Fr. Joseph Dwight
It is about giving, not receiving. Heart-warming story. Better bundle up - the goose bumps will freeze you!!! I think I need to read this every year at Christmas.

Can Christmas Still Change the World?
Our giving should not be limited to family and friends. This is the challenge of the Advent Conspiracy: 'As poor people who have met with the righteous wealth of God, it is now our turn to model his generosity by sharing our wealth with those in need.'

Manjurangum Raavil - A Christmas Story (in Malayalam) by Babu Jacob

Inspirational Story: The Donkey
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up.

Inspirational Story: The Turtles
Some of us waste our time waiting for people to live up to our expectations. We are so concerned about what others are doing that we don't do anything ourselves.

Inspirational Story: The Pretty Lady
This very old Chinese Zen story reflects the thinking of many people today. We encounter many unpleasant things in our life, they irritate us and they make us angry. Sometimes, they cause us a lot of hurt, sometimes they cause us to be bitter or jealous. But like the little monk, we are not willing to let them go away.

Inspirational Story: The Frogs
Next time you hear somebody criticizing or making fun of you, remember, it's probably just a couple of noisy frogs.

The Gift of the Magi
The classical Christmas Story of how two lovers sacrificed their most precious possession for the other.

One Solitary Life
The impact of Jesus through the history.

The Secret of the Gifts
A look at what the gifts from the wise men really meant.

All the Good Things
Sr. Helen P. Mrosla's great story about how simple things can mean a lot that can last a lifetime. It will be hard to read this with dry eyes.

Where Love Is, God Is 
Leo Tolstoy's story of how one cobbler learned to recognize the presence of God.

A Gift from the Heart
Norman Vincent Peale's story of giving meaningful gifts. Very moving!

A Mother's Story
Love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment..

Unconditional Acceptance
A story of how God  works through people to give hope.

Classic Christmas Hymn: Joy to the World! The Lord Is Come
Isaac Watts wrote "Joy to the World," the well-loved hymn often sung during this busy Christmas season. Ironically, Watts simply intended to paraphrase the words of Psalm 98: "Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth . . . for he comes. . ."

Articles

Ronald Reagan's Timeless Christmas Gift
Although President Reagan could have spent his White House Christmases with family at his beloved ranch in Santa Barbara, Calif., he instead stayed in Washington, D.C. This way, his sacrifice allowed Secret Service agents and other aides to spend Christmas at home with their families. ...

The Meaning of Christmas: Look Deeper
While Christmas is so familiar that we sometimes wonder whether anything fresh and true can be said about it, there is a way to explore its meaning that may seem new to us today, yet is in fact quite traditional, dating back to the Middle Ages and the ancient Fathers of the Church. ...

The Day God Became a Baby
Have you ever met Jesus? He will change your life, too. One of the ways you can tell is that you will be telling everyone you meet that your life is different. When was the last time you acted as one of those shepherds and informed everyone you know that you met Jesus and things are different in your life? ...

Jesus Came to Destroy Something
The people who will experience the fullest meaning of Christmas on Tuesday are the people who know and feel that there is something in them that needs to be destroyed. It is true, as John said (John 3:17), that "God sent the Son into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved." But he saves by destroying...

Saved by Christmas
The consequence of our misguided reliance on man and ignoring God and the reality of God's outstretched helping hand is embodied in the story of a young boy from the streets of a nameless city in an unknown country. ...

The Gospel According to Mary by Michael Horton
It is into this world of competing kings and their kingdoms that we discover an obscure girl in an equally obscure part of the world, who receives the most extraordinary announcement and becomes the first evangelist of the new covenant.

Faith-filled Women (Luke 1.39-56) by Robert Austell
I want to look with you at the content of what Elizabeth had to say and then what Mary had to say, then challenge ourselves to step it up a notch… to risk a move towards spiritual depth in our conversations and relationships. Christmas is the perfect time to take this on, as it is natural to think and speak of Jesus and God's involvement in our lives.

The Nativity of Christ - Christmas Day - What Can We Learn From the ICON?
This is not only the icon of the Birth of Christ, it is also the icon of the Burial and the Resurrection of Christ. The present and the future come together here. The swaddling clothes resemble the burial shroud, the cave resembles the tomb, from where Christ rose.

