Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Theme: Humility, Servant Leader
Volume 6 No. 363 August 19, 2016
In North America, schools are in session again. The summer vacation is over, although officially a few weeks are left before the labor day on September 5, the official ending of the summer vacation season for 2016. Soon, trees will be shedding their leaves. Prior to that is the biggest display of colors by God when the leaves take various colors, almost competing with each other to show who can show a better "picture" to God. But here again, God is showing us that he beauty comes in the unity of the leaves together. There is beauty in diversity. A single leaf, however vibrant, is not beautiful enough compared to the situation when a whole hilltop is decorated by leaves of all colors.

Last Monday, we celebrated Shunoyo Feast, the official departure of St. Mary, The Theotokos. On September 8, we celebrate the birthday of St. Mary. We have one of the most popular lent called 8-day lent leading to the birthday of St. Mary. God willing, Malankara World Journal will have some special editions to commemorate the 8-Day Lent. We welcome our readers to submit articles for these special editions. We especially like to hear stories of answered intercessional prayers to our Mother.

This is issue 363. The next big Souvenir Edition of Malankara World Journal will be published around March 2017, the actual date depends on the special editions of MWJ published during this time. The readers are again encouraged to submit articles for this special souvenir edition with multiple themes.

This Sunday's Bible Lesson is from Mark 10:35-45. There is something in it for everyone. Jesus makes the prediction for his crucifixion and eventual death the third time in Mark's Gospel alone. Did the disciples get it? Unfortunately, no. They were preoccupied with who among them is the greatest, who will get privileged seat when Jesus is glorified, etc. In other words, they were not listening. Peter admonished Jesus for thinking in those terms! After Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, they remembered what He told them with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Then there is John and James, trying to obtain a privileged seat when Jesus comes in glory. (This is not after the death, but during their lifespan. They believed that Jesus will establish his kingdom in this earth soon.) Notice that although, they had been with Jesus for 2-3 years, and seen his humility, their mind was still on earthly matters.

Jesus gives them a discourse on what is different in His Kingdom. He describes the servant leadership model. The leader has to serve. The first will be last. Everything is turned upside down in the servant leadership model.

Jesus also tells them about he purpose for his eventual suffering. His death is a ransom for our sins. A poem by Spurgeon explains:

According to Thy gracious Word,
In meek humility,
This will I do, my dying Lord,
I will remember Thee.

Thy body broken for my sake,
My bread from heaven shall be;
The Testamental Cup I take,
And thus remember Thee.

When to the cross I turn my eyes,
And rest on Calvary,
O Lamb of God, my sacrifice,
I must remember Thee.

Remember Thee, and all Thy pains,
And all Thy love to me,
Yea, while I breath, a pulse remains
Will I remember Thee.

And when these failing lips grow dumb,
And mind and memory flee,
When shalt in Thy kingdom come,
Jesus remember me.

Charles Spurgeon

It is a very busy text. We cover the humility aspect and the servant leadership in today's Journal. Let me conclude with a quote from one of my favorite sisters, who recently went to her heavenly abode:

"If you want to be holy, if you seek meaning in your life, start looking into your own life and attacking your pride in all of its many forms. God will give you extraordinary light and the ultimate reward of holiness. For your holiness relies not on what you do, but on what you allow God to do through you. Have courage. God will perfect you."

- Mother Angelica
April 20, 1923 - March 27, 2016

So, it is not what you do, but what you let God through you! Surrender to God with humility and with a heart of service, you can accomplish extraordinary things through Him!

Dr. Jacob Mathew
Malankara World


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