CHRISTIAN NEWS BIWEEKLY PUBLICATION FOR KERALA MALAYALEE CHRISTIANS FROM INDIA AROUND THE WORLD
SYNOPSIS-ARCHIVE

SYNOPSIS FOR SERMONS AND MEDITATIONS
By V.Rev.Thomas P.Mundukuzhy Cor Episcopa
(A Renowned Writer And Publisher. Author of many Christian Devotional Books. Sunday School Director of American Diocese, Malankara Orthodox Church. )

SERIES 1 (LOL VOL:2 ISSUE:5 MARCH 1,2002)

LENT IV: CANAANITE WOMAN (March 3rd)
ST.MATHEW 15:21-29

1. Mother's concern about their children. She cried out: "Have mercy on me; my daughter is demon possessed." Her faith was great.

2. Jesus didn't say a word: Sometimes our prayers may not be answered at once. Some times Jesus did: Luke 5:12-16.

3. Sinners / demon possessed people are out of their mind: Isaiah 5:20. The prodigal son, "when he came to himself" (Luke 15:17), he returned to his father. Such people need God's help.

4. Disciples intervened: Sometimes we need intervention/ mediation. We intercede through the saints. Jesus taught them a lesson (John 6: 27-8; Acts 14:22) and strengthened their conviction.

5. Jesus was sent to save the lost sheep of Israel. .. Christ's works only to Israel . .. here and in Matthew 10: 5-6. But then here changed to save the Gentile.

6. Ask again for help: She did: "Lord, help me." ".... one who comes to me I will no means cast out" (John 6:37). God does not even if a mother forgets (Isaiah 49:15). Go to Him with faith. If we cry in our trouble, will listen (Psalm 107:28; Jeremiah 3:12; Zechariah 1:3). We may get the result only some other time (Luke 16:22).

7. We will be tested: Jesus' analogy: Children's bread throwing to the little dogs: Pictures children sitting at the dining table with their pet dogs on the floor below them. Children will be fed first, then the dogs (The Gospel must be preached first to the Jews,

then to the Gentiles). Jews hate pigs and dogs. Jesus used the abusive term "dogs" for Gentiles. Hence dogs are under the master's table, not outside.  

8. We have to impress others: Jesus was impressed with her answer. Dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master's table. She had faith in Jesus. But Jesus didn't pay attention. Even didn't listen to His disciples by excuses. But she continued her request. She doesn't want the bread, only the crumbs. She accepted Jesus as master and trusted in Him. She is a Canaanite, from the tribe of Canaan, cursed by Noah. She knew her drawbacks. But she impressed Jesus with her approach and response.

9. Her love and concern for her daughter: She prayed until she got the answer.  

10. We have to have great faith: "Great is your faith", Jesus told her (v.28). God listens to His compelling children.

11. God has no discrimination: Jew or Gentile. Jonah was sent to Nineveh. Cornelius and his related Gentiles were sanctified: Acts 10: 34-35.

12. Jesus respects women. Fulfilled her desire and the daughter was healed from that very hour.  

13. A moment of relief in our spiritual journey... a time to ask for and wait for the strength of God. A chance to experience God again. Time for living, praying, giving and gaining. Pray more, study more, and be on our knees more often.

MID-LENT: WEDNESDAY (March 6th)
ST. JOHN 3: 13-21

1. Jesus is the only one came down from heaven and knows what is going on there: Deuteronomy 30:12; Proverbs 30:14; Acts 2:34; Romans 10:6; 1 Corinthians 15:47; Ephesians 4:9.

2. Those who look Christ in faith will be saved as the Israelites looked at the bronze serpent (Numbers 21:4-9). Moses' golden serpent was a symbol of Christ's cross: John 12:32; Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 2:2. They fought against God and His servant Moses. .. so bitten by the fiery serpent. They cried. God's grace and the golden serpent to look upon it to be saved. They looked and were saved. The Macedonians in their great trial of affliction were abounded in the riches because of their faith (2 Corinthians 8: 1-5). We are all sinners. We have to look at Christ on the cross: Hebrews 3:1.

3. "They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed"

(Psalm 34:5 cf. Isaiah 45:22). David, running away from Saul, arrived in the land of Akish (Abimelech: 1 Samuel 21:10-15), in Philistines, the enemies, pretended madness thus escaped and wrote this psalm. Several looked at Jesus and healed or solved their problems; Saul became Paul, etc. Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12cf. Matthew 5:14-16). Sun's ray on moon and radiates. Through Jesus, we too.  

4. When we cannot accomplish, desperation and disappoint-mend. But God's presence strengthens us (John 8:29; 14:1-3 cf. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9) so that we don't have to be ashamed.  

5. God loves us that much that He sent His only Son to save us (Gospel in a nutshell: 3:16).  

6. Our choice determines our destiny.

LENT V: THE BENT WOMAN (March 10th)
ST.LUKE 13: 10-17

1. The bent woman continued to attend without desperation: Went to synagogue, though sick for 18 years. Go to church for healing and blessing. Zechariah and Elizabeth (Luke 1:6-7; Hanna 2:36-37; Job 1:20-21; 2:9-10).

2. Couldn't raise her up. Need some help. The Church has the responsibility of helping and caring.

3. "God created man upright" (Ecclesiastes 7:29) cf. Genesis 1:26-28; But committed sin : Genesis 3: 1-13.

4. If bent, cannot see things above. Spiritual bent is also the same. Only self, nothing divine. Own wealth, prestige, personal care and concern. For own sake, seek God and make friendship. Love friends and hate enemies. Go to church as a way to heaven and to avoid hell: John 5:44. Sinners do not stand up among righteous: Psalm 1:5.

5. Crying face always looks down. When looks up, see God. Hagar cried for her son Ishmael. When looked up saw God: Genesis 21: 8-21. cf. Psalms 71:5-6: God's concern and protection.

6. Jesus understands all our needs. The bent woman didn't say a word. As soon as Christ saw her, He called her to Him and blessed her -- loosened from infirmity. Underneath are everlasting arms. Even if sins are red, can be changed to white: Isaiah 1:18 cf. 60: 1-5.

7. Jesus laid His hands on her: Jesus is the physical, mental and spiritual healer. He absolved her sins by touching.

8. Minister the needy on Sabbath. Our Lord did. We too. James 4:17. We should get the motivation during our Sunday worship. Sabbath to rest to help: Exodus 20: 10; Deuteronomy 5: 14-15.  

9. Hypocrisy: Fed the animals (13:15) but against healing the sick. Loved the Law more than the people. The Jews professed virtues and did not practice. Lent: no food, but bad talks and actions. Act before preach.

10. They were not courage enough to talk to Jesus. So the ruler scolded the woman. Jealous led the synagogue leader to get mad at the multitude because he could not at Jesus or perform miracles.

11. She glorified God. Praise and thank Him.

SERIES 2 (LOL VOL:2 ISSUE:6 MARCH 15,2002)

LENT VI: THE BLIND MAN (March 17th)
ST.JOHN 9:1-41

1. Blind man has so many drawbacks: He cannot see himself or others; or anything at all in that matter. His ignorance. The blind wanders in the streets (Lamentations 4:14). If the blind leads blind, both will fall into the ditch (Matthew 15:4). The blind (spiritually poor) needs counseling (Revelation 3:17).
Blindness leads to hate our fellow beings (2 John 2:11). Bribe blinds the eyes of the wise (Deuteronomy: 16:16). Drunken leaders are blind (Isaiah 29:9). Offering a blind as a sacrifice is evil (Malachi 1:8). Those who do not receive are blind (John 12:40).
Israel was blind to receive Jesus (Romans 11:7). Pharisees were spiritually blind - didn't recognize Jesus - :(John 9:40-41. To God, some watchmen (leaders) are blind ( Isaiah 56:10). 

2. Watch out parents: The iniquity of fathers upon children to generations: Exodus 20:5; 34:7; Psalms 109:14. Sick because of sin: John 5:14.

3. The blindness was to demonstrate the works of God, not because of anyone's sin: "It is time for you to act, O Lord" (Psalms 119:126). God wants to bring out
blind people (Isaiah 43:8). God brings the blind by a way nobody else knows (Isaiah 42:16). Jesus' ministry included "recovery of sight to the blind (Luke 4:18). Our Lord cured the blind (Matthew 11:5: Jesus to John's disciple: "Blind see..") God's work was revealed through man. The notion that suffering is due to sin: Exodus 20:5; Ezekiel 18:20; Compare Romans 5:12 (Death and suffering because of sin). Jesus revealed that sickness and suffering are not of the sin; but to reveal the love and grace of God.

4. God called us to open blind eyes (Isaiah 42:7): Job was eyes to the blind (20:15). We shall give light to others. Help the needy. We have to shine our lights (Matthew 5:14-16). We are His workmanship created for good works (Ephesians 2:10). We are called out of
darkness into His marvelous light ( 1 Peter 2:9). We have to rise up and shine (Isaiah 60:1) and help others (Isaiah 58:6-10).

5. The blind man believed, obeyed and was blessed. He was grateful for what happened. He is ready to acknowledge: "I was blind, but now I see" (v.25): Forget those things behind and reach forward which are ahead pressing toward the goal for the prize of the upward (Philippians 3:13-14). There are failures and
successes in swimming or scientific and technological research for advancement.

Life's experiences prove that our faith takes us to the destination. Preach the Gospel: A proper Christian is a propagating Christian.

6. The neighbors were not ready to acknowledge the miracle. Those who could not understand this miracle are blind. Those who bypass truth and love are blind. They live in darkness. Satan binds the minds of believers: 2 Corinthians 4:4.

7. Jesus is the light of the world: John 1:5, 9; 3:19; 8:12; 9:5; 12:35, 46. The Braille system of writing and printing for the blind. The healing of the blind reveals the Christian salvation - from darkness to light (1 Peter 2:9). Should be active as long as there is light.

8. The blind man's faith grew: His comments: A man called Jesus (v.11), a prophet (v.17), a man from God (v.33), the Son of God (vv.35-36). What do we think of Him?

9. Spiritual blindness of the Pharisees: divided
(v.16), called Jesus a sinner (v.24), questioned (v.29), and abused (v.34). Their prejudgment.

10. Nobody noticed when he was blind and asked for help. Now everybody knows him when he was touched by Jesus. The hated Jew became a a faithful believer.

11. The serpent told Eve to eat the fruit so that her eyes will be opened (Genesis 3:1-7). First Eve and then Adam ate, and saw that they were naked. What a contrast?

12. Jews couldn't enjoy the man being cured.

13. Several spiritually blind have been opening their eyes every day to glorify God.

14. God is willing to use the clay (grace). Siloam is the Church. One has to be washed in the Church (baptism, confession, communion) to be cleaned and to see. God created man from clay; here same thing and
gave light. We have to wash our sins through
repentance and confession in the sacrament of the Church.

15. The blind man is Jew. Everybody forsook him, but Jesus didn't.

16. Blind man's witness: "One thing I know; that though I was blind, now I see" (9:25).

40TH FRIDAY OF LENT
LUKE 4: 1-13; MATTHEW 4: 1-11

1. After 40 days and nights of fasting, Jesus was tempted by the devil, but overcame. Jesus quoted the Scriptures to defeat the devil (Angel - Lucifer- plotted against God and was driven out; 2/3 stayed with God). Importance of studying the Bible.

2. As Jesus was tempted, we will also be tempted by the devil all the time.

3. Jesus was completely obedient to God. So should we too.

4. Loyalty is greater than hunger: Deuteronomy 8:3.

5. Worship only our Lord God: Deuteronomy 6:13; Matthew 4:10.

6. We shall not tempt our Lord: Deuteronomy 6:16.

7. God is there always to overcome our temptations: John 5:5; Hebrews 4:14-16.

8. Only Do His will.

9. Don't jump into anything thinking that God will help us.

10. Do not compromise with the laws of the world.

LAZARUS SATURDAY
JOHN 11:1-46

1. Bethany: House of fig fruits ( 2 miles from
Jerusalem)

2. Jesus was invited to this house and enjoyed the company several times. Jesus shall be the unseen guest in our homes.

3. Lazarus got sick when Jesus was away.

4. Jesus did not come as they expected. Our
expectation is different than God's.

5. Came after the devil's temptation, arrived on the 4th day, to console His family friends, Martha and Mary, on time like those of sick for 38 years and 18 years were healed.

6. Martha welcomed Jesus, but Mary was slow, because of not getting her wishes.

7. Jesus was testing her love.

8. A lesson about resurrection. Lazarus was raised. We will all resurrect.

9. Jesus sought help from others to move the stone. We have to participate in God's activities.

10. Mary's faith came back. Jesus spent the last Sabbath with Martha, Mary, and Lazarus ... 6 days before the Passover, when she washed Jesus' feet.

PALM SUNDAY
MATTHEW 21:1-17; MARK 11:1-11;
LUKE 19:28-34; JOHN 12:12-19

1. Triumphal Entry: The start of the Holy (Passion) Week - Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem is recorded in all four Gospels ... walked from Mount Olive of Jericho to Jerusalem, about 17 miles. (continues to the Last Supper, the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Suffering and Death on the cross, the Burial and the Resurrection).

2. Jesus came to establish the kingdom of God. Went along with the Jerusalem entry for the fulfillment of the prophecy (Zechariah 9:9; 14:3-4), even though avoided an earlier attempt to make Him king (John 6:15). No fire works or pompous processions.

3. The only public reception and recognition (Jews expected the Messiah to appear from the Mount of Olive). Royal reception like that of Maccabee (1 Maccabe 13:5; Psalm 118:26). In B. C. 175, Antiochus Epiphanus invaded Jerusalem and defiled, but Maccabees intervened and sanctified. People were happy ( 2 Maccabees 10:7). They bore branches, fair boughs and palms --- sang psalms unto Him that had given good success in cleansing His place. Jesus is here to sanctify the temple (Malachi 3:1; Ezra 9:6)... Jeremiah during the Babylonian invasion, to inform the people, bore rope and yoke (Jeremiah 27: 1-6).