Wondering About Christmas by Dr. Joe McKeever
Have you ever wondered what those shepherds and their flocks were doing outside in the open in the dead of night? How many sermons have we heard over the years describing how shepherds put their sheep inside the shelter at night, and then lay down across the door opening, giving illustration to our Lord's teaching that "I am the door of the sheep."

Christmas Disappointments
Millions of people in this world do not know the reason, the reality, or the result of the First Christmas when God's Son, our Savior, arrived on this planet at a stable in Bethlehem. They do not know Jesus.

Christmas - Here It Comes Again Right On Schedule!
One of the reasons the Luke 2 passage is so well-loved is that it nails down the time-frame when these things occurred. The birth of Jesus Christ is historical, it is factual, it is well-documented and reliable. It occurred at a real place in real time.

How God Fooled Satan At Christmas
The Apostle Paul pointed out that had Satan known what God was up to, he would never have crucified Jesus. One might say that God pulled the wool over the devil's eyes and fooled him.

A Lenten 'Weight Loss' Program by Gary Zimak
Let’s face it, we are all weighed down to some extent by selfishness and assorted vices. Given a choice, very few of us will choose suffering over comfort. The Church gives us the season of Lent to examine our souls and remove the extra "weight" that keeps us apart from the Lord. Here are five simple steps that you can use during Lent to identify and eliminate some of this excess "poundage" from your life.

Lenten Reflections: LENT as FEAST and FAST
Lent is more than just a giving up. It is giving… developing a greater love towards God,
self and others. LENT can be a FEAST AND A FAST.

The Significance of Holy Campfire (Bonfire) or Fire pit Service as Part of Christmas Service
The Orthodox liturgy on Christmas is usually conducted in the silence of night and is designed in such a way as to attract anyone to it. It often creates in the minds of the faithful an inexplicable experience of the coming down of heaven to earth.

One Man's Advent Reflection
In Holy Tradition, with many local variations, the celebration of the Christmas season lasts for 12 days, from the Feast of the Holy Nativity until the celebration of the visit of the Three Kings or Wise Men from the East and the celebration of Christ's baptism in the Jordon.

Where was Jesus Born?
Where was Jesus born? We all agree it was in Bethlehem. Where exactly was it? We believe it was in a cave.

Swaddling Righteousness
Here we have the Son of God become the son of a virgin. The one who swaddled the stars with darkness (Job 38.9) is now swaddled in cloth as a baby. This is such mind bending, heart melting truth! Christ, the Lord God, becomes a man, and dwells among us.

The God In The Cave
Jesus was born in a cave. He was buried in a cave also. In both cases, there was Joseph and Mary besides him. What is the symbolism of the two events that shaped Christianity?

A Woman And An Angel
Comparison between St. Mary and Eve.

The Sign of the Swaddling Clothes
Our God bound himself, he allowed himself to be bound by men, that men might be free of sin! We can only join those who have given us our beloved Christmas Carols.

The Lost Glory of Christmas Caroling
If Christmas caroling once had inexplicable experience of the coming down of Heaven on earth, it has now been apparently reversed to the ascension of hell on earth because it is a money-collecting techniques used by irreligious and agnostic population of the entire global mass that carol under the influence of liquor and other hard drugs.

My Reservations on Christmas Caroling
If everybody wants to have caroling which involves acts of pleasures before Christmas, what is the point in having a 'Lent' prior to Christmas?

Reality of Christmas Today
As the clock strikes midnight, everyone gathers around the Christmas tree to celebrate the holiday with joyful greetings and gifts. Time passes away swiftly with all the excitement. And once everyone is in bed, a few hours later, the alarm sounds. It’s time to go to church for Christmas service in the early morning. Why go? What happens anyway?

The Jesus of Christmas: Who was the baby in the manger?
So who was the baby in the manger? The answer to that question is the most important one in all history. For if Jesus was not who he claimed to be, his promise of eternal peace is empty. But if Jesus was who he claimed to be, then our lives can have no meaning without him.

