Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from a Jacobite and Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Themes: Murder of Innocents, Christmas, Childhood of Jesus
Volume 7 No. 453 December 25, 2017
 
Foreword
This is the last issue of 2017. Our next issue, Issue 454, will be a New Year's Day Special.

We are still in the Christmas Season. Malankara World wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Between Christmas and New Year's Day period is the most festive time of the year. The homes will be immersed in festive lighting to welcome the King of Kings. Christmas celebrates the coming of the greatest light the world has ever known - Jesus Christ, who is the Source of all light and truth. Jesus told us that Himself. Darkness cannot be there when there is light.

Christmas season is also special to us because it reminds us of everything Malankara World stands for - Family (children and parents, extended family, etc.), caring for others (Jesus said we should love our neighbors - so caring for our fellow human beings is a commandment - and taking care of the ones who are not as fortunate as ourselves. Christmas is all about the arrival of a precious child, who came, as promised, to provide a remedy for our sins and a promise of eternal life by making us the children of God. That is what Christmas is all about.

Dr. Ravi Zacharias described it well when he said:

"God sent his Son down to earth to seek and to save that which was lost.

'Unto us a child is born; unto us a Son is given.' So much symbolism behind the reality. Born of a Virgin, yet giving us the beauty of the consummation of human love in marriage. Born in Bethlehem, the House of Bread, yet people still don't know that he is the bread of life. The Lamb of God, visited by ordinary shepherds. Recognized by royalty as the King he was, yet he wore no royal robes. Born in a makeshift home so that we might never be homeless. Taken by his parents to Egypt so that we might live free. Raised by a carpenter though he had framed the world by his word. The Ruler of the world, but desiring to rule in our hearts. Amazing story! Amazing love! Amazing salvation!

There is no other story like this. From Genesis to Revelation, He is the centerpiece."

A big Amen to that!

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris'n with healing in His wings:
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth;
Born to give them second birth.

Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"

While we sing Christmas Carols, eat with our friends, and celebrate the "good tidings of great joy," it is also important to realize that Christmas is not all joy and happiness. The Great Kingdom promised by Jesus is not here yet, it will come at the second-coming of Jesus, when Jesus will come in Glory to judge the living and departed and to separate the good from the bad. Greg Laurey described the second coming of Jesus:

"Before Jesus could take the government upon His shoulder, He had to take the cross upon His shoulder. Before He could wear the crown of glory as King of Kings, He had to wear the shameful crown of thorns and give His life as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.

The first time, a star marked His arrival. But the next time He comes, the heavens will roll back like a scroll, all of the stars will fall from the sky, and He himself will light it.

Christ came to this earth. God came near to you so you can come near to Him--to give your life purpose and meaning, to forgive you of your sins, and to give you the hope of heaven beyond the grave.

Christmas is not about tinsel or shopping or presents. Christmas is not about the gifts under the tree. Rather, Christmas is about the gift that was given on the tree when Christ died there for our sins and gave us the gift of eternal life."

This week, we also remember the massacre of the innocent children by Herod in revenge for the magi not telling him where baby Jesus was. If there was any joy and peace associated with the birth of messiah, it disappeared with this shedding of innocent blood.

It is the time Rachel was weeping for her lost children. The symbolism of that is described will in this issue of MWJ.

Just like that first Christmas, there are also many who grieve during this time of Joy for their loved ones. This reality came true for us when a very dear friend of us, Sona Varghese had gone to her heavenly abode last week. Sona was a remarkable person, a true Christian, a devoted wife and mother, a true friend to her many friends. A obituary can be seen at the end of this issue.

Dr. Jacob Mathew
Chief Editor
Malankara World

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