4. Jesus rode on the back of a donkey. Generally walks. Jesus probably had arranged the use of the colt/ass/donkey in advance. John's Gospel suggests that Jesus had much contacts there during the Judean ministry (John 2:13-3:36; 5:1-47; 7:3-10:39). During war time rides on horses, peace time on donkeys. Christ is the king of peace. Christ proclaims that peacemakers are sons of God (Matthew 5:9). It was a procession of simplicity and humility. cf. Genesis 49: 11; 2 Kings 9:13.

5. Why donkey? Reveals Jesus' message and character:

(a) Burden Bearing
(b) Humility and simplicity: Revelation 3:20. Jesus is king and the promised Messiah.
(c) Symbol of peace. Coming with the message of peace on a donkey; not on a horse for a battle. Jesus coming riding on a humble animal to give Himself for His people ... the one used to ride upon a cherub and fly (Psalms 18:10), rides on a poor man's donkey. Jesus had a virgin mother, virgin colt to ride, and a virgin tomb (For sacrifice a calf: Numbers 19:2; Arc on separate vehicle: 1 Samuel 6:7). 
(d) To fulfil prophecy (Zechariah 9:9).

6. Because Jesus rode on a donkey, it also got the respect and welcome. Those who bear witness to Jesus would get the same kind of honor and respect.

7. Royal welcome: "Red carpet welcome" - a welcome accorded to a king. No distinguished guests there, just ordinary people. .. those who were cured and healed. Critics and adorers are also there. Many stayed at home enjoying the worldly pleasures. Several criticized - Pharisees. Some raised protests.

8. Do right and feel great: Children shouted "Hosanna.". Angels said: "Kadeesh, kadeesh"; Humans: "Holy, Holy." "Praise the Lord and glorify the Heavenly Father" (Matthew 5:16). 

It is a sign and symbol of victory over sin and devil. They spread their clothes and palm tree branches on the street. Are the palm leaves for our victory? (Revelation 9:7). At the coronation of the Israel's king, people shouted in recognition of fighting against enemies. Also pilgrims used to sing on the way to Passover (Psalms 118:25-26). Here Christ's royal visit -- king of kings, king of peace, who gave His blood and life... not like others. They followed the one who came in the name of the Lord. Not just anybody. Some of those who praised this day shouted later "crucify, crucify."

9. Don't make Him angry: Jesus went to the temple for cleansing, but got angry when what He saw inside. "My temple is house of prayer." What would He see in our temple of heart? Jesus may cry looking upon us as did for Jerusalem. Hidden now (Luke 19:41-42). St. Paul's narration of Christ's cry for the Galatians (4:13-15, 19). Help without distinction, forgive sincerely, love others immensely so that we won't make Him to cry for us.

10. Let us enter into the temple of hearts. He is knocking at the door (Revelation 3:20). Submit ourselves to God when we praise the Lord. The entry into the temple is our entry to the kingdom of God (Psalm 24). Shall we ready to receive Him with the good deeds of palm leaves at His second coming?

11. Understand Jesus' courage, claim and appeal. Lots of enmities, but didn't mind to come forward, like John the Baptist or Stephen. He is Christ, temple's owner, sacrifice. He is king of the hearts, not of the world. He is king of peace, throne of cross. He came to establish the kingdom of God (Matthew 12:28). The disciples acclaimed Jesus as the promised Christ. The coming of Jesus has full of God's love - toward children, youth and parents who all have part in this (1 John 2:4-17).

12. Jesus' proclamation: Their jealous led them to ask Jesus to control the children to which Jesus answered: ".... if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."

13. Participate in the procession understanding the meaning: During the 4th century, the church in Jerusalem instituted on this Sunday a solemn procession from the Mount Olives to the principal church of the city, in commemoration of our Lord's Triumphal Entry. The custom of such a procession of palms soon spread to the churches of Christendom, and became a regular preface to the Eucharistic Liturgy of the day. The congregation participates in this solemn re-enactment of our Lord's entrance into the events of the Holy Week by waving the palms and joining in the procession singing.

14. Cheers, then tears: Jesus wept over the city (Luke 19: 37-41) mainly for two reasons: (a) Because of rejection; (b) Knowing the destruction of Jerusalem (Happened in A. D. 70 with the Roman occupation).

15. This triumphal entry was a symbol of His second coming. We have to hold palm leaves clothed with robes to receive at His second coming (Revelation 7:9). Angels should glorify us by watching us (Matthew 5:16).

PASSOVER
 LUKE 22:14-30; JOHN 6: 41-63

1. Jesus wanted, longed to celebrate the Passover with the disciples.

2. Passover commemorates (1 Corinthians 11: 23-25) the suffering and death of our Savior. It is observed on the anniversary of the day that Jesus was betrayed and crucified. We commit our lives and loyalty to Him anew when we observe this festival - our total commitment to Him with sincerity and truth.

3. Jesus loved them, including the one who betrayed, until the end.

4. Old Testament Passover is the remembrance of deliverance from the bondage of slavery (Exodus 12: 21-27) expressing profound thanks and joy. Teach children God's Law (Deuteronomy 6: 6-7). Four kinds of sacrifices in the Old Testament: Burnt Offerings, Peace Offerings, Sin Offerings, Meal Offerings. Passover is a Peace Offering. All these offerings are symbols of Christ's sacrifice. No more blood sacrifices after Christ's on the cross.

5. Jesus is our Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7). Why did Jesus Christ have to be the lamb of God? For our first parents' sin, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son, is uniquely qualified for the lives of all mankind. Male lambs "without blemish" (Exodus 12: 5-7) were slain for sacrifice. "Without shedding of blood, there is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22 cf. John 1:29; Hebrews 10:4). At the beginning of exodus, Israelites killed the Passover lambs on the 14th day of the first month (Ahib or Nisan) of the religious year. The same day of the month, Jesus' blood was shed more than 1,400 years later. New Testament Passover is the continuation of the sacrifice of our Lord. Before crucifixion, Jesus blessed bread and wine and gave saying that they are His body and blood. Thus Jesus established Holy Eucharist (Qurbana). Also declared that He was the Passover lamb offered Himself and told to continue until His second coming. Jesus shed His blood for the New Testament (Matthew 26: 28). Through baptism, we are a new creation (Jeremiah 31: 31-34). Once we receive holy communion, we could not continue as the old person because we are completely new. We renew this in each of our confession and holy communion. This new covenant with blood means we do not go back even if we have to shed our blood (martyrdom). We in Him and He in us because of communion. Christ lives in us (John 6:56). So we should bear lots of fruits. We cannot do anything without Him (John 11:5).

6. Passover was prepared in a large, furnished, upper room. (Luke 22:12). We celebrate Holy Qurbana on a decorated altar. How about our hearts and minds? Are we prepared? Large enough? Cleansed and prepared? Examine carefully.

7. Share the meal the Lord has set before us (1 Corinthians 10: 16-17; 12: 12-13, 27; Hebrews 10: 10, 12, 14-20). We have to receive holy communion on a regular basis and submit us before Him for continued blessings. Don't receive in an unworthy manner (1 Corinthians 11: 26-29).

8. Holy mysteries are for the pure and the holy. Some of the disciples were not: Judah Iscariot (John 13: 10-11; Luke 22: 3). In spite of imperfections, we can reach God through Jesus Christ.

9. Examine ours before we receive holy communion (1 Corinthians 11: 27-29). Without holiness, no one will see God (Hebrews 12:14). God hates sin, loves the sinners. Jews complained that Jesus is "eating with and being a friend" of tax collectors and sinners (Luke 3:34; Matthew 9:11). Jesus' coming was to call sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32).

10. Two people went to pray: Pharisee and tax collector (Luke 18:13). Pharisee's prayer: not like other men (robbers, evil doers, adulterers, not even like this tax collector); Tax collector's prayer: "God, have mercy on me, a sinner." What a difference in their prayers?

11. We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God ( Romans 3:23).

12. King David took three steps after a shattering series of sins. He was composer of beautiful inspiring psalms and a man "after God's own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14). But he had an ugly side (2 Samuel 11)... his relationship with Behtsheba, Uriah's wife. When we make mistakes, most of us try to blame others (parents, teachers, spouses, nutritionists, clergy, etc.). Blame almost becomes a way of life. To solve: (1) Admit that there is a problem (2) Repent and actively confront the problem (3) Ask God - pray - to overcome the problem.

13. Nathan taught David a lesson : 2 Samuel 12: 1-13.

14. Psalm 51. (A). Confessed (vv.1-2: "Have mercy on me, O God, according to your kindness; in your great compassion, blot out my offenses."

(B) Repented (vv.3-4): "I know my transgressions, my sin is ever before me."

(C). Changed: "Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me." No excuses, no justification, no blaming.

15. Self-examination: Sins of commissions and
omissions. When thoughts of sins repeatedly come, confess; feel severe pain. Practice the presence of God. Simon Peter and Mary Magdalene confessed their sins. St. Augustine committed all kinds of sins before conversion. St. John doesn't know any kinds of sins. Say "good bye" to sins and have complete surrender to God's will. Feel "nothingness". See us as who we really are...thoughts, feelings, conversations, etc.

16. Penitence: Kneeling is a form of penitence
expressing our repentance and dedication. Jesus wept, (not laughed any time) looking at Jerusalem and also at the death of Lazarus. Abraham mourned when Sarah died; Jeremiah cried for the sins of the people; Job cried; David cried; Nehemiah cried; Mary and Martha cried; Mary Magdalene cried and washed Jesus' feet with tears.

GOOD FRIDAY
MATTHEW 26-27; MARK 14-15;
LUKE 22-23; JOHN 18-19

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the heart of the Christian message.

THE WEEK BEFORE CHRIST'S DEATH ON THE CROSS.
1. FRIDAY: End of fast; temptations by the devil
2. SATURDAY: Arrived in Bethany; Lazarus was raised.
3. SUNDAY: Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem; Children praised raising palm leaves; healed the blind and the lame.
4. MONDAY: Cursing the fig tree; enemies gathered.
5. TUESDAY: Conspiracy continued; Lamented on Jerusalem.
6. WEDNESDAY: Supper at Bethany
7. THURSDAY: The Last Supper: Feet Washing (Matthew 26:26-20; Luke 22: 14-23; John 13: 3-17, 21); Departure of Judas; Foretells disciples' desertion and
Peter's denial ; prayer for the Church (Mark 14: 27-31; John 13: 36-38; chapters 14-17).
FRIDAY (the Day Christ was crucified): Night: Prayer in Gethsemane; disciples slept; Angel strengthened (Matthew 26: 36-46; Luke 22:43); Judas arrived with mob, seized, disciples ran (Matthew 26: 47-56). Early Morning: Taken to Annas; sent to Caiphas; Peter denied (John 18: 12-24); Sanhedrim tried for blasphemy (Matthew 26: 57-66); Peter denied 2nd and 3rd time (Mark 14: 70-72; Luke 22: 58-62); mocked, beaten, and spat upon (Luke 22: 63-65); sent to Pilate (Luke 22: 66-71; 23:1).
Morning: Judas hung himself (Matthew 27: 3-10); Pilate, after questioning, sent to Herod (Luke 23: 1-7); Herod returned to Pilate (Luke 23: 8-11); Pilate's attempt to release; rejection; scourging (Matthew 27: 15-26; Mark 15: 21-22; John 19: 1-16). 9 a.m - 3 p.m.: Crucified between two robbers (Mark
15: 25-28); prayed for the murderers (Luke 23:34); soldiers divided the garments (Matthew 27:35); scoffed and mocked (Matthew 27: 39-44); asked John to care for
Mary (John 19: 25-27); darkness all over the land from noon to 3 p.m. (Matthew 27: 45); given sour wine and stabbed; spoke last words and died (Luke 23:46; John 18: 28-30; 34-37). Late afternoon: Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodimus claimed the body and laid in a new tomb (Matthew 27: 60; Mark 15: 42-46; John 19: 38-42).

JUDAS ISCARIOT: (1). Traitor (Luke 6:16), betrayer (Matthew 10:4; Mark 3:19), thief (John), son of destruction and curse (Peter). Jesus said that it would have been good for him if he was not born (Matthew 26: 24).
(2). The word means "The praise of God."; but no one dares to give that name to anyone because of aversion. Parents' hope of their children and the results.
(3). Not used his position and apostleship: Treasurer, sat nearer the Lord at the Last Supper. But he fell from his prestigious position. Very difficult to renew such people (Hebrews 6: 4-5).
(4). Jealousy: He was the only one from Judea. Others were from Galilee. May not have inner position like John, James and Peter, Jealous might have played a part. His love of money and desperation of not happening with Jesus as he expected from Him.
(5). Did not use his time intelligently: Warned that one of them was a devil (John 6:70). Jesus told him directly that he is the traitor (Matthew 26:25). 
(6). Overconfidence: He might have thought that Jesus could overcome all the opposition and arrest easily.
(7). "Akel Dama: "Field of Blood" (Acts 1:19): That is his death place. Peter repented; Judas did not. (more in OUR CHURCH, chapter II)

PONTIAS PILATE: (1) Governor (Luke 3:2), but became afraid of Jesus' situation (John 19:8).
(2). "I am innocent of the blood of this just person" (Matthew 27: 24). He is remembered daily in our Nicean creed.
(3). His conscience as well as his wife who told him that Jesus is innocent. So also the Law was in favor of Jesus. Still he made the wrong judgment.
(4). Joined with the wish of the multitude: Few days back, they said "Hosanna" to Jesus, now they say, "crucify, crucify."
(5). Stood to preserve his own power and authority: When he heard "You are not Caesar's friend", decided against Jesus.
(6). A coward: Sent to Herod; wanted to release either Jesus or Barabas; scourged to satisfy the crowd.
(7). Stubborn: Not to change the title put on the cross "Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews" (John 19:19) to "He said, I am the king of the Jews" (John 19: 21-22).
(8). The death of Pilate (from Apocrypha): Roman emperor Tiberias was seriously ill. Heard about a physician in Jerusalem who could cure anyone by uttering a single word. He sent Volusiannus to Jerusalem for more information ... heard from Pilate's palace about Jesus Christ who was condemned to death by Pilate ... disappointed and left .... On the way met Veronica who told her experiences in making pictures of Christ .... she went went with him to the emperor, prayed and the emperor was cured. Ordered to arrest Pilate, but when the emperor saw him, changed his mind. but when Pilate left, got angry again and called back. This happened few times ... realizing the situation, Pilate killed himself using his own sword
... dead body thrown into Tiber river... thunder and lightening.. so thrown into river Ron in Vienna ... problem there too ... so taken to Luzania in Switzerland and buried in between the mountains.