Christmas - A Unique Festival of Message of Hope and Light
Every festival brings in its festive train a central message, and that exactly is the content and significance of the feast. Christmas brings the evergreen message of the arrival of the Son of God as one among us, to be with us for ever.

Christmas Message -  2003
Christmas brings to our mind the supreme sacrifice of God, an action on the part of God to liberate Man from the clutches of sin, to give him freedom, to restore the peace and happiness mankind lost when it alienated itself from God.

Christmas Message by Fr George Vayaliparambil, Australia

Christmas and New Year Greetings

Merry Christmas

The Christ, Christmas and You

Our Most Meaningful Christmas Gift by Dennis and Barbara Rainey
A few years ago we were asked, "What is the most memorable Christmas gift you've ever given or received?" Instantly our minds raced backwards over invisible tracks and skidded to a stop at the same intersection: Our first Christmas together as a couple, in 1972.

18 Affordable Ways Families Can Prepare for Christmas
Need a little Christmas spirit that doesn't break the bank? Check out these low-cost and free ways to commemorate the reason for the season.

Christmas is Coming!
Learn to find your own holiday spirit.

A Simple Approach To The Season
Christmas is just a few weeks away. So often what is meant to be a celebration of hope and promise becomes one of frantic preparation and frazzled nerves. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Let the Holidays Be
Though the holiday season is supposed to be a time of celebration and love, it often brings with it stress and anxiety beyond what we experience during the other ten months of the year.

Beat Christmas Stress
How to beat the stress and keep your sanity as a parent.

Parents - Give Gifts That Will Keep On Giving
Many well meaning parents will buy gifts this season for their kids and teens that may be on one of the hot toy lists but lack true play value. Child psychologist, Dr Bob Myers provides tips for parents on holiday gift giving and toy safety.

Holiday Intentions
It seems that stress is often more prevalent than joy during the holidays. These ideas in this article can help you experience anew the joy and meaning of the season while leaving the frustrations behind.

Six Tips For Surviving the “Holidaze”
As the holiday season rushes towards moms like a Mack truck on ice, here are some tips on how to survive this hectic season and actually enjoy the holidays.

Gifts From the Heart

The Top Ten Worst Gifts from Last Christmas
Figuring out what people actually want eludes many well meaning people every Christmas. To help gift-givers give wisely, here is a list of “what not to give.”

Survey Shows When it Comes to Holiday Gift Giving, Mom Knows Best
From fruitcake to tube socks, bad gifts abound. Here’s a survey conducted by national retailer Sam Goody that explains the good, the bad and the ugly of holiday gift giving.

Anatomy of a Bad-Gift Giver
From procrastinators to re-gifters, there are many types of bad gift-givers. Here are some of the most common bad-gift faux pas and how to avoid them.

Enjoy The Holidays Without Gaining Weight
It's that festive time again & also one of the toughest times to maintain your weight and stay fit. If you aren't careful, this wonderful time of year can be overshadowed by weight gain and stress. Learn valuable tips to stay fit during the holidays.

Easy Holiday Crafts Kids (and Grown-ups) Will Love
During the holidays, families don’t have time for elaborate projects. Here are three simple crafts your kids will love this holiday season.

10 Simple Christmas Decorating Ideas Using Stuff You Already Have
Here's ten simple (but VERY effective) ways to use common Christmas items you already have to add that special holiday touch.

Holiday Memories Rest On Traditions
For most people, holiday seasons bring with them warm memories from years past. Traditions are the stuff those memories are built on, and each family has its own special tradition that comes either from the long ago past or has been built in just one or two generations.

Overcoming Loneliness this Christmas
There are many people who will be alone on Christmas day, so don't think that you are the only one, or that you are in any way a failure if you find yourself without company at this time. There are a number of things that you can do to make the day more pleasant for yourself.

The 12 Birds of Christmas
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is joyful for some people and stressful for others. If you begin to feel pressured by a need to give just the right gift or the perfect holiday meal, perhaps these commonsensical birds of Christmas will re-mind you to peaceful balance.

The Five Best Gifts to Give Your Family
There are five gifts of love that we can give to our families that can make a huge difference in their lives.

