Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from a Jacobite and Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal Monthly
Theme: Advent, Christmas
Volume 9 No. 508 December 2018

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Place where Jesus was born in Bethlehem
Where Jesus Was Born in Bethlehem

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Happy Holidays!!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Foreword

I. This Month in Church - Lectionary and Sermons

Bible Readings (Lectionary), Sermon Notes, etc. for each Sunday and special feasts

1. week 1 (December 2) - Mary Visits Elizabeth

2. week 2 (December 9) - Birth of John The Baptist

3. week 3 (December 16) - Revelation to Joseph

4. week 4 (December 23) - Sunday Before Christmas (Genealogy Sunday)

5. Christmas (December 25)

6. Murder of Innocents (December 27)

7. week 5 (December 30): 1st Sunday After Christmas

II. Luke's Advent And Nativity by Bill Randles

8. Luke Nativity Pt 1 - The First Glimmer of Light

It had been four hundred long years since there had been a Word from God given to Israel. The congregation had the Torah, the Prophets and the Law, but God had not spoken to them through any prophet for four hundred years. ...

9. Luke's Nativity pt 2 - The Forerunner

In the midst of His holy ministrations, the aged priest realized he wasn't alone in the Holy place for an Angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the Altar...

10. Luke's Nativity pt 3: Zechariah's Unbelief

Zechariah's unbelief struck at the very heart of the gospel, so the Angel struck the Priest dumb! ...

11. Luke's Nativity pt 4 - An Angel and a Woman

In the most beautiful way possible, the little virgin of Nazareth said Yes to God…Be it unto me according to thy Word! ...

12. Luke's Nativity pt 5 - Confirmation and Prophecy

As soon as Mary entered the house of Zechariah and Elizabeth, the babe in Elizabeth's womb, kept for joy, and the Spirit of the LORD came upon Mary, flowing out through the gift of Prophecy...

13. Luke's Nativity pt 6 - The Birth of the Forerunner

Elizabeth, who had been considered barren, like her forbearer Sarai, brought forth a miracle baby. Her family and friends rejoiced with her, likewise her silent husband, and the Lord was glorified for shewing mercy to the pious couple in their old age. ...

14. Luke's Nativity pt. 7: Messiah Came into History

The "seed of the woman", the Messiah Saviour promised from the very beginning in Genesis chapter three, came into the world at a time appointed by God himself, the ‘fulness of time'. ...

15. Luke's Nativity pt. 8: The Sign of the Inn, the Cave, and of The Swaddling Clothes

That the Inn couldn't receive Jesus, but a filthy stable did, became a sign of the human reaction to the Saviour. ...

16. Luke's Nativity pt 9- The First Coming Is like The Second

The events of the first Christmas are history indeed, but they are prophecy as well, and we are all in the story somewhere. Ready or not, Jesus is coming again!  ...

17. Luke's Nativity pt 10: On Singing Christmas

How fitting, that not to the powerful, but to the lowly, and not into a palace or temple, but into a lowly, filthy barn, basically a cave, did the "High and Lofty God", from of Old, choose to condescend unto us, in order to save us. ..

18. Luke's Nativity pt. 11: Jesus' First Blood-shedding

This child, of course, was not born in sin. Therefore his first blood-shedding points to His last. "HE who knew no sin was made to be sin for us, that we might be the Righteousness of God in Christ"(2 Cor 5:21).

19. Luke's Nativity pt 12: The Sign of Contradiction

Simeon recognized by the Spirit of God that the newly redeemed babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes was the Messiah he, and Israel had been waiting for. ...

III. Christmas Supplement

20. Christmas in Four Words

Can you really put Christmas in four words? Yes, you can.
Promises made.
Promises kept.

21. The Ox, the Ass, and Us

When we place the ox and ass beside the crib, we must remember the whole passage in Isaiah, which is not only good news, but also a judgment..

22. God's Reminder to Us this Christmas Season: Do Not Fear

Four times in the Christmas story, angels appeared at appointed times to give a message to key individuals who were a part of Jesus' life and birth. And every time, those to whom they appeared were greatly "troubled," "afraid," or even "gripped with fear." And every time the angels said these powerful words, "Do not be afraid..."

23. Christmas Prayers for the Merry … And Not-So-Merry

Lord, we ask You to grant us peace. Peace in our homes, peace in our churches and peace in our hearts, especially when it feels like the world all around us spins out of control. ...

24. A Knock at Midnight - A Homily for Christmas Mass

In this reflection, perhaps we can consider just a single line in the Gospel, one that both challenges our love and acts as a sign of God's humble and abiding love for us: For there was no room for them in the inn. ...

25. Christmas, The Fruit of The Word

Preceding Christmas by an infinite distance is the most profound event, the foundational mystery of the Christian faith, the a priori Incarnation of the Son of God. ...

26. Messiahs False and True

We need something we cannot give ourselves. We need true healing; we need forgiveness; we need a new identity; we need new life. All this brings us to the coming of the Messiah, as described so poetically in the Gospel of Luke...

27. The Unlikely Women of Christmas

God shows us through these women's lives that there is no place we can go that is so far away from His presence that He cannot forgive us, redeem us, and then use us for His glory. His arm is not too short to save us from the deepest pit imaginable. ...

28. Rolled Away - Rolling Away Our Burdens

As Christmas approaches, I'm drawn to the story of another mother who watched her child suffer. Mary gave birth to a son in a barn. When the angel first told Mary she was carrying the Messiah, it seemed like a dream. Until one day, there He was, resting in her arms. ...

29. What Christmas Is About

Christmas is about a gift, but not the gifts under the tree! ...

30. How to Have a Happy Christmas

If we are to receive God's gift of new life, we must receive it humbly -admitting to God our failure, and being truly grateful for his love. ...

31. Hymn on the Nativity by St. Ephreim

Glory to Him Who could never be measured by us! Our heart is too small for Him, yea our mind is too feeble. ...

32. The Value of Silence Before the Great Mystery of the Incarnation

As the mysteries of the incarnation unfold for us liturgically, Let all mortal flesh keep silence, and with fear and trembling stand, Christ our God to earth descendeth, bearing blessings in his hand...

IV. General Monthly Features

33. Recipes for Christmas and Holidays

We have a great collection of recipes for your holiday and Christmas cooking. Please go to:
http://malankaraworld.com/Library/cafe/Default1-xmas.htm

34. The Gift for the Person Who Has Everything

Look for ways today to give ordinary kindness, and you'll find there's nothing ordinary about it. ...

35. The House of Christmas

Jesus' earthly address changes our own. Christ comes this Christmas, and shows us what it means to live. ...

36. Inviting a Guest for Christmas

Bring Joy To Someone In Need by Including That Person In your Christmas Celebration. ...

37. Don't Wait until Next Year

This holiday season and Christmas week, take pause to open up, celebrate and rejoice in the amazing gifts of your life. ...

38. Unrestrained Generosity

It's no coincidence that we started this week's look at generosity with a story about a little boy. Children are often our best teachers. ...

39. About Malankara World

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