PETER'S FAILURE (Matthew 26: 33 cf. 74):
(1) Peter's great concern turned into bitter
experience: Peter did not want to see Jesus suffered (Matthew 16: 21-22). He said that he will never stumble (Matthew 26:33). Even peter cut the right ear of Malchus, the high priest's servant at Gethsemane during the arrest event (John 18:10). But later he fled from the scene (Matthew 26: 56), followed the arrested Jesus and stood at the door outside (John 18: 15-16), but later admitted. Here he denied Jesus three times (Matthew 26: 71: to the servant girl; 26; 72: to another girl; and a 3rd time: Matthew 26: 74, to those
who stood by). 

(2) Peter's over confidence: He said that he will never stumble. His personal dependency. Pride and haughty spirit lead to destructions (Proverbs 16: 18). Goliath was fallen by David, the shepherd boy (1 Samuel 17). We should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think (Romans 12:3). We have
to take heed lest be fall (1 Corinthians 10:12). We have to depend upon God's grace.

(3) Ignored prayer: Slept in Gethsemane while the Lord was praying. Samson slept in the lap of Delila that led to his fall. We have to awake to receive the Lord's light (Ephesians 5:14; Romans 13:11; Isaiah 26:18; 60:1). 

(4) Followed Christ at a distance (Matthew 26: 58): Told him to "follow me." No dedication or submission.

(5) Circumstances led him to deny (Matthew 26:58). Sat with the servants at the fireside warming himself: do not sit in the seat of the scornful (Psalms 1:1). Light cannot communicate with darkness (2 Corinthians
6:14).

(6) Failure led him to victory. Peter went out and cried bitterly (Matthew 26:75). Sorrow leads to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:9). The power of God (1 Peter 1:4) kept him through faith to be submissive (1 Peter 5:5) and to resist the devil (1 Peter 5:8).

ANNAS, THE HIGH PRIEST (John 18: 13; 19-24):
(1) Questioned about Jesus' disciples and His doctrine (John 18:19): To find fault politically and religiously.
(2) Became high priest by bribing the Romans. Spokesman of the people and president of Sanhidrim. Self-served: Money making business and family oriented affairs.
(3) He hated Jesus because of jealous (Mark 15:9) and because Jesus proclaimed that they were making he God's temple into robber's den that led to loss of income. Same thing happened to Paul in Ephesus (Acts 19:27-29). Also Jesus' questioning irritated them.
(4) Bribery again (Matthew 28:11) .. to the soldiers.

SIMON, THE CYRENIAN (Mark 15:21): (1) Jesus was taken to Calvary - the offering was carried outside the camp (Leveticus 16:27).
(2) Simon was compelled to bear Jesus' cross: An unexpected experience. Though disliked to carry the cross, he did it which made him great. Like Joseph, son of Jacob, who was sold, finally became the prime minister.
(3) Carried another one's burden: "Bear one another's burden." Galatians 6:2.
(4) He did his job faithfully, may be because of his love to Jesus. He is proud of carrying the cross of the Savior.
(5) His family became Jesus' followers. Children Alexander and Ruphos (Mark 15:21) and wife (Romans 16:13) became prominent leaders in the Church. The Cyrene Christians (Acts 11:20) later preached the
Gospel in Antioch.

JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA (John 19:38):
(1) Rich man: He had a tomb of his own in the garden. Brought 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes.
(2) Council member (Mark 15:43; Luke 23:50): Prestigious position. He made use of it profitably.
(3) Just man: Luke 23: 50.
(4) Waited for the kingdom of God: Mark 15:13; Luke 23: 51: Waited for the fulfillment of the prophecies ( Isaiah 11: 1ff; Amos 5: 25)
(5) Disciple of Jesus: Matthew 27: 57. Like Nicodimus (John 3:3; 19:39), Joseph was a secret disciple. It was a drawback to him (Luke 9:26).
(6) Courageously came forward to ask for the body of Jesus: Mark 15:43): Burial with the help of Nicodemus. Make use of the "acceptable time" and "the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2; Isaiah 49: 8).

JESUS' TRIAL: LUKE 22: 66-68

1. No anger to any one: "With malice to none and charity for all." Abraham Lincoln after the Civil War. Jesus was calm and quite... wanted their, conversion. St. Paul was angry. When Pharaoh's soldiers drown in the Red sea, angels thrilled with joy, but God scolded
them: "Aren't they also my children."
2. Jesus is the trial judge, not to be tried: Pilate
was unsteady, Caipha wretched, Annas business man. Judgment: John 3:19 3. The death was the fulfillment of God's eternal goal:
The lamb prepared to be sacrificed .. was ready to accept (John 18:11). Good comes out of the world of evil.

JESUS' DEATH

Meditate the cross of Jesus on Calvary with the following thoughts: 

1. Some shouted that Jesus blasphemied against God and should be condemned to death. 

2. Some accused Him of treason and demanded for His execution.

3. Pontius Pilate agonised over what to do with Jesus.

4. The Jewish leaders including the high priest
brought charges against Jesus.

5. Jesus' closest friends disowned Him and fled. 

6. Some followed Him to the cross mourning for Him.

7. Some insulted as He was dying: "Let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him" Mt. 27:42. A big challenge. Jesus could have come down, but resurrection is the important event. Jesus came to fulfill the will of God: John 6:38. Peter tried to prevent Him from crucifixion: Matthew 16:22-23. If the cross was the end of the story, it would be a story of tragedy, not victory. Jesus was a conqueror and it was a victory. (Satan's challenge to make stone bread, but Satan failed: Matthew 4:3-4). 

8. One of the criminals executed with Him was deeply moved.

9. The other robber said:" If you are the Christ, save yourself and us" (Luke 23:39). "He was numbered with the transgressors" (Isaiah 53:12), thus crucified between two robbers. He simply followed others by blaspheming Jesus ... criticized for nothing, may be because of jealousy. cf. the older brother of the prodigal son and Cain against Abel. His prayer like that of the Pharisee vs. the publican. He lost paradise. Learn to love each other.

10. A centurion uttered: "Surely this man was the Son of God" (Mark 15:39).

11. There was darkness between noon and 3 p.m.

12. The curtain in the temple was ripped in to two from top to bottom.

13. Tombs broke open and many were raised from the dead

14. Though Jesus was crucified, he raised from the dead.

15. Jesus was God in the flesh. God came down to reach out humans. God "reconciled us to Himself through Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:18). As St. Paul told to Titus, Christians' future rests on the hope of eternal life that God "promised before the beginning of time"
(Titus 1:2). We have to reconcile with Him. As St. Peter says, everyone has "to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).

16. Jesus died forgiving (Luke 23:33-34): Trouble forgiving others and trouble accepting forgiveness of our sins. Humanity: "How much you loved us?" Jesus: "This much": Then He spread both of His hands to both sides, rested His head on the cross and died.

17. Died proving the seriousness of sin. First time  when we sin, conscious pricks and sticks ... eventually become a habit. Our sins killed Jesus on the cross when He cried with a loud voice: Matthew 27:46. 

18. Died thoughtful of His loved ones: Concern for His mother (John 19:26-27). A new son and a new mother. Jesus told to cry for them and for their children, not for Him (Luke 23:28). His concern for Mary who washed His feet and also at the death of Lazarus. Told them to cry for those who are the reason for His crucifixion. 

19. Died having finished what He started: John 19:30.  We start several things, but finish few. We change sides. Peter confessed Jesus and then denied. Howabout us? Jesus finished his mission.

THOSE WHO CRUCIFIED JESUS
1. Judas: For the love of money
2. Peter and disciples: For the lack of courage
3. Annas and Caipha: For prestige and profit
4. Herod: Because of his wife Herodia's instigation
5. Pilate: To please the crowd and to retain his job
6. Soldiers: For their livelihood
7. Jews: Because of their anger for pointing out their follies and drawbacks
8. We: Our sins ("You are the man" (2 Samuel 12:7) Nathan to David.
9. The common people: Misled by the leaders.

CRUCIFIED WHERE?
1. On Calvary: Adam's skull
2. Between heaven and earth
3. At the center of the world
4. Between two robbers
5. Between Angels and Human Beings
6. At the Center of History: AD & BC.

TO PONDER
1. Two disciples slept (at Gethsemane)
2. One disciple betrayed
3. Another one denied
4. Some ran away
5. Women followed and cried
6. Only Angels and Nicodemus comforted

CHRIST'S FIVE WOUNDS
"Bruised for our iniquities" (Isaiah 53:5, 10)
(Pelican bird feed the chicks with its own flesh).

1. IN THE FACE: They spat in His face, beat Him and struck Him (Matthew 26:67): spat, struck and slapped. When we use our hands for unlawful and insincere things, we are striking Jesus with our hands.

2. ON THE BACK: They scourged Jesus: Matthew 27:26 cf. Psalms 129:3. Plowers plowed. Because the crowd uttered to crucify Him and to release Barabas. Are  we doing
the same?

3. ON THE HEAD: Crowns of thorns: Matthew 27:29. cf. Genesis 3:18 and Isaiah 55:13: Thorns and thistles. Struck on the head: Matthew 27:30. Became out of shape. Are we using our brain against Jesus?

4. HANDS AND FEET: Psalms 22:16. They crucified Him: Matthew 27:35. Pierced nails. Through heresy and walking through wrong paths, we hurt Him.

5. HEART: Pierced His side with a spear: John 19:34. Look on Him whom they have pierced: Zechariah 12:10. Insults broken the heart: Psalm 69:20.

(FIVE WOUNDS: FIVE HOLES ON THE COMMUNION BREAD)
Jesus suffered all these for us. What do we do for Him?" What shall I render to the Lord, for all His benefits toward me ?" (Psalm 116:12). Make our decisions blended with the blood of Jesus on the cross.



THE LAST SERMON

Normally Romans gauged the mouth and cover the face of the crucified. Here an exception, may be to utter the seven verses from the cross. Here is a cross on that same mount where Isaac was taken to sacrifice. Abraham's words: "My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering", about 2600 years back. Here is another sacrifice on another altar. The size of the cross depends upon the person, big or small. Here big for Christ and small for the robbers. Soldiers mocked by saying: "If thou be the king of Jews, save thyself." and "Thou that destroyed ... from the cross." The chief priests with elders and  Scribes mocked as: "If He be the king of Israel, let  Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him." Garments were divided. Normally those who were crucified uttered under despair, blasphemies and curses. Jesus spoke 7 times from the cross: three times to God, the Father and four times to those nearby: first three for others - those crucified, the robber, and then the mother; fourth to the Father, fifth to quench His thirst, 6th about His triumph, and the 7th, directly to the Father. St. Matthew and St. Mark describe one, St. Luke and St. John three each.
I. "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34): During light. Lots of people took part in our Lord's crucifixion. Jesus is not angry against them, but prayed for their forgiveness: cf. Luke 19:41 (wept for Jerusalem). a. This prayer made way for the conversion of many souls. No revenge. The girl who escaped from the murderer of her parents and siblings became a nurse and happened to care the culprit, but served him carefully and revealed herself when he said goodbye by quoting the above verse.
b. New Testament message: No tit for tat as in the Old Testament. Judges 16:28: Samson wanted renewed strength for revenge; 2 Chronicles 24:22: Zechariah prayed for revenge. But in the New Testament, different approach: Acts 7:60: St. Stephen: "Do not charge them with this sin." We should have love and patience: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
c. Words go with actions: Taught to love enemies and pray for the persecutors: Matthew 5:44. Forgive seven to 70 times.
d. They did because of their ignorance: They knew that they crucified a just man. But they did not know this when they crucified; Acts 3:17. Peter to the crowd; because of their ignorance: Paul 1 Corinthians 2:8.
e. Words of hope and expectation: Forgiving spirit. 
II. Today, you will be with me in paradise: Luke 23:43. Jesus was crucified in between the robbers as prophesied (Isaiah 53:12). Darkness started. The two thieves joined bystanders to revile Jesus (Mark 15:32). One of them insulted by saying: "If you are the Christ, save yourself and us" (Luke 23:39). The other, though mocked earlier, repented and rebuked the other and prayed (like Joseph in Genesis 40:14) to Jesus to remember him:" Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom" (v.42) ... this is our prayer when we kneel down before the cross with offertory on Good Friday ... to which Jesus responded by giving him hope. Those who reject God, their petitions go unanswered. Thief converted at the nick of the time. The Lord marvels at the conversion of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:21-24. The Lord never cast out (John 6:37). Those who surrender get strength to face the present and hope for the future.
a. He really understood Jesus: Pilate asked whether Jesus is king (Luke 23:3; John 19:14-15). "If you are the king of Jews, save yourself": Soldiers (Luke 23:36); "If you are the Christ, save yourself and us": the other robber. "Hail, king of the Jews": Soldiers (Mark 15:18). They were all rebuking Jesus. But this robber believed that Jesus was king because of his personal experiences. Jesus' words to the women: Do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children (Luke 23:28); His prayer to forgive those who crucified; He might have seen the inscription:" Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews" (John 19:19) in Hebrew (Universal language), Greek (Literary language), and Latin/Roman (Law language). God might have revealed him. He believed that "this man has done nothing wrong" (Luke 23:41).
b. His humble prayer: John and James wanted high position in His kingdom; David prayed to have mercy on him (Psalms 51:1); Repented publican prayed to have mercy on him, a sinner; thief prayed to remember him. The Lord is rich to give to all who call upon Him:
Romans 10:12-13. Call Him with faith to be saved.
c. Jesus' promise: Will be with Him in the paradise. God is able to do exceedingly abundantly (Ephesians 3:20). Asked to remember: Got the promise to be with Him, not long after, but the same day. To be with Him is the greatest blessing. St. Paul wished for it (Philippians 1:23). After death we are going to be with Him alive.
d. We are saved because of His grace, not just because of faith in action: Ephesians 2:8.
e. The thief on the left is the representative of the goats (also of Judaism who didn't believe) who will be on His left at the great day of final account and the right thief is that of the sheep (also of Gentiles who believed) is of His right and receive blessing. The Jews believed that in heaven itself, there are seven mansions into which several degrees of the elect would be admitted. St. Paul speaks of him as caught into the third of these seven heavens (2 Corinthians 12:20); Jesus also taught this (John 14:2). 