Six Steps to Happier Holidays!
Follow these simple steps to prepare for the holiday season: Get organized, create an spending strategy and a "pay" plan, shop early and take advantage of sales, get creative when gift-giving and do an inventory of what you need to make it through the often hectic holidays. Being prepared ensures less stress and a happier holiday season.

The Christmas Dress
A great story from the childhood at the farm. The author recognizes the reason she had so much love for her elder sister. It was not because she sewed clothes for her. And not because she wasn’t angry when the author spilled pins all over the floor or chattered non-stop when she was trying to concentrate. But because, no matter what, the author knew that her big sister always had time for her.

Gifts Kids Can Make
‘Tis the season for gift giving! This holiday season, teach children that giving is as fun as receiving by having them create their own holiday gifts.

Be Creative with Your Holiday Wrapping
Why give presents wrapped in boring paper when the kids can help you decorate gifts in fantastic new ways?!

Santa on a Shoestring
According to a recent survey, American families intend to spend an average of $483 on gifts this Christmas. To help keep the costs down this Christmas season, Sue Hannah offers some money-saving gift ideas.

Making the Holidays More Meaningful
Have the holidays become too commercial for you? Are you feeling empty and unfulfilled during this time of the year? This year by making some simple changes you and your children can truly make the holidays more meaningful.

A New Way to Use Old Snapshots
Instead of letting your snapshots take up space and contribute to the clutter in your home, use them to make collages (at a cost of less than $10 each) that you can give as Christmas gifts to family and friends. Here's how.

10 Creative Ways to Give from the Heart, Not the Pocketbook
Meaningful gift giving doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, some of the most precious gifts are the ones that cost very little, but mean a great deal because of the time and effort the giver took in giving the gift.

Silent Night
A great way to celebrate holidays that brings the meaning and joy back.

Let’s Do Something Different For the Holidays This Year!
Each year, for too many of us, the holiday season just doesn’t live up to our expectations. Instead of joy, it brings stress; instead of peace, it brings tension; instead of love, it brings animosity. This holiday, let’s do something different.

 
Punjabi Jingle Bells (Hilarious) - Use Media Player
Sermons/Homilies
God Has Come So Near to Each One of Us by Pope Benedict XVI
The desire that all of us have in our hearts is that, in the midst of the frenetic activity of our days, the coming feast of Christmas gives us serene and profound joy to enable us to touch the goodness of our God with our hands and to fill us with new energy. ...

The Love Story Between God and Man Passes by Way of the Manger of Bethlehem by Pope Benedict XVI
With the Christmas liturgy, the Church introduces us to the great Mystery of the Incarnation. Christmas, in fact, is not a mere anniversary of Jesus' birth, it is the celebration of a mystery that has marked and continues to mark mankind's history -- God Himself came to dwell among us. ...

Getting Christmas Right by Brian Evans
Christmas is about the gift God gave His people. His people were in spiritual bondage and were crying out with no hope and God answered…In this sermon, the author walks through old testament and the promises fulfilled by God by the birth of Jesus.

Getting Christmas Right - Isaiah 9 (Part 2) by Brian Evans
Have you ever trusted in the wrong thing? Have you ever trusted in someone only to be disappointed, betrayed, and even severely hurt? The Book of Isaiah is all about a people who were placing their trust in the wrong thing. We must be very careful that our hope is not placed in people, even ones who look to be trust worthy.

Christmas as the End of History by John Piper
The author show in this sermon how God's work in history comes to a climax—and in a sense comes to an end—in the coming of his one and only eternal and divine Son into the world. It is a fascinating story of redemption.

Homily - The Nativity of the Lord by Fr. Daren J. Zehnle
Can there be anything more vulnerable or defenseless than a newborn child? Yet it is precisely this that the Son of God becomes for us to manifest the depth of his great love.

Homily - Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord
Tonight I wish to focus on the statue of St. Joseph as a way to come to a deeper understanding of the mystery of Christmas. Take a look at this Joseph, if you will.

Christmas Homily by Fr. Andrew
Which Christmas scene do our hearts desire? Do our hearts desire the soft, the quiet, the hidden scene of Bethlehem? Do our hearts desire the loud, the brash, the bold proclamation of the field? Where would God have us meet Him?

