Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from a Jacobite and Orthodox Perspective
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Malankara World Journal Monthly
Theme: Advent, Christmas
Volume 9 No. 508 December 2018
Foreword: God Is With Us
Promises Made
Promises Kept.

Sounds like what you hear in a Donald Trump Political rally.

But that is the message of Christmas as one of our featured articles shows in this month's Malankara World journal.

Imagine, living over 400 years with complete silence from anywhere about what God is thinking.
Israelites were reconciled to a life under the foreign occupation of their promised land and working for their foreign masters.

It is doubtful if anyone even remembered the promises God made about sending messiah except for some hard core theologians.

That was the background when the angel appeared to Zachariah when he went to the holiest of holies to serve god. Yes, he and his wife prayed to God for a child. But it was forgotten now as Elizabeth has progressed to an age beyond the normal child bearing age. A child would have made them happy and gave them joy and help in their old age. But they got the forerunner of Messiah as their son - that was the good news. The bad news was that he spent all his time in wlderness and not with his parents. He spent his time preaching to anyone who listens to him and baptize them in the water from river Jordan if anyone asked for it.

That is the beginning of the Advent Season. Advent is the season for us to prepare for the arrival of thr Messiah.

When we look at the stories of the advent season, we find that St. Mark and St. John are pretty silent on this. St. Matthew covers the revelation to Joseph, and the Christmas after the birth of Jesus like the arrival of Magi etc. St. Luke, who was a physician, covers the early childhood stories of Jesus Christ in detail. We learn about the humility of a teenage girl who was saluted by the angel, "Hail Mary, full of Grace. The Lord with thee." Mary, rather than feeling great, wondered what made God to honor her like that. And she felt more humble as a result. We read about the Magnificat, the prophecy from the Holy Spirit as pronounced by Mary suggesting that with the birth of this child, who is incarnate God, social systems will change. Poor people will be elevated and the rich will go down in importance. The one who want to be the leader will serve. That is the economy of the messianic kingdom. Everything will be reversed.

One of the things the angels kept assuring people during the advent visitations was, "Do not be afraid." When you are slaves and do not have freedom and feel oppressed, you are afraid of all things. You do not want to annoy your slave masters. When God appears, you do not have to be afraid. And truth will make you free.

I do not think most of us have a good grasp of what incarnation means. God came in the shape of a man and lived among us. He understood our feelings, emotions, problems, etc. and has become our intercessor to the God the father. Jesus also had paid the price for our freedom by sacrificing himself on the cross. He defeated death and satan by resurrecting himself on the 3rd day. Thanks to Him, we have become eligible to be the children of God. That is a Huuuge thing. That is what Christmas is all about.

On behalf of Malankara World Journal, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope that you are enjoying the new monthly format of our journal instead of the weekly version.

Dr. Jacob Mathew
Chief Editor
Malankara World


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