f. In Christ's first word, He exercised his function as High Priest, the second is of promise. The first gives repentance and grace to the sinner; the second opened the door to a great sinner. The first is of with the kingdom of grace, the second is of glory. The thief wants only to remember; Jesus says that he is with Him. The chief butler and Joseph only after two years; here the same day. 
g. Jesus' readiness to receive and pardon all those who turn to Him. cf. Zechariah 13:1. The first saved was thus a thief.
h. Penitence or true repentance has its own reward.
III. "Woman, behold your son.......behold your mother" (John 19:26-27): Concern to His mother. Don't forget one's own (1 Timothy 5:8). Jesus had a trusted friend:
John, the disciple. (First verse was to God, the father; second was to the repented thief; third to His own mother and loving disciple):
a. Lamenting mother is at the foot of the cross: All her life ... pregnancy, delivery, ministry, all led her for worries and concerns ... sword pierced through her soul: Luke 2:35. The forehead, hands, legs His mother kissed and touched are nailed to the cross. Disciples and own people deserted Him. Only mother is
nearby with the beloved children. b. Son on the cross: Jesus lived for others. One of the ten commandments to respect parents. Obey your parents (Ephesians 6:1 (St. Paul). Jesus was "subject" to them (Luke 2:51). A mother's wish to hear son to call her "mother" before she dies. 
c. The disciple at the foot of the cross: Thomas said: "Let us also go, that we may die with Him" (John 11:16). Peter: "Even if all are made to stumble because of you, I will never be made stumble" (Matthew 26:33. Both of them are gone. All disciples forsook Him and fled (Matthew 26:56). John returned. If we are gone away from Him, let us go back. 
IV. "Eli, Eli, Lama Sabakthani": "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me" (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). A cry that in the thick dark ... .darkness all over. Jesus is the light of the world... then how come He cried in the dark? Jesus prayed at Gethsemane to takeaway the suffering (Luke 22:42). Jesus was tempted and tested like us (Hebrews 4:15). We too call God when in agony. Jesus quoted the first portion of Psalm 22:1: Messiah's suffering and exaltation. Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). He is God and Man. He made Him to be sin for us (2 Corinthians5:21). Here is a cry of a sinless who was made to be sin. Jesus bore our own sins on the tree (1 Peter 2:24). He is the slaughtered lamb (Revelation 13:8).Sin brings darkness (Exodus 10:21). When emerged with sinners, had to go through unusual experiences. The light shines in the darkness (John 1:15). To work during day. as no one can work in the dark (John 9:4).  Asked the question from the cross representing the sinners. The wages of sin is death. To raise them from the grave (Psalms 49:13-14), Jesus cried aloud. God's  rod and staff comfort us (Psalms 23:4). He sets us on high places (Psalms 18:33) and glory shall come in (Psalms 24:7). Can we be candles in the dark? Because Jesus pointed out their love of money and hypocrisy and the lack of leadership, Jews wanted to destroy Jesus. Judas Iscariot did not change even after spending with Jesus for 3 years. Pilate because of the concern of his job, made the bad judgment. We have to make good decisions with repentance not to sin again and thereby not to crucify Him. 
V. I Thirst (John 19:28): Jesus endured the heat, pain, rejection and loneliness. Darkness started to move. Asked for help ... for a drink and received vinegar (Matthew 27:48) thus fulfilled David's 1000 year-old prophecy (Psalm 69:21). Jesus is thirsty for the lost souls. cf. Samaritan woman and the lost sheep (John 4:34f). Hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6). It shows Jesus' extreme passion on the cross. It also shows that Jesus was also human - born of a woman and was brought up as a man. ..was hungry and thirsty, was happy and sad; got angry, etc. As God, walked on the water, calmed the sea, cured the sick, raised the dead, and so on... was king as well as servant... as God promised paradise, as human, was thirsty. Jesus experienced all our pains and hunger and thirst (Hebrews 2:17; 4:15). We have our Savior in such a person: He quenches our thirst.

VI. It is finished (John 19:30): Finished the work on the earth. His work was to teach to love the Lord our God as well as our neighbor (Matthew 22:37-40). Do it with our might (Ecclesiastes 9:10). God ended His work (Genesis 2:2). It is done (Revelation 2:6).
a. Fulfilled all prophecies and signs: All the Old Testament predictions completed.
b. Completed all the will of God: At the age of
twelve (Luke 2:49); To finish His work (John 4:34); Finished the work given (John 17:4).
c. Completed the sufferings (Isaiah 53: Suffering Servant). Earlier He said: "My hour has not come yet" (John 2:4); Son of Man shall lifted up (John 3:15); At  the time of Transfiguration about His sufferings (Matthew 17:12); told disciples about the sufferings in Jerusalem (Matthew 16:21); at Gethsemane to take the cup away (Luke 22:42); He bore our sins in His own body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24).
d. Completed the fight against the devil with triumph: Colossians 2:15.

VII. "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit" (Luke 23:46):
(a) Committed with complete submission (Psalms 31:5) ... could be a prayer before go to sleep. Father: Luke 2:49; 22:42; John 10:18.
(b) Intimate relationship with Father at the time of death: Communion with Him all the time. Daniel, St. Paul and Silas experienced in the jail; even in the valley of the shadow of death (Psalms 23:4). (c) Saw the gory of God: St. Stephen (Acts 7:55) 
(d) Laid His life by Himself (John 10:18). We live by faith in Him (Galatians 2:20).
(e) Let us rest in Him: John 10:28-29.

THE CROSS AND CRUCIFIXION

1. Jesus was crucified on Calvary (Latin) or Golgotha (Aramaic) which means skull. It was outside the city of Jerusalem (John 19:20; Hebrews 13:12); near a well-traveled road as passersby mocked Him (Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:21, 29-30); on a hill to be plainly visible at a distance (Mark 15:40) and the tomb was in a garden (John 19:41.
2. The portrayal of Jesus on the cross is very sacred. The death of Jesus on the cross was the most important act of human history.
3. In the Roman empire, crucifixion was originally the punishment of slaves. Later, foreigners and criminals were executed on the cross.
4. The cross was a symbol of humiliation. Jesus transformed humanity from sin and death through crucifixion (Galatians 3:13) humbly, obediently and voluntarily (Philippians 2:5-8).
5. Crucifixion atones: pays for our sins; crucifixion justifies (spiritually right with God), crucifixion reconciles (takes away the sins), and crucifixion redeems (pays the note of debt): Colossians 1:21-22. 
6. Crucifixion transformed Paul, the persecutor (1 Corinthians 15:9; 1 Timothy 1:13) with "Christ, the crucified" and "the message of the cross" (1 Corinthians 1:18-23). With spiritual sacrifices, we have to take up the cross (Matthew 10:38; Luke 9:23). 
7. The Egyptians symbolized cross life; for the
Greeks, the cross was a metaphor for the four elements of creation: air, earth, fire and water. The cross was also used as defense against demonic forces and to ward off vampires.
8. The cross was once borne by criminals ... only the lowest of criminals: robbers, traitors, and rebels were forced to "bear" it. Now it represents eternal life.
9. The cross was a terrifying symbol for the Muslims during the Crusades.
10.The cross has been imprinted on battle fields and has been an award for valor like the famed IRON CROSS given by Germany and the VICTORIA CROSS by Britain. The US Congress gives the highest military honors of the Distinguished Service Cross and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
11. The tree in the middle of the garden of Eden represents the cross of Jesus Christ.
12. Human beings are created in the form of a cross.
13. The cross is the symbol of our faith, a sign of spiritual birth and renewal.
14. CROSS: I: Selfishness; Cross is selfishness crossed out + . Sign the cross, wear the cross, bear the cross and adore the cross.

JESUS' CRUCIFIXION

1. Jesus was a person of absolute integrity, humane, compassionate, healer and reconciler, a person at ease with the poor and the outcasts.
2. But Jesus was executed as a criminal, practically abandoned, without the comforts of His friends or the satisfaction of a completed mission.
3. Jesus lectured to His captors, assuring the release of His disciples, befuddling His inquisitor with a mixture of brilliant replies and majestic silence.
4. There is suffering and humiliation involved because of the selfishness of certain people
(clergy), carelessness of the leadership (Pontius Pilate), chaotic attitude of the associates (soldiers) and the helplessness of the multitude (General Public).
5. There was opposition because of His association with the sinners... showed compassion and love, preached, healed and offered hospitality to them, respected women and made them the most trusted followers, and criticized Jewish Law. - In the Garden of Gethsemane for prayer. - Condemned to death: Matthew 27:1; Mark 15:1; Luke
22:66. - Crown of thorns: Crown, a royal or imperial headdress "..... and plating a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and put a reed in His right hand." (Matthew 27:29). There is a common saying: "What hat are you wearing today?" meaning: "What job are you doing?"; "What role are you fulfilling?"; "What uniform are you wearing?". We all wear a variety of
"hats' every day. Jesus carried our grieves and sorrows by wearing the crown of thorns.
- Jesus takes up His cross: Carrying the cross, Jesus went forth to the place called Calvary ... obedient to the father, like an innocent lamb to the slaughter. - Jesus falls the first time under the cross.
- Jesus meets His afflicted mother.
- Simon of Cyrene is forced to take up the cross.
- Jesus falls a second time.
-Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem and comforted:
"Weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children."
- Falls a third time: Beaten with blows and scourges
- Stripped of His garments: They came to the place called Golgotha or Calvary, place of the skull. There they gave Him wine to drink, mingled with gall. He tasted, but didn't drink. They divided His garments among them by lots thus fulfilled the prophets.
- Nailed to the cross: Crucified with two thieves.
- Dies on the cross: Uttered the seven verses.
- Body is taken from the cross.
-Body placed in the sepulcher; Joseph of Arimathea wrapped the body in a clean linen shroud, and laid it in a new tomb.
- The Resurrection.

GOOD FRIDAY: CRISIS HANDLING DAY

1. Prayer (Matthew 26:36) at Gethsemane

2. Obedience (Matthew 26:39, 42): to do His will.

3. Watch the sleeping disciples (Matthew 26: 45)

4. Faith in God, not in men (Peter and all the
disciples): Matthew 26:35, 56.

5. Forgiveness from the cross: Luke 23: 34

6. Silence during interrogation: John 19: 9-10.

7. Stayed within the boundaries: rules and
regulations: Paid taxes, went to synagogue, taught and
preached.

8. Took care of their needs: Mother (John 19: 26-27)

TO PONDER DURING THE PASSION WEEK

1. Jesus' beloved disciple: John
2. The ear of the chief priest's servant (Malchus)
was cut
3. Peter denied Jesus three times
4. Judas betrayed Jesus and hanged himself and later
Mathias was elected to replace him
5. Joseph and Nicodemus helped for the burial
6. Women, especially Mary Magdalene, first witnessed the resurrected Christ.
7. Thomas did not believe first until he personally witnessed the resurrected Jesus Christ.

GOOD/GREAT SATURDAY:
 MATTHEW 27:57-66; MARK 15:42-16:1:
LUKE 23:50-56; JOHN 19: 31-42

1. Royal funeral.

2. Like God rested after creation, here after
completing the affairs of salvation, rested in the tomb.

3. Joy of earth and heaven: From Sabbath to Sabbath: Isaiah 66: 23.

4. Preached the Gospel to the departed in the 

hade: Preached to those who could not be converted by Noah's preaching and died (1 Peter 2:5; 3:18-20; 4: 16). They all came and worshipped Jesus.

5. Pray for the dead: 2 Corinthians 5: 9; Revelations
7: 15; 1 Peter 5: 8.

6. In baptism, we are crucified to sin and
resurrected. We have to live in that faith.

RESURRECTION SUNDAY:
MATTHEW 28: 1-20; MARK 16: 1FF;
LUKE 24: 1FF; JOHN 20: 1FF

1. Easter falls between March 22nd and April 26th on the first Sunday after the first full moon following March 21, the vernal equinox (the time in Spring when  the day and night are of equal length). The date of Easter was established by the first ecumenical council of Nicea in 325 A. D.

2. Easter is believed to have taken its English name from the Teutonic festival celebrating the return of Spring each year which was called Easter. The French word for Easter, "pyques", the Italian "pasqua", and the Spanish "pascua", came from the Hebrew word "pesah". This is a Jewish feast celebrated on the night of the first full moon in the Spring. The feast of pesah (passover) marks the freedom of the ancient Israelites from the Egyptians.

3. Easter is a wonder to tell, a mystery - the
resurrection of Christ from the dead. It is the "Feast of Feasts" and "the solemnity of solemnities." It is the celebration of Christ the Victor, Christ the King.

4. On Easter, the churches are filled with
worshippers, the altars are decorated with flowers and lighted candles, and the music of the day proclaims the joy of the season. People wear colorful dress on this holy day to express joy and gladness, and children in many places collect and hunt chocolate
bunnies and Easter eggs.

5. Jesus proclaimed His resurrection (Matthew 20:19; Luke 18:23; Revelation 1:18). "Jesus Christ was declared to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:4). Christ's resurrection proves that He is the Son of God. Resurrection is the crowning proof of His diety.