Homily: The Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord by Fr. Daren J. Zehnle
This night a savior is born for us, he who is Emmanuel (cf. Matthew 1:23). God is with us! He is not far from us, but here in our midst. The Creator of all things has made himself a creature and entered his creation. This is a message that cannot leave us indifferent.

Homily: At the Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ by Fr. Daren J. Zehnle
Bethlehem, the city of David in which Jesus was born, means "house of bread." Jesus, the Bread of Life, was placed in a manger, a feeding trough for the animals. Through the Holy Mass he gives himself to us continually as our food, to be nourished and strengthened by him who gave himself for us.

Homily - The Nativity of the Lord, at the Vigil Mass by Fr. Daren J. Zehnle
As we wait here in vigil in the darkness of the night, we "know that the Lord is coming to save us, and in the morning [we] shall see his glory" (Exodus 16:6-7). We await the birth of the one who is mightier than the last of the prophets (cf. Matthew 3:11); we await the birth of "Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham" (Matthew 1:1).

Homily: Christmas Vigil by Fr. Andrew
What is the true meaning of Christmas? Is it found in cookies? Is it found in trees? Is it found in gifts? What is the true meaning of Christmas? The true meaning of Christmas is in cookies, for they remind us of the sweetness of our Lord.

Celebrate The Lord by Alan Carr (Mary Visits Elizabeth)
We are indebted to Mary. We owe her a debt of gratitude for reminding us that whether it is for personal grace, favors for others, or for those times when the Lord proves Himself faithful in the lives of His children, we have a God who is worthy of faith, love, praise and worship.

John Chrysostom Homily on Matthew 1:17-21
"So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations."

John Chrysostom Homily on Matthew 1:22-23
"Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the Prophet, saying, Behold, a Virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel."

John Chrysostom Homily on Matthew 2:1-2
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.

John Chrysostom Homily on Matthew 2:4-10
And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, in Bethlehem of Judæa.

John Chrysostom Homily on Matthew 2:11-15
And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother.

John Chrysostom Homily on Matthew 2:16-23
Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding angry.

The King Fulfills Prophecy: Bible Study on Matthew 2:13-15 by John MacArthur
Matthew, as we know by now, is presenting Jesus Christ as the King. Presenting Jesus Christ not only as the King but as the King of Kings, not only as the King of Kings but as the anointed of God.

The King Fulfills Prophecy, Bible Study of Matthew 2:16-23 by John MacArthur
The central theme of all Old Testament prophecy is the coming King, the coming King who will rule in God's promised kingdom. If there is one major emphasis of all Old Testament prophecy it is that God is going to set up His rule, God is going to have a kingdom like no other kingdom has ever been, and there will be a very special individual who will be the King in that kingdom, and that individual of course is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

We Have Come to Worship Him by John Piper
There are at least five truths that Matthew wants us to see in this story about Christ and worship 1) Jesus is the Messiah, the King of the Jews. 2) Jesus is to be worshiped not just by Jews, but by all the nations of the world. 3) God wields the universe to make his Son known and worshiped. 4) Jesus is troubling to people who do not want to worship him. 5) Worshiping Jesus means joyfully ascribing authority and dignity to Christ with sacrificial gifts.

John's Profound Prologue: The Mystery of Christmas by The Rev. Charles Henrickson
If there were a contest for the most profound passage in the Bible, John's Prologue (John 1:1-18) might win the prize. Nowhere are the most profound mysteries of the Christian faith expressed more deeply, and yet more simply, than here in this passage. The doctrine of the Holy Trinity; the doctrine of the person of Christ, his dual nature; the work of Christ, by which we are saved--all of these are caught and captured in the simplest of language, brief and succinct, and yet never to be fully plumbed in their depth.

The Birth of Christ
In the Garden of Eden, Satan proclaimed the message, 'You shall be as God, knowing good and evil.' The Christmas message, however, teaches us not man becoming God, but God becoming man. This is the wonder of Christmas.

Is There A Place for Jesus in Your Home? by The Patriarchal Journal
Where is the greatness of Jesus, oh angel Gabriel? Where is his kingdom? Where is his throne? Yes, his kingdom is not of this world. So, even though the priests and rulers of this earth ignored his existence, the heavens gave him glory and the angel brought the good news of his birth to the simple shepherds saying to them, "‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord."