6. The Empty Tomb: Friday body was placed in the tomb and a huge stone was rolled against the entrance; Roman soldiers watched; yet on the 3rd day, the tomb was empty. "Why do you seek the living among the dead"
(Luke 24:5). Jesus rose again, appeared to several, talked and ate with the disciples. First the women and then the disciples witnessed. Thomas put his finger in the fingernails and cleared his doubts. Jesus dispelled his doubts. Thomas uttered: "My Lord and my God." Later, Saul (Paul) the persecutor also witnessed Jesus' resurrection (1 Corinthians 15: 4-9). Thomas wanted to see before he believes, but Paul had no problem (1 Corinthians 15:3-70). Death happens many
times in our times. Often we must die to our own ego, our own preferences, in order to love others.
7. Christ's resurrection proves that there is life
after death. The astounding news is that life can begin again. It teaches that eternal life becomes a present reality. It is the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3:10). If death is end of all we do, then all what we do is futile. Our end is the beginning of a perfect union. It is victory over sin. Easter egg to teach children that there is life inside and will come out: This is the resurrection from death. Life from lifeless.

8. Assurance to the resurrection of the dead (Matthew 28: 1-20). If Christ is not risen, our faith is empty (1 Corinthians 15:14); we are still in sin (but Christ rose again according to Scriptures: 15:3); and there is no hope for our dead (but Christ is the first fruits of those risen from the dead: 1 Corinthians 15:20).The dead have to rise (Revelation 3: 1-3). Jesus overcame death. That is our hope in our life to rise again. Earthquake at the death as well as at resurrection. Soldiers fell down watching the angels who sang: "Holy art Thou O God." Jesus is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). Jesus on the cross assured the other thief that he shall be with Him in paradise. Rich man's suffering in the hell because he didn't care about other's suffering.

9. Jesus is in our hearts (Romans 6: 3-7): Nine
month's in Mary's womb; hung on few nails for a while; in the sepulcher of Joseph for three days; rose again and ascended into heaven; sitting at the right hand of the father judging the world. He should be in the inner most part of our hearts.

10. Our faith depends upon this great truth (1 Corinthians 15:14). If Jesus was not resurrected, all the preaching and belief are in vain.

11. Resurrection teaches us that we believe in a living God. Jesus Christ conquered death. He has risen (Luke 24: 5-6). Thomas believed it only after checking it out (John 20: 25-28). Jesus' resurrection turned the world around (Acts 17:6). He can change our lives too.

12. Jesus wipes away our weep. "Why are you weeping?" (John 20: 15) to Mary at the empty tomb. She was an adulterous. But Jesus saved her. Jesus wept at the death of her brother Lazarus (John 11: 32-36). When
blind Bartimaeus cried to help, Jesus stopped and cured him (Mark 10: 46-48). When Jesus saw the widow weeping, had compassion on her and raised her son (Luke 7: 13-15). Here the resurrected Lord called her by name (20:16) and she recognized His voice (John
10:3). "Weep not, I shall not die, and as I leave the land of the dying, I trust the blessings of the Lord in the land of the living." (Edward the Confessor, King of England).

13. Mary was the first missionary who told the
disciples about Christ's resurrection (John 20: 18).

14. The message of Christ after resurrection:
a. Rejoice: Matthew 28:9 (:Rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalms 118: 22-23).
b. Do not be afraid: Matthew 28:10: Moral depression or private battle, fear not.
c. Tell the brethren: Matthew 28: 10.
d. Peace to all: John 20: 20-21.
e. Receive Holy Spirit: John 20: 22
f. Forgive sins: John 20: 23.

15. Resurrection is the foundation of the Apostolic faith (Acts 1:22) and the corner stone of Christian life. The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone. St. Paul's example (1 Corinthians 4:8). Jesus resurrected Himself and raised some. He will raise everyone during His second coming. He can raise even those who died in sin (A murderer in the jail was presented with a Bible by a visiting missionary. The crucifixion story changed his life).

16. Power of resurrection (Philippians 3:10; Acts 3:15; 1 John 1:1). The scattered disciples were brought together. cf. 1 Corinthians 15: 14. Jesus proclaimed His resurrection: Matthew 20:19; Luke 18:23; Revelation 1:18

17. Goodness overcame evil. Love and peace united within us uniting between human beings as well as with God. God newly created the fallen human race: washed away the tears

18. We shall be grateful to God. Are we?

19. Christ's resurrection from the grave is symbolic of emergence from the long dead of winter. It marks the season of renewal, of rebirth. It gives us profound hope, happiness and contentment.

20. The disciples were glad when they saw Jesus (John 20:20). Their despair due to the lost affairs of Jesus' crucifixion; their fear of Jews and Romans (20:19); their shame (ran away: Matthew 26:33; John 11:16 -Thomas -; women stood by but men ran away); their emptiness because of the absence of their master. When they saw the resurrected Christ, they were glad; all lost ness disappeared.

21. Several witnessed the resurrected Jesus including Saul, the persecutor: 1 Corinthians 15:4-9. Truth is higher than anything (John 18: 37). They crucified truth, but truth resurrected; God is greater than evil, Jesus died for the sinners and resurrected; life is stronger than death (1 Corinthians 15: 20-22,55); love is greater than hate. 

NOTES: 1. In the early Church, baptism was conducted on Easter Sundays.
2. Emperor Constantine, the first Christian emperor, gave one week's vacation after Easter.

SERIES 3 (LOL VOL:2 ISSUE:7 APRIL 1,2002)

FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EASTER
ST.JOHN 20:19-31

1. Jesus appeared several times to the disciples staying with them 40 days after resurrection: (Acts 1:2-3)

2. This is the first to 10 disciples, empowering them for their ministry.

3. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood in the midst: God is Spirit.

4. Jesus' new message on peace; Love our enemies. Here offered peace three times (Six times in Holy Qurbana: "Peace to you.")

5. Showed His hands (20:20). Son surprisingly asked his mother why one of her hands looks black and weak. She told the story how she saved him from a house fire. Grateful son embraced his mother and looked after even life after death. Jesus showed His hands, the ones pierced in on the cross. We have two hands, legs, feet, ears, eyes, etc., but only one heart. Jesus' hand touched the blind, leper, and performed several miracles.

6. Disciples were glad when they saw the Lord (20:20).

7. Jesus sent to "catch"; to teach and preach: commandment to all of us.

8. Like the Father sent the Son, Jesus sent His discipls with authority to continue His ministry.

9. Breathed and gave them the power to forgive: "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them.... if you retain the sins of any, they are retained (20:23).

10. Thomas was not there. That doesn't mean, he didn't get the Holy Spirit. Cf. (Numbers 11:25-26). (Eldad and Medad who were in the tent also received the Holy Spirit). Also forgiving authority was already given (Matthew 18:18), and St. Thomas was there at Pentecost.

11. Thomas wanted a personal experience of Jesus' resurrection. (Peter and John ran to the tomb to see the resurrected Jesus in person. cf. (John 1:1). Mathias was with them at resurrection: (Acts 1:22).

12. Fulfilled the wishes of Thomas by letting him to feel His print of the nails in His hands because of His love to him. Thomas was overjoyed and thrilled and thus cleared the doubts.

13. Jesus asked Thomas to look at His hands: (John 20:27).

A. The hands of creation: The hands laid the foundation of the earth (Isaiah 48:13; 59:1; 64:8); the hands of the Master Craftsman (Proverbs 8:30); the hands of He who created all things visible and invisible (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16).
B. The hands of Redemption: The pierced hands (Psalm 22:16); the wounded hands (Zechariah 13:6).
C. The hands of sustenance: Everlasting hands (Deuteronomy 33:27); Filled with good (Psalm 104:28); Satisfying hands (Psalm 145:16); Feeding hands (Matthew 6: 26: Birds do not feed or gather).
D. Hands of judgment: Writings of judgment (Daniel 5:24); Judgment of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10): Receive things according to our deeds.

14. Believe by seeing as well as hearing. Believe with or without seeing.

15. Thomas' utterance: "My Lord and my Lord" (John 20:25 cf. Psalm 35:23): Jesus' sovereignty and deity cf. Matthew 16:16: Peter's confession of faith: "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God."

16. Remember St. Thomas three times annually; Sunday after Easter, July 3rd, December 21st.

17. Three instances to reveal his character:

(a) Readiness to die with Christ (John 11:6);
(b) His interest to know where Christ is going (14:5);
(c) Desire to see the resurrected Christ in person (21:24).

18. Jesus strengthened the faith: Gave them new enthusiasm.

19. Jesus Christ should be with us all day every day.

 

"PEACE BE WITH YOU": JOHN 20:19,21,26
1. Christ gives us peace: (John 14:27)

2. This peace guards our hearts and our minds: (Philip.4:7)

3. God is the author of peace: (1 Corinthians 14:33)

4. Christ is the prince of peace: (Isaiah 9:6)

5. Peace is a fruit of God's Spirit: (Gal. 5:22)

6. Humility precedes peace

7. We have to depart from evil to have real peace:(Ps.34:14)

8. When we please God, we make peace with our fellow men also: (Proverbs 16:7)

9. We have to follow the Law: (Psalm 119:65)

10. We have to make peace with one another (Mark 9:50) and we will be blessed (Matthew 5:9): Peacemakers are sons of God.

11. God comforts: (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

12. Word of encouragement does wonders: (Prov.12:25)

13. Peace at the birth of Christ: (Luke 2:14)

14. St. Paul begins his epistles with the exhortation of peace: (Romans 1:4) ; (1 Corinthians 1:32) (Corinthians 1:2) ; (Galatians 1:4)

15. Also General Epistles: (1 Peter 1:2) ; (2 Peter 1:2) ; (2 John 1:2) ; (Jude 5.2)

16. He is our peace: (Ephesians 2:1)

17. Jesus preached peace: (Ephesians 2:17)

18. Peace and righteousness inseparable qualities: (Ps.85:10)

19. Pursue the things which make peace: (Rom.14:19)

20. God fills us with peace: (Romans 15:13)

21. Bond of peace: (Ephesians 4:3)

22. Peace of God to rule in our hearts: (Colo.3:15)

23. Pursue peace with all people: (Hebrews 12:14)

24. Fruit of righteousness sown in peace by those who make peace: (James 3:18)

25. Peace to him who is far off and near: (Isaiah 57:19)

26. Worthy homes receive peace: (Matthew 10:13)

27. Son of peace accepts peace: (Luke 10:5-6)

28. Blessed are the peacemakers: (Matthew 5:9)

27. No peace to the wicked: (Isaiah 57:21)

28. Maketh even enemies at peace: (Prov.16:7)

29. Peace with God: (Romans 5:1)

30. Peace through the blood of His Cross: (Col..1:20)

31. God is the author of peace: (1 Corinthians 14:33)

32. Peace of God keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus: (Philippians 4:6-7)

33. Peace of God rules in our hearts: (Colossians 3:15)

34..........and peace there shall be no end: (Isaiah 9:6-7)

35. Actual Holy Eucharist service starts with prayer for peace.

36. PEACE before and after Gospel Reading.

37. "PEACE BE WITH YOU" six times in Holy Eucharist apart from several prayers and exhortations for peace.

SECOND SUNDAY AFTER EASTER
ST. JOHN 21:1-14

1. Earlier appeared in Jerusalem while the disciples were in prayer. Here while in Galilee when in hard work to earn their food. Earlier appeared to ten disciples, here only seven including Andrew and Philipose, may be at the house of Peter.

2. Sunday is the Lord's day. If Sunday is a fun day, week-days shall be weak days. The first meal of the day shall be the Lord's: the Holy Communion. Here Jesus is there with the breakfast food.

3. The disciples went back to work; rather than being lazy.

4. Peter said: "I am going fishing:" Others said: "We are going with you also." Their united front.

5. They went back to their old job even after seeing the resurrected Christ. They are concerned about their future. They lost their faith. Their thoughts about replacing Herod and ruling Israel faded. They lost their hope and expectations (1 Corinthians 15:19). Should not look back after putting hand to the plow: Luke 9:62.

6. Caught nothing that night: Results of going back from promises and decisions. Their fishing days were gone. They went out without seeking the will of God; they forgot that they could not do anything without their Master. Not possible without God: (Psalm 127:1)

7. Jesus got their to help those who forgot Him. God works with us in our need. God's strength and blessings: Psalm 27:1: God is our light and salvation.

8. Did not recognize Him first: If we go astray sometimes this happens.

9. The one Jesus loved most recognized first.

10. No Christ in the night; but Christ there in the morning and big blessings.

11. Jesus did not get angry for going back to their old job.

12. Fishing at the wrong place, side:

13. Obedience enabled them to fish: Listened to Jesus and caught 153 big ones.

14. Fish was the symbol of Christ and Christians. ICTHUS (Greek) = Fish= Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior: First letters of Greek makes ICTHUS: Code for Christians during persecution. Christians were depicted as fish swimming in the water.

15. 153 Fish stand for converts; BOAT stands for Church (1 Peter 3:20); NET stands for Gospel. The net was cast by the instruction of Jesus and lots of people embraced the Church. The NET was not broken (Christ's robe was not torn: John 19:23-25) shows the unity of the Church. 153 fish stand for all kinds of people, according to Jerome. The kingdom of heaven compared: (Matthew 13:47) ;(Ezekiel 47:9) "The Church of Love" in Hebrew. The value of these letters total 153.

16. His presence with us all the time and helps us in trouble:

(a) "I am with you all always, even to the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20).
(b) His "words will by no means pass away" (Matthew 23:4)
(c) We don't have to fear even when we walk through the valley of death because He is with us, and His rod and staff comfort us: (Psalm 23:4)
(d) He is our strength and present help in trouble: (Psalm 46:1-3)

17. They got more than they wanted: He is "able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20-21). When we do things with His Grace, we get results.

18. Don't' be discouraged for not getting an immediate answer. He never changes: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and for ever" (Hebrews 13:8)

19. All ate fried fish and bread: Not vegetarian.

20. Jesus gave them bread and fish (John 21:12-14): Symbol of Holy Communion; also at Emmaus (Luke 24:30): Experienced Lord's presence.

SERIES 4 (LOL VOL:2 ISSUE:8 APRIL 15,2002)

THIRD SUNDAY AFTER EASTER (APRIL 21ST)
ST.JOHN 21:15-19
(Also on Sanctification Sunday / Koodosh Etho)

1. Jesus' Third appearance: In second, Thomas was confirmed; here Peter.

2. Conversation with Peter: After the meal: pious and sincere; not joking, but serious.

3. Peter was ashamed of denying Jesus three times as against his promises; Jesus wanted to heal.

4. "Do you love me more than these?":
a. More than fishing: Mark 1:16-17
b. More than these people: (Luke 14:25-35): All human beings; More than other disciples: Mark 14: 27-31
c. Pierced into the heart of Peter
d. Same question to us: Do we love Him?

5. Peter says that he does.

6. Feed the lamb: little children

7. Questioning 2nd time: Affirmative answer: "I love you"

8. Tender my sheep (Female): "Shepherd my people" (Matthew 2:6); "All the flock" (Acts 20:28); "Lord is the great Shepherd" (Hebrews 13:20); Astrayed sheep to return (1 Peter 2:25); Shepherd the flock of God (1 Peter 5:2,4); Sheep of the pasture (Psalm 79:13); Sheep in the midst of wolves (Matthew 10:16); Lost sheep (Matthew 15:24); Divide sheep and goat, sheep on the right hand (Matthew 25:32-33); scattered sheep (Matthew 26:31).

9. Asked third time: Peter was grieved for asking again and again.

10. Lord, you know all things: Complete submission and dedication: You know all of my activities, dealings and everything. Jesus knew everyone and everything: John 2:24; 16:30

11. Feed my sheep (goat): Male.

 

12. Where are our lambs, sheep and goats?

13. Peter was Jesus' trusted disciple and spokeman: Andrew, his older brother introduced Peter to Jesus who called Peter along with John and James while fishing. Jesus named him 'Peter' meaning rock, changing from Simon. Was with Jesus when the daughter of Jarius was raised; at Mount Tabor during transfiguration; at Gethsamanae. He revealed that Jesus Christ is "Christ, the Son of the Living God.". He protested to wash his feet by the Master. He struck the ear off of the servant of the chief priest. Jesus once rebuked him. He fled away, even though he earlier said: "Even though they all fall away, I will not" (Mark 14:29); then he denied three times (Luke 22: 54-62) and then sobbed. . Jesus foretold this (Luke 23:24). Jesus told him to forgive 70 times seven. He raised to the tomb hearing of the resurrection.

14. Here Peter was reinstated. If we confess, we will be forgiven.

15. Young: Walk anywhere we want: Sometimes, we should not go anywhere we want; Christ gives us the courage to go: Moses to lead Israel; Thomas to India; Paul for all his works.

16. When old: Others direct us

17. Warning about Peter's suffering and persecution: Suffering helps for goodness.

18. Peter glorified at death: crucified head downwards per his wishes... kissing the feet of crucified Jesus.

19. If we love Him, we have to keep His word (John 14:23) God loves everyone: No discrimination.

20. When Peter was reinstated, called to follow Him

21. Have faith in the resurrected Christ and live accordingly: 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.

ST.GEORGE DAY (APRIL 23RD/MAY 6TH)

1. St. George: patron saint of England (once it was the empire where the sun never sets) and Portugal (St. Andrew of Scotland, St. Patrick of Ireland, and St. David of Wales): We have several churches with St. George as patron saint.

2. April 23rd (May 6th according to the new Gregorian calendar), the day the saint was beheaded at the age of 23, is the remembrance day of St. George: also the birthday of the most famous playwright, William Shakespeare.

3. Born in a wealthy and noble family about A.D. 280 in Capadocia in Asia Minor.... joined the Roman army and got quick promotion because of his ability and charm. One legend says that George visited Britain with Constantine, while in the army, (who later became the first Christian emperor) including some holy places as Glastonbury and Caerleon.

4. Once when George was stationed with the Roman army near Salone in Libya, he heard a story from the townfolk about a fearsome dragon terrorising the city. The dragon was fed with fish, cattle, sheep, and so on. When they ran out of them, they were compelled to offer human sacrifices which they picked through drawing lots.

5. One day the lot fell on the king's beautiful daughter, Sophia. After eight days of fasting and prayer, the princess got ready to be devoured by the dragon, when all on a sudden, George, the soldier appeared mounting his white horse. He signed the cross, and told the trembling and weeping princess that he will bruise the head of the serpent in the name of Jesus Christ. After a big fight, George was able to wound the serpent with his lance and killed it. Then two of them tied a rope around its neck, and dragged it to the town. He cut off its head in front of all the townpeople. The whole town, including the king, were baptized and became Christians.

6. St. George defeated the devil by the Cross and his righteousness in Christ..

7. George distributed all the gifts given by the king to the poor and left the town after four pieces of advice:
a. Respect the Clergy
b. Give great care to the Church
c. Have concern for the poor
d. Do not stop worship services.

8. Emperor Diocletian, the Christian enemy, issued a decree to persecute Christians: "All churches should be levelled to the ground; all sacred books to be burned; all Christians who hold any honorable rank are not only to be degraded, but to be deprtived of civil rights...." so on. George vehemently opposed this decree upon which he was arrested, persecuted, tortured and tried to seduce him; but none of these changed his mind.

9. When all methods failed, the emperor brought George to his palace to persuade him to worship the idols. Empress Alexandria's personal encouragement not only worked, but she believed his God. Finally when George stretched his hands, raised eyes to Heaven and prayed, Diocletian's idols collapsed and fell to the ground. Then the crowd shouted: "We believe in George's God." The angered emperor ordered to behead George and the empress Alexandria and thus ended his life in Palastine.

10. Before long, George's fame was spread all over the world. King Constantine, who took over after Diocletian, considered George as the true model of the young Christian, built a church over his grave in Palastine, on the seashore of Lydda. St. George is known as "The Prince of Martyrs" (to the Copts), and "the Great Martyr" for the Greeks.

11. Spring sprung and several were cured through his intercession. The heroic life and deeds of St. George spread all over the world.

12. The English Crusaders in the Holy Land who heard the stories of St. George, carried them home to England, adopted St. George's name as their warriors' rallying call and took his name as their patron saint.

13. King Edward III, around 1348, founded the Most Noble Order of the Garter and placed under St. George's patronage. St. George's badge is a red cross on a white background, and it is this that became a symbol of England.

14. "Whoever desires to come after me, let him deny himself (give full control of life to Christ) take up his cross, and follow me." (Mark 8:34-38.) The person who carried a cross was on the way to execution. It is a graphic picture of who is dead. He is ready to accept whatever costs are involved in a life of complete Christian commitment. St. George had that experience.

FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER ((APRIL 28TH) )
ST.LUKE 24:13-35

1. Resurrected Christ appeared to two disciples: to Cleopa, brother of Joseph, Jesus' stepfather and to Luke. They were very disappointed and discouraged because of the crucifixion and death of the Lord.

2. They were returning from Jerusalem after passover to their homes in Emmaus 7 miles (about 11km) from Jerusalem.

3. Their topic of conversation was of Jesus; not of gossip. What about us when we meet? If divine topic, God' presence; if not .....

4. They spread the good news of Jesus and His resurrection.

5. Jesus walked with them: The resurrected Christ walks with us everywhere. We have to believe and feel His presence. Some believe only by seeing, like St. Thomas; some believe by experiencing Him. Jesus is with us in sorrow and happiness; at sun rise and sun set; to the end.

6. Suffering is a mystery: way to triumph: Luke 24:25-27

7. They went far away from the place of crucifixion; but Jesus went after them.

8. Thedisciples did not recognize Jesus; Do we?

9. He is with us visibly and invisibly.

10.Who is the third person walking with us?

11. The unseen guest and the silent listener watches us.

12.They listened to His words: Do we? Jesus interpreted the Scripures: Old Testament proclaims the coming of Jesus and His sufferings. Wehave to study Old and New Testaments.

 

13. They invited Jesus to abide with them: we have to make personal calls. He is waiting for this at the door to recieve and to dine with us (Revelation 3:20). Those who go to Him will by no means cast out (John 6:37).

14. Their hopitality helped them to recognize Jesus.

15. When we listen to the good news of Gospel, spiritual hunger and thirst.

16. When Jesus took the bread, blessed, broke and gave it to them, their eyes were opened and recognized the Lord. When we receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ, satisfaction.

17. Not just hearing and listening (speaking ministry) enough; we have to participate in the holy communion..

18. Jesus is present at all our dining tables.

19. The witnessing experience overjoyed them and discontinued their journey to Emmaus and returned to Jerusalem to be with the other disciples and to spread the good news of Jesus' resurrection.

20. Jerusalem is the place of God: Isaiah 2:3; Micha 4:2, 8.

21. Jerusalem is the Church: the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15).

22. People leaving the Church (Jerusalem) and going to Emmaus (other groups): Even if Jesus walks with them, they do not realize and recognize.
SERIES 5 (LOL VOL:2 ISSUE:9 MAY 1,2002)

FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER (SUNDAY BEFORE ASCENSION)(MAY 5TH)
LUKE 9:51-62

1. The time to be received up, for ascension, almost up.

2. Jesus wanted to go to Jerusalem from Galilee, even though He knew that there will be persecution and crucifixion: Last trip.

3. Jesus sent messangers before hand.

4. There are two ways to go to Jerusalem: one is longer; around Jordan and through Jericho to Jerusalem; the other is a shortcut; through Samria: they took the shorter way because the other route is three times longer.

5. Jews usually took the longer route because they hated the Samaritans: mixed tribe.

6. Jesus did not hate the Samaritans: wanted to bring them to the fold......"he who is not against us is on our side" (9:50).

7. Samaritans did not give due honor to Jesus which made the disciples: James and John, angry.

8. Don't overdo: don't disobey: otherwise rejection.

9. The disciples got angry and wanted to punish Samaritans quoting Bible (2 Kings 1:10, 12: Elijah vs Ahas) cf. Job 13:7-8.

10. Lots of us do the same thing even now by quoting:
a. Different denominations about their faith
b. Ethists: "There is no God..": Psalm 54:1
c. "The dead do not praise the Lord..." (Psalm 115: 17-18)....But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and for ever more.
d. Drink wine and don't get drunk, means you can drink.

11. The disciples were trying to show their prestige. Selfishness, worldly pleasures or pleasurable lives are not divine.

 

12. Retaliation belongs to God. Destruction is not the spirit of Christianity.

13. Jesus came to save, not to destroy.

14. They went to another village: Avoid enmity and fight.

15. Jesus explains the conditions of discipleship...three people wanted to follow for prestige and positions (like Scribes:Matthew 8:14-20), but did not want to face the challenges and left.

16. Someone wanted to follow Jesus. He approached with day dreams to become great. Some people go anywhere for positions. So Jesus told him that birds have nests, foxes have dens, but Son of God has no place to rest, but only the cross. Total commitment needed for discipleship. Do not expect safety and security all the time. One has to "deny himself and take up the cross" (Luke 9:23-24).

17. Jesus invited another one to follow Him, but he wanted to bury his father first. Family concerns and sentimentals: parents, children, relatives, friends, wealth or such other worldly matters should not alienate us from God or divine activities (Genesis 12:1). Christian discipleship takes precedence to conventional discipleship. Family obligations and self-interest should not barr the responsibilities of discipleship. Spiritually dead are more concerned about worldly things.

18. Another one said he will follow after bidding farewell to those in his household. Calculations and statistics should not be hinders to follow Jesus. Should not look back to defeat the purpose (Sodom and Gomorrah)

MOTHER'S DAY (SECOND SUNDAY OF MAY)-MAY 12TH

Mother's love "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1 Corinthians 13:7). A mother nurtures, sustains, and redeems the family. A woman is nurturer, caregiver, mother and a "fixer."

1. Bears (Porukkunnu): Protects. A mother always looks for something positive in their children. St. Mary's position: Annunciation, birth, presentation, sorrow at the foot of the cross.

MOTHERS: NOT FOR SALE: Son in college sent a letter to his mother asking money to buy a car for his weekend use explaining that he cannot wait until graduat-ion and demanded money for the works he did at home: Moving the lawn for the last four years: $500.00; doing the chores at home: 500.00; Going to the store on his bike:200; thus a total of $1200.00 to buy a used car. Mother wiped her tears while she read the letter and then wrote the following reply: "I could not buy a car for you as I was saving the money for your college; but I bought the bike you loved so much. I am sending you the money I owe you. Here is my bill for some of the things I did for you all these years. I shall continue to pray for you: Carrying you within me foe nine months: No charge
Feeding you all these years: No charge
Sitting at night without sleep when you had nightmares: 0
Taking care of you when you were sick: No charge
Teaching you to read, write: No charge
Taking you places whereever you wanted to go: No charge
Taking you to School, Piano, Sports: No charge
Worrying about you and praying for you daily: No charge
Total : No charge


2. Believes (Vishwasickunnu): Trusts: She helps to understand; she believes in us when we have troubles in believing ourselves; she tells what we wanted to hear; she allows us to dream our dreams; she gives us the room we wanted to grow and the freedom to learn from our own mistakes.

Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, a Soviet airforce colonel asked American diplomat Vernon Walters what he would do in the event of a nuclear war. Ambassador replied: "I would pray 'Our Father, who art in Heaven....". Then the Colonel completed that Lord's Prayer. Ambassor asked: "How do yoy know that?' Colonel: "Everyone in Soviet Union knows it." Ambassador: "How?" Colonel: "From Mama."

3. Hopes all things (Prathiashickunnu): Hopes, recognizes and praises. Mother asked Christ for her sons John and James (sons of Zebedees / "sons of thunder") to allow sitting on the right and left side when He establishes His kingdom.