Christmas Message: The Message of the Angels to the Shepherds by Dr. Joe McKeever
Every element in the angels' message is a welcome surprise to us.

My Favorite Christmas Verse by Dr. Joe McKeever
It should go without saying that the angels from Heaven know a lot more than you or I do. And when Jesus was born in Bethlehem and they brought the announcement to the shepherds on a dark hillside nearby, they identified Jesus as 'a Savior.'

Ten Things About the Christmas Story You May Have Missed by Dr. Joe McKeever
They were not "kings" from the east and there weren't three of them. And when they arrived in Bethlehem, Joseph and Mary and Baby Jesus were not still in the stable, but in a house, contrary to half the Christmas cards that will be arriving at your house.

The Announcement of Jesus' Birth, Part 1 by John MacArthur
In Luke 2:11 it says, "There has been born for you a Savior." There has been born for you a Savior...that is the high note of this entire passage. The shepherds and the angels are bit players, as it were, in the scenario in which the Savior who has been born is the main character. There has been born for you a Savior. This is the greatest news the world has ever heard. This is the good news.

The Announcement of Jesus' Birth, Part 2 by John MacArthur
The beautiful old Christmas carol asks the question, "What child is this who laid to rest on Mary's lap is sleeping?" And, of course, that is the real question. Who is the baby in Bethlehem born at first so anonymously to anonymous Joseph and Mary as far as any public knowledge was concerned? Who is this child whose birth established the world's calendars? Who is this child more widely known than any other child ever born? Who is this child whose life and work has impacted more souls than all other influential people in history combined?

The Announcement of Jesus' Birth, Part 3 by John MacArthur
Jesus saves you from the eternal wrath of God, that's the issue. It's not that Jesus saves you from anything in this life in particular. You may still struggle through all kinds of troubles and struggles and you may still have a measure of unfulfillment. You may even find life to be less than you want it to be in this world, more painful than you can bear. There's no guarantee that that will change in this life.

Fulfillment: God is Here by John Jewell
Our Scripture today speaks of a gift that is one of a kind -- and it is a gift that also goes beyond anything the world could every offer. A never to be repeated, amazing gift of God to every one who will receive it. It is the gift of John 3:16, the most memorized verse in the Christian world: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life."

Heavenly Peace by Pastor Gavin
The book of Micah is an important book, for it prophesied the coming Savior who would bring about a world of peace. And yet, when we look at the world since Jesus came, I have a hard time seeing the peace that was prophesied.

Angel Song by Pastor Gavin
I wonder what the shepherds were doing or thinking on that night… perhaps they were sleeping… perhaps one of them had had a really bad day. But the angels came and changed everything in just a moment. And their lives did change in a powerful way, even though they might not have realized it instantly.

For to us a child is born: Isaiah 9:1-7
Notice how the language is couched in the past tense. As Alec Motyer points out, the future is so certain, it is written as something which has already happened. It is as if Isaiah were saying, "Look forward to it. It is certain. He has already done it"

The Great Birthday by C. H. Spurgeon
The shepherds were keeping their flocks by night. Probably a calm, peaceful night, wherein they felt the usual difficulty of keeping their weary eyelids open as sleep demanded its due of them. All of a sudden, to their amazement, a mighty blaze lit up the heavens and turned midnight into midday!

God Incarnate, the End of Fear by C. H. Spurgeon
"Fear not." Let God no longer be the object of your slavish dread! Stand not at a distance from Him any more. The Word is made flesh. God has descended to tabernacle among men, that there may be no hedge of fire, no yawning gulf between God and man.

The Star and the Wise Men by C. H. Spurgeon
This star is put in commission to wait upon the Lord, to be his herald to men afar off, his usher to conduct them to his presence, and his body-guard to sentinel his cradle. Earth, too, is stirred. Shepherds have come to pay the homage of simple-minded ones: with all love and joy they bow before the mysterious child; and after them from afar come the choice and flower of their generation, the most studious minds of the age.