4. Endures (Sahickunnu): Preserves. Gives total forgiveness and reconciliation. She sets the right example. Second grade class has science lesson on the MAGNET. For a test, one question was: "My name starts with M, has six letters and I pick up things. What am I?

Half of the class answered: MOTHER.

Mother is there when we need her: She loves, sacrifices and helps. Mother is not only a care-giver, she is also a housekeeper, peacemaker, zookeeper, and bookeeper.

5. Good mothers produce great men: Mothers of Moses (Jochabed), Samuel (Hannah), Jesus (Mary), John the Baptist (Elizabeth), Timothy (Eunice).

6. Eve disobeyed: Brother (Cain) killed brother (Abel)
Sara was jealous: Ishmael and Hagar: Tug of war in the middle East.

7. Questions to children What do they want to be? 97% said "Like my mother"

8.Love them when they are living. The time is now, not after they are gone. They work hard for us with never a complaint carrying all the burdens. Tell them that we love her and appreciate what she does for us. Thank them from the bottom of our hearts for being there when we needed them.

9. Three significant aspects:
A. Sacred Calling: Biological and spiritual or moral: Molding influence: We learn about love, honesty, integrity, faith in God, etc., from our mothers.
B. Endangered Calling: Because of ungrateful husbands, economic necessity or professional satisfaction.
C. Indispensable Calling: To communicate faith, love, self-worth and moral values.
Mother's love for a sucking child: Isaiah 49:15
Mother's and Grandmother's care: 2 Timothy 1:5 cf. Proverbs 22:6; Samuel's mother Hannah: 1 samuel 1:22.

10. Obstacles to being a better mother:
a. Not having enough time with their kids. A survey reveals that 25% think that they would be better mothers if they didn't have to work.
b. Not having enough money: 39% think having more money would make them better mothers.

11. Value of a typical mother: Edelman Financial Services calculated the market value for the "typical" mom in today's economy as follows:
As elementary school principal: $58,600.00
Computer analyst : 44,000.00 Nutrionist: 41,000.00
Manager: 41,000.00
Chef: 40,000.00
Financial manager: 39,000.00
Nurse: 35,000.00
Bus driver: 32,000.00
Social worker: 30,000.00
Psychologist: 29,000.00
Property manager: 22,600.00
Waitress: 20,000.00
Clerk: 19,000.00
Caretaker for pets: 17,500.00
Recreation worker: 15,500.00
Child care worker: 13,000.00
Housekeeper: 9,000.00
TOTAL : $507,200.00
(Note: Tehse figures are calculated few years back).

12. Mother's good advice and support, her concern for spirituality, her standing behind her children, her good heart, empathy, her teaching and nice things and giving good advice, being there for her children, all are greatly appreciated.

13.Some quotable quotes:
1. God cannot be everywhere, so He made mothers (Arab Proverb)
2. Mothers do not divide their love among their children; they multipy it.
3. As far as understanding is concerbed, mothers usually are more valued than fathers, mainly for emotional reasons" (Marilyn Vos Savant). Mothers are much more law-abiding and nurturing. Women are the kinder, gentler sex. Though men built the modern world, women made it civilized, according to Savant.
4. A mother is a mother still, the holiest thing alive (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
5. The mother is to the child as the king is to the nation (Vietnam Proverb)
6. When the baby wakes, she breaks her sleep; when the baby walks, she runs around him/her.
7. Look at the mother before you take her daughter in marriage (Indian Proverb)
8. Though your mother be poor, she is still your mother (African Proverb)
9. The mother is God's agent to Christianize her family.
10. Behind every great man, there is a great woman (wife, mother or some one else)
11. The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.
12. All that I am, I owe to my mother (Abraham Lincoln)
13. A mother's love preceives no impossibilities (Paddock)
14. When you are small and just a touch away. I covered you with blankets against the cool night air; but now you are tall and out of reach, I fold my hands and cover you with prayer (Dona Cooper)
15. Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible (Marion C. Garretty)
16. As a mother, my job is to take care of what is possible and trust God with the impossible (Ruth B. Graham)
17. No language can express the power and the beauty and the heroism of a mother's love (Edwin Chapin)
18. A mother's love is like a circle; it has no beginning and no ending. It keeps going around and around ever expanding, touching everyone who comes in contact with it (Art Urban)
19. Mother is the name of God in the lips and hearts of little children (William Thackery)
20. There is no friendship, no love, like that of the mother for the child (Henry Beecher)
21. All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my mother (Abraham Lincoln)
22. I'd rather be a mother than anyone on earth. Bring up a child or two of unpretentious birth (Meredith Gray)
23. Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone; but miraculously my own; never forget a single minute; you didn't grow under my heart, but in it (Anonymous)
24. When I stopped seeing my mother with the eyes of a child, I saw the woman who helped me give birth to myself (Nancy Friday)
25. It was when I had my first child that I understood how much my mother loved me ( A Bouquet of Sentiments)
26. If I have amounted to anything, it will be due to my mother (Charles Chaplin)
27. Motherhood "requires the skills of a master mediator, mentor, cook and counselor."

ASCENSION (MAY 9TH)

1. Jesus was taken up: Acts 1:9-11

2. Jesus went up to send the Holy Spirit: John 16:5-9, 13.

3. Jesus rules the universe sitting at the right hand of the Father: Ephesians 1:22-23.

4. Jesus pleads and prays for us: Hebrews 7:25; 14:14.

5. Jesus prepares a place for us: John 14:1-3

6. Jesus will come again: Matthew 24:37-39, 42; 25:31-32; Acts 1:9ff; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 5:1-2.
LUKE 24:36:53; JOHN 20:19-23

1. They went far away from the place of crucifixion; but Jesus went after them.

2. The risen Christ is identified with the earthly Jesus emphasizing the reality of His resurrectd body: showed His hands and feet and ate with them as proof that He was real.

3. Jesus' death and resurrection fulfilled the Scripturs and by that the remission is offered to all nations.

4.Law, prophets and Psalms: the three major divisions of the Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus rose again the day according to the Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 15:4 cf. Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; John 6:62; 20:17; Acts 1:1-12; Ephesians 1:21; 4:10; Hebrews 4:14; 1 Peter 3:22.

5. Went with the disciples to Bethany and ascended into heaven on the 40th day and mediating for us sitting at the right hand of the Father: Mark 16:19; Romans 8:34; Psalm 110:1.

6.Jesus' promise to be with the disciples till the end of the world: Matthew 28:20.

7. God's promise of the Holy Spirit, the power from above: Joel 2:28:30.

8. Jesus is praying for us: Romans 8:34. esus is with the Father, God Almighty, for mediation (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:11; John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7.

9. Jesus ascended int o heaven after descended: Eph. 4:8-10. Ascension was essential for the descending of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7; 7:39).

10. Son of God was sent to be with us all the time. We sent Him back to heaven.

11. We have to live in the power of the resurrected Christ; then we feel heaven at home. We have to seek which are above: Colossians 3:1-2.

12. Holy Spirit came down on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2;1-4); thus the helper was sent: John 16:7;

13. Elisha pleaded to Elijah for "double portion" of his spirit and he got it: 2 Kings 2:9f.
Let us pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit we received along with our Confirmation.

MARK 16:14-20
20.
Jerusalem is the place of God: Isaiah 2:3; Micha 4:2, 8.

1. Jesus' last instructions on earth to His disciples : Matthew 28: 16-20; Luke 24:36-49.

2. VV. 17-18 cf. Acts 5:12, 16; 8:7; 16:18; 19:12; 28:3-6; James 5:4 (Cast out demons, healed the sick, etc.)

3. "Received up into heaven": Acts 1:9-11.

ACTS 1:4-11
1.
The coming of the Holy Spirit was announced by the prophets (Joel 2:28-29; Ezekiel 36:25-27) and also by Jesus (Luke 24:49; John 14:16).

2. John's baptism was in water for the repentant. The baptism with the Holy Spirit is for purity and power.

3. The disciples expected the restoration of a political kingdom like that of David. Jesus told them to leave that to God and to prepare themselves to receive the inner power for witnessing throughout the whole world.

4. Jesus was "taken up" (John 14:5) with the promise of sending "another Helper" (John 14:6).

5. The "two men stood by" may be the same ones at the empty tomb (Luke 24:4). They told that Jesus will return. This promise is our hope.

EPHESIANS 4:1-16
1.
The God's own people, both Jews and Gentiles, reconciled together and to God by Christ, shall live and walk "worthy of the calling."

2. The Church is one in God (vv.1-7), and the members have different qualities and abilities to strengthen the whole body (vv.8-16).

3. Paul wrote this letter from a Roman prison.

4. We have to show consideration for others and make allowance for their short comings. It is love; essential for unity and peace. We have to work together to preserve this.

5. The Christian unity is based on the unity of Trinity: the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. The Church has only one body and one Holy Spirit. We have our common faith to one Lord, Jesus Christ. God is the Father of the Christian family. God is one. His true Church is to be one.

6. We are given different gifts and abilities to use in building up the Church.

7. The exalted Christ descended into the grave, rose from the dead, and ascended back to heaven by conquering sin and death.

8. Apostles: The 12, Paul, and the few who had seen the risen Lord are sent as His special witnesses.

9. Prophets (preachers), evangelists (itinerant preachers who spread the Gospel), pastors and teachers are all equipped with the gifts to do the ministry to build up the Church.

10. The whole Church attains a more perfect unity when God's people minister to others. This unity lifts us above petty disagrements and differing personalities through our faith. We shall reach maturity in Christ so that we must not be confused by false teachings.

11. Motivated by love and by speaking the truth, we shall all grow toward maturity.

12. By various functions, the several parts of the human body contribute to the health and growth of the whole body. Likewise, Christ, "the head", enables us to contribute for the growth and the health of the Church.

DEUTERONOMY 9:26: 10:5
1.
The Israelites did not deserve good things because of their arrogance, but continued to exist only because of God's continued mercy.

2. Moses interceded for them. So the covenant was reinstit-uted, and was placed in the Ark, and the Levites were appointed as mediators between the people and God.

2 KINGS 2:9-15
1.
Elijah, the second Moses, was taken up "by a whirl wind into heaven," like Enoch (Genesis 5:22-24)... did not pass through death.

2. Double portion: Per Old Testament inheritance laws, the first born, "the beginning of his strength", receives two shares of the inheritance: Deuteronomy 21:17.

3. Mantle: Representative of power and personality. Elisha carried on the work like Joshua did: 3:7-8, 14-17.

JEREMIAH 31:31-34
1.
God's covenants and His faithfulness to Judah (Hebrews 8:8-10): God put His laws in the minds and hearts of His people to have intimate fellowship with God which was accomplished by the sanctifying work of the Mediator, Jesus Christ.

2. New Covenant: Matthew 26:28. The restoration from exile was a physical fore-runner of the spiritual restoration through Calvary. God works in the minds and hearts of individuals. Personal relationship is important. The new covenant is internal and real.

ISAIAH 48:20; 49:4
1.
God delivers the Jews, not because they deserve it (Ezekiel 36:22), but for His name's sake (v.9).

2. The promised deliverence from Babylon. The servant Jacob is redeemed, and the wicked Babylon is destructed. This deliverence is through Messiah, the ideal servant.

3. The ministry of Jesus was a failure from an earthly point of view (49:4), but the Almighty Father makes the decisionn and gives the reward.

SUNDAY AFTER ASCENSION/ BEFORE PENTECOST (MAY 12TH):
MARK 10:17-22

1. The dangers, agravations, disappointments, heartbeats of being a richman.

2. He came running: When coming to America, getting married, having a baby, passing the examination, getting a job, etc., what a great feeling and excitement. Here to meet the Savior.

3. He knelt before Jesus: We have to be in our kneels and pray to the Almighty.

4. His question to inherit eternal life: Blessed and unending life in fellowship with God. The goodness is the source of our eternal life. It is the happiness we receive from union with God (John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 13:12) vs. eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46 and 26:24).
a. Keep commandments: Fulfill our duty toward God and others; pray and worship; love neighbors (Good Samaritan: Luke 10:30-37). Cain didn't (Genesis 3). Bodily limbs: 1 Corinthians 12:20-26.
b. No worldly possessions: Life of Loth and his wife; Ananias and Sephira.
c. Follow Him: Personal relationship through Church.
d. A free gift: Prodigal son, Mary Magdaline, thief on the cross.
We have to pay to buy things. We pay through repentance to receive eternal life. We receive eternal life through receiving the body and blood of Jesus Christ in due manner.

5. Three kinds of followers:
a. For position and prestige (For photo session)
b. For family concerns
c. Wholeheartedly: Dedication and submission.

6. Jesus is a good teacher: Do we appreciate our teachers?

7. Jesus told him to follow the commandments: Pointed out six of them that deal with our relationships with each other (Exodus 20:12-17): Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not defraud, honor father and mother.

8. Do not defraud: An additional commandment appropriate for a person attached to wealth.

9.We should not be of this world (John 17:13-17). Eventhough we live in this world, we should not be immensed in the worldly pleasures and actions and let us to drown.

10. Our main goal shall be to be holy: should be sincere and truthful. Aim for God's love and His glorification (John 17:17-20): (For a baptism, 3 bishops, two corepiscopas, 2 rembans, 10 priests: the child was sent to the church through someone; parents busy for preparations, decorations, receptions, party, etc.)

11.Something is lacking: Tender heart, concern for the last, lost and the least; jealous, boasting, pride, spite. Poverty leads to holiness (Mark 10:21). Share with others (Luke 3:10-11). Is our love and connections for God or for wealth? (Wealthy person never gave ... penniless mother, disabled brother, widowed sister with small children ... when approached for a charity donation, he asked: "Why should I give?")

12. Keeping the letter of law is not enough for eternal life: He even asked: "What do I lack?" (Chicken legs for summer camp dinner: Asked: "Are you lacking anything" Anything short): One retorted: "Yes, I got only only one chicken leg."

13. His arrival (v.17) and departure (v.22): What a contrast? Sad and went away sorrowful.

14. God is love: We have to love as He loves us: Love God more than everybody, anything and self. (Husband: "I love my wife"; Wife: "I don't know what he is talking about?"

15. God decides our future: Attain this through prayer and understanding the needs of others. God selects us (John 15:16): Several are chosen, but few are frozen. General call: Luke 14:33. Giving everything for charity and living in chastity are not for all (Matthew 19:11).

JOHN 17:13-26
1.
Our Lord's High-priestly prayer.

2. Prayer for the disciples: for the Church

3. Jesus prayed for us to keep from the evil one.


4. Unity of believers is very important.


MATTHEW 19:16-30
1.
Earthly riches and heavenly rewards: Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30.

2. The rich young man thought salvation could be achieved by good deeds. Salvation is based on God's goodness, not ours. Keeping the commandments is the initial step: our elationships with each other. The rewards are based on God's graciousness, not on human merits.

3. One needed more than the outward obedience. He must give complete loyalty to God (Deuteronomy 6:5). In this context he has to share his wealth.

4. All who turn away from Christ's call live to regret that decision.

5. All those who turn in, salvation is not only possible, but also wonderfully rewarded.

6. The 12 apostles are the founders of God's New Testament people; like the 12 patriarchs of Israel: 12:2-4; Revelation 21:14.

7. First will be last (20:1-16). God's gracious gifts to all who follow Him faithfully.

SERIES 6 (LOL VOL:2 ISSUE:10 MAY 15,2002)

MAY 19TH: PENTECOST:
JOHN 4:10-24; 14:1-18; 15:1-14; 16:5FF

1. On the 7th Sunday after Easter, our Church celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples: Jesus told His discipes: "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you" (John 14:18); "I will pray the Father" to give you another Helper (John 14:16).

2. Originally this day was the day of Jewish Feast of the weeks Festival: 7 weeks after festival (7x7) .. Feast of Harvest (Exodus 23:16; Deuteronomy 16:9-10, 16). Grain was planted in the fall, harvested in the spring. Fifty days later, they celebrated the Feast of Harvest. An abundant harvest meant sufficient food. It was thus known as Feast of Weeks or Festival of First Fruits (like Onam). The Greek term PENTECOST literally means fiftieth day (from passover) which day they commemorated God's giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai (anniversary): Exodus 23:20-31; 24:7-8. It was one of the seven annual Holy Days: Exodus 23:16; 34:22; Leveticus 23:9-22; Numbers 28:26; Deuteronomy 16:10, 16.

3. After the Ascension, per Jesus (Acts 1:4-5), the Virgin Mary and all the Apostles assembled in Jerusalem and were locked in the upper room together in fear of Jews. Suddenly, a mighty wind arose. The entire structure shook and it was filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit. There appeared tongues of flame which came down on each of the Apostles. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and almost immediately began to glorify God and to speak of Christ in foreign languages (Acts 2:1ff). Christ's promise to them to send the gifts of the Holy Spirit from God was thus fulfilled. When breathed (John 20:22) the Apostles received the Holy Spirit, but fulfilled at Pentecost - like pouring Mooron (Holy Oil) in the baptism water and then anointing all over the body.

4. Holy Spirit came down upon the faithfuls also...3000 souls became Christians on this day.

5. For us, Pentecost is the anniversary of the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. With this new covenant, the sparking of the Holy Spirit we receive at baptism shall revitalize on Pentecost.

6. Pentecost reminds us that God is working in us, remolding and reshaping our character. The message of Pentecost is that we are the firstfruits of God's creation. The power of God's Holy Spirit shall work in all of us at all times.

7. Through the Spirit, we become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). We are empowered with spirituality ( Romans 8:8-9).

8. Here is the fulfilment of Joel 2:28 cf. Genesis 6:3.

9. Holy Spirit reveals sin, justice and judgment; guides us to walk in truth (John 16:13). The Church shall also do the same.
A. Conscious of our sins: For renewing and revitalizing the Holy Spirit in us, we have to be conscious of our sins (John 16:8): the conversion takes place: Acts 2:38.
B. Pray: Luke 11:28. Hunger and thirst for righteousness. cf. Romans 8:26.
C. Obedience: Acts 5:2. Love our God - the most important commandment. With this new commandment, we became the new Israel. We have to inscribe this commandment in our hearts. If we love our brothers and sisters, we love God: Love as He loves us (John 15:12). So love each other contineously so that Holy Spirit will be with us all the time. We have to crucify ourselves ( Galatians 5: 24; Luke 9:23).

10. Holy Spirit helps to interpret the teachings of Jesus. All of them understood each other. Do we understand each other; husband and wife; parents and children?.

11. Holy Spirit:
A. Full of power: Zechariah 4:6; Micah 3:8
B. Spirit of wisdom and understanding: Isaiah 11:2
C. Gift of God: Acts 2:38
D. Stirs up: 2 Timothy 1:6
E. Quenches: 1 Thessalonians 5:19
F. Has begetting power: Matthew 1:16; Romans 8:9
G. God's guarantee: Ephesians 1:13-14
H. Sheds the love of God: Romans 5:5
I. Must be renewed: 2 Corinthians 4:16.

Do not resist the Holy Spirit: Acts 7:51
Do not lie: Ananias and Sapphira: Acts 5:1ff
Be full in Spirit: Acts 6:3
Send by the Spirit: Acts 13:4
Walk in the Spirit: Galatians 5:16, 25

12. Experience of Holy Spirit abides in us: 1 Cor. 12:31-13:18

13. Fruits of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22

14. On Pentecost day, we glorify the Holy Trinity: three ceremonial prayer services in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit -- sprinkling of blessed water from three bowls.

15. Vine branches should stay with the main stem (John 15:1ff); Growth: Luke 2:52. Vine branches (Jews) broken and united with the wild (Romans 11:23).

16. Israel was God's "degenerate" vine (Jeremiah 2:21); Jesus is the true vine, the source of all spiritual life.

17. Salvation is uniting with Christ: cf. Isaiah 42:3; Matthew 12:19.

18. The father, like the vine dresser, removes what is unfruitful and prunes (disciplines) fruitbearing lives to make us even more Christlike in character and witness which needs total and continued dependence on Christ.

19. When we keep His commandments, we abide in His love.

20. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would guide His disciples to all truth.

21. The future of our Church depends upon our growing generation. We have to train them in the faith and discipline of the Church.

22. Jesus Christ offered the Samaritan woman the gift of God (redemption) and living water (eternal life): John 4:10-24.

23. Exposed her sin by telling to call her husband.

24. Worship God wholeheartedly and sincerely.

25. From ignorance to prudence: Jew (4:9); Sir (4:11, 19); Prophet (4:19); Christ (4:29); Savior of the world (4:42).

 

26. The Other Helper: John 14:12, 16-17. It is the spirit of truth. As the disciples waited (Acts 1:4) and received Holy Spirit in A.D. 31, on the Day of Pentecost, the New Testament Church was inaugurated (Acts 2 cf. Matthew 28:20; John 14:18-19). The Holy Spirit was manifested in the appearance of a dove Mark 1:9-10), fire and wind (Acts 2: 1-4), water (John 7:37-39), and oli (Matthew 25:1-13). We have to subdue, stampout, put to death our carnal, natural, fleshly mind (Colossians 3:5; Galatians 5:24) by letting in the spiritual to flourish, increase and grow (Philemon 25). The Holy Spirit begets us (Romans 8:15), gives us access to God (Ephesians 2:18), increases the effectiveness of our prayers (Romans 8:26; Ephesians 6:18), gives us wisdom, knowledge and understanding (Ephesians 1:17; Isaiah 11:2), imparts to us power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7), helps us to obey God's laws (Ezekiel 36:27), and fills us with the fruits of righteousness (Galatians 5:22-23).

ACTS 2:1-21; 10:34-48; 19:1-7
1. The celebration of the wheat harvest, 50 days after the offering of the first fruits (Leveticus 23:10ff) was the Day of Pentecost. This was later associated with God's giving the Law on Sinai.

2. Wind (Ezekiel 37:9; John 3:8) and fire (Malachi 3:2-3; Luke 3:16) represent the spirit of God.

3. Jesu's life, cross, resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit are the four pillars of Christ's Gospel.

4. Every nation in the Roman world was able to understand the languages.

5. At Babel different languages divided the world (Genesis 11:1-9) and here spirit-filled disciples used those languages to unite diverse languages under one God.

6. This is the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy: 2:2832.

7. The Gospel is offered to all; no partiality. Holy Spirit came upon the Jewish believers (Acts 2:1-4), on Samaritans (8:14-17); on Gentiles (10:44-45; 11:15-17), and on Christians in Ephesus (19:1-7).

8. Christians have to believe the Resurrection: Romans 10:9

9. Holy Spirit brings purity and power: Acts 1:8; Romans 8:9.

GALATIANS 5:16-26
1. If our way of life is controlled by the Holy Spirit, we will not be controlled by the desires of the sinful nature: Romans 8:5-9.

2. The spirit enables to live by the law of love.

3. Living under the control of the flesh: "Unfruitful works of darkness" (Ephesians 5:11).

4. The fruits of the spirit: Galatians 5:22-23. cf. the gifts of the spirit: Isaiah 11:2-3.

1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-27; 14:20-33
1. The interdependence of the various parts of the body illustrates the interdependence of all believers with the varying spiritual gifts in the Church.

2. When love fills the human spirit, malice cannot flourish.

3. Our worship should result in the edification of the Church.

4. Circumstances to speak in tongues: 14:27-28 (Speaking in Tongues: refer OUR CHURCH, chapter 15).

5. There shouldn't be any confusion.

NUMBERS 11:16-17; 24-26

1. Moses' dilemma and God's solution by the Spirit empow-erment to share the burden with seventy.

1 SAMUEL 10:9-13
1. Samuel's signs confirmed God made some inner changes to Saul, validating the external anointing with oil by Samuel giving him skill, understanding and power.

EZEKIEL 11:17-20; 36:25-27
1. God would protect the exiles as their sanctuary and they would become the remnant so that they become holy with devotion, loyalty and faithfulness.

2. The cleansing of the spirit and the gift of the new heart and new spirit enable the believer to love God with an undivided love.

ISAIAH 42:1-4; 61:1-3
1. The Servant, Messiah, as the ideal Israel, who brings justice, manifests the spirit of God. Messiah will rule with compassion and justice.

2. The nation will be freed from, want and sin, in fulfill-ment of the Exodus promise (Exodus 19:6; 1 Peter 2:5).

GENESIS 11:1-9
1. Confusion of language at Babel (Gate of God): When we try to elevate ourselves to His level, confusion occurs.

2 KINGS 2:14-17
1. Elisha took the mantle (representative of power and personality) of Elijah and continued the prophetical work.

EZEKIEL 37:1-4; 47:1-12
1. The vision of the valley of dry bones and the river flowing from the temple. The river increases its volume and brings healing and prosperity to everything it touches. Life-giving water (Genesis 2:10; Revelation 22:1) cf. The parable of the mustard seed (Matthew 13:31-32).

2. Symbol of Holy Spirit: Water, dove, fire, wind, oil: General character: Comfort, life, power (strength), cleansing and sanctifying..

3. Water from the Arabian desert becomes river and feeds animals and plants; Holy Spirit works like this.

4. Jesus also compared Holy Spirit with water: John 7:37-39

5. Water flow into wild desert, but not dried, and help to grow: We should also bear fruit and help others to bear fruits: Galatians 5:22-23.

JOEL 2:25-32
1. God's promise to deliver, the promise of the Holy Spirit: Acts 2:16.

MAY 24: GOLDEN FRIDAY
MATTHEW 19:23-30

1. If the rich man turns to God and surrenders to God, he will find salvation is possible and greatly rewarding.

2. These rewards are not on human merits, but of God's graciousness.

MATTHEW 9:36-10:16
1. Jesus came to be our shepherd. He was moved with compassion when saw the multitude wandering in sin like lost sheep.

2. There is a big need to pray and work as there are many to respond to the Gospel.

3. Jesus gave the authority to His 12 disciples to continue His ministry.

4. First, Apostles were sent to the House of Israel; but after resurrection to all the nations (28:19).

5. They are to be provided by the congregation.

6. Only those who accept receive blessings cf. Sodom and Gomorrah: Genesis 19:23-24.

LUKE 22:24-30
1. Even the disciples disputed for authority. Three years with Jesus Christ did not purify them from self-seeking. They are also humans.

2. Jesus washed their feet (John 13:3-17) to teach them a lesson.

3. Not power and authority, but those who function as servants are important.

4. They are promised honor and glory at Christ's return.

ACTS 3:1-20
1. Peter's witness to the crowds in Jerusalem during the healing of the lame man.

2. Peter and John went to the temple for prayer.

3. Peter got the man's undivided attention ("Look at us") cf. Mark 10:51.

4. The early Church never lacked spiritual power.

5. The cured man praised the Lord immediately.

6. The people were amazed seeing God's power.

7. Jesus: the Just (v.14), Prince of Life, Christ, Prophet and Servant.

8. Need for repentance.

1 CORINTHIANS 12:28-13:10
1. The interdependences of the body compared to believers.

2. Gifts are given to all believers.

3. Love, the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is freely available to all Christians and all should practice it. It lasts for ever.

GENESIS 12:1-9
1. While departing from Hur, Abraham had to renounce his country, his family, and his father's house. He was promised to become a great nation of numerous descendants.

2. We have to channel our blessings to others.

3. Abraham's obedience brought blessings to many.

4. Abraham's first deed of blessing was to build an altar.

5. God called Israel and set her back (Zechariah 8:13) to become God's servant (Isaiah 2:3; 43:10-13; 52:9-10).

PSALM 1
1. Two ways of Life:

(A) The life-style of the righteous (vv.1-3)
(B) The life-style of the wicked (vv. 4-5)
The Lord cares for the righteous.

ISAIAH 43:1-7
1. God has not given up His people, but redeemed them.

2. God assures that He is with us so that we shall not be afraid of.

MAY 26