The First Christmas Carol by Rev. C. H. Spurgeon
Their song was brief, but as Kitto excellently remarks, it was "well worthy of angels expressing the greatest and most blessed truths, in words so few, that they become to an acute apprehension, almost oppressive by the pregnant fullness of their meaning"—"Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will toward men."

Who Were the Wise Men? by John MacArthur
Who were the wise men? Are you ready for that? Matthew chapter 2. All of us have wondered. How many were there? Were they really kings? Did they really ride camels? Why did they come to Bethlehem?

Fools and Wise Men, Part 1 by John MacArthur
As we view the text I want you to see five acts in this incredible drama that is played out in chapter 2. Five separate acts. And we'll just title them with a simple word so we'll remember them, arrival, that's act one. Number two, agitation. Number three, acting. Number four, adoration, and number five avoidance. Now that's not a very brilliant outline but it's just a few hooks to hang your thoughts on.

Fools and Wise Men, Part 2 by John MacArthur
There was one of those Jews who rose to a place of great prominence, Daniel. Daniel, it says in Daniel 5:11, became the chief of the Magi, and no doubt this great prophet of God told them about the coming King, so they were ready for this, they were looking and through the centuries waiting for this great individual to arrive on the scene, and they had passed down this information and when the time came they were ready to see Him as King, to recognize it.

Worship Christ, the New-Born King by Brian Evans
What is your response to King Jesus? Have you rejected Him like Herod? Have you neglected Him like the scribes and priests? Have you worshipped Him like the Magi? The Magi came with a purpose. They searched diligently for the King of Kings and they came prepared. They brought gifts and were anticipating their meeting. This is a challenge for us to come to worship prepared.

Christ, Our Peacemaker by Ralph Bouma
The blessed gospel proclaimed from heaven by the angel was a message of peace, peace on earth and good will to men. Outside of Christ there is no peace, but God sent His blessed message of peace. As the result of sin, man has become the enemy of God, separated from God, but He has sent His own Son to make peace.

The Shaking Of The Nations by Ralph Bouma
In His sovereign good pleasure, the God of heaven sent His angel to gather with a heavenly host to proclaim in Luke 2:14: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Why was this such a proclamation of joy? It is because the peace between God and fallen man had been broken.

The Day God Became a Baby
Have you ever met Jesus? He will change your life, too. One of the ways you can tell is that you will be telling everyone you meet that your life is different. When was the last time you acted as one of those shepherds and informed everyone you know that you met Jesus and things are different in your life?

Sermon for Christmas Day by Rev. Dr. V Kurian Thomas
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ who is the son of God and savior of all people. With the birth of Jesus Christ, Christianity essentially begins. Thus, Christmas also celebrates the beginning of Christianity.

Christmas Message - Where Do You Belong? by Rev. Fr. K. K. John
A true Christian is not the one who lives according to his/her own whims and fancies but the one, who lives Christ-like. Mere interest in certain rituals and obedience to a system or hierarchy profits none; one must reflect Christian virtues and that is hardest of all.

Practicing Simplicity, Kindness And Prayer by Rev. Fr. Alexander J. Kurien
Good news of great joy appears to simple shepherds and loving parents as they gaze at a baby in a cold barn, not as they enjoy worldly riches in a sumptuous castle.

What are we searching for? by H.G. Yuhanon Mor Meletius
This was the beginning of a new chapter in the history of humanity guided by God. God initiated the history of the world in creation hoping that it will steadily progress in the manner God wanted it to be. But human, with his greed, set the pace in a distorted direction. What God wanted was a history of humans in participation with God.

Devotional Thoughts for Christmas Day by Jose Kurian Puliyeril
From the Holy Scriptures we learn that the humanity as a whole from the time of the first parents had been in the expectation of the Savior and at the time of incarnation of our Lord and Savior, they had an expectation about a Ruler who might be the King of Israel.

The Nativity Sermon by Saint John Chrysostom
All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead herein... on earth and man in heaven. He who is above now, for our salvation, dwells here below; and we, who were lowly, are exalted by divine mercy! Today Bethlehem resembles heaven, hearing from the stars the singing of angelic voices and, in place of the sun, witnessing the rising of the Sun of Justice!

Homily on Gal. 4:4-7 for the Nativity of Christ
It is so easy for us to lose sight of Christ in the frenzy that surrounds Christmas. Now we are finally here, in Church. All our preparations are complete. Let us pause now, and as we celebrate the birth of the Son of God 2000 years ago, let us think about some of the other preparations we have made.

Sermons on the Feast of the Nativity of Christ by St. Leo the Great
The Word of God, Himself God, the Son of God who "in the beginning with God," through whom "all things were made" and "without" whom "was nothing made," with the purpose of delivering man from eternal death, became man: The true God and true man were combined to form one Lord, so that, as suited the needs of our case, one and the same Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, could both die with the one and rise again with the other.

The festival of Christ's birthday by St. Gregory Nazianzos
Again the darkness is past; again Light is made; again Egypt is punished with darkness; again Israel is enlightened by a pillar. The people that sat in the darkness of ignorance, let it see the Great Light of full knowledge. Old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.

Meditation for Christmas
The shepherds said one to another, 'Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.' Let us, too, go even to Bethlehem In spins, let us climb that hill 'unto the hills, from whence cometh my help'. Climbing up to Bethlehem implies an effort; but shall we let such a great occasion slip by?

More Sermons, Homilies, Bible Commentaries and Gospel Analysis of Advent

Sermons and Bible Commentaries for the Annunciation to Zachariah Sunday

Sermons, Bible Commentaries, Bible Analyses on Annunciation to St. Mary

Sermons, Bible Commentaries, Bible Analyses on St. Mary's Visit to Elizabeth

Sermons, Bible Commentaries and Bible Analyses for the Sunday of the Birth of John the Baptist

Sermons, Bible Commentaries and Bible Analyses for the Sunday of the Revelation to Joseph

Sermons, Bible Commentaries and Bible Analyses for the Sunday Before Christmas (Genealogy of Jesus Christ)

Christmas Recipes

Boulgeur Pilav -Armenia

Tea Biscuit Greece 

Kolage (Christmas Rounds) Czechoslovakia

German Christmas Cookies - Germany

Gingerbread Cake, Good Old Fashioned

Gingerbread Drops

Gingerbread Baked in Jars

Gingerbread Dough in a Blender

Gingerbread Men, Quaker Oats

Danish Julekake - Denmark

English Christmas Bread - England

Holiday Gingerbread Box

Traditional Christmas Cake from Sri Lanka

Simple Christmas Fruit Cake - India

Mrs. Harvey's White Fruitcake - USA

Christmas Fruit Cake

Christmas Fruit Cake - Mother's Recipe (India)

Hawaiian Banana Bread - Hawaii

Bunuelos - Colombia

Special Holiday Treats

Alcohol-Free Drinks for the Holidays

Fast Mango Holiday Chutney

Holiday Leftover Ideas

White Christmas Hot Chocolate

Recipes courtesy of http://www.1stholistic.com

Malankara World Journal Special Advent/Christmas Editions

Christmas Special - Malankara World Journal Issue 184 (2013)

Advent IV - Malankara World Journal Issue 183 (2013)

Advent III - Malankara World Journal Issue 182 (2013)

Advent I and II - Malankara World Journal Issue 181 (2013)

Christmas Special - Malankara World Journal Issue 115 (2012)

Genealogy of Jesus - Malankara World Journal Issue 114 (2012)

Revelation to Joseph - Malankara World Journal Issue 113 (2012)

Birth of John The Baptist - Malankara World Journal Issue 112 (2012)

Mary's visit to Elizabeth - Malankara World Journal Issue 111 (2012)

Annunciation to St. Mary -  Malankara World Journal Issue 110 (2012)

Annunciation to Zacharia - Malankara World Journal Issue 108 (2012)

Issue 44 - Christmas Edition (2011)

Issue 43 - Genealogy of Jesus (2011)

Issue 42 - Advent - Revelation to Joseph (2011)

Issue 41 - Advent - Birth of John the Baptist (2011)

Issue 40 - Advent - Mary's Journey to Elizabeth (2011)

Issue 39 - Advent - Annunciation to St. Mary (2011)

Issue 38 - Advent - Annunciation to Zachariah (2011)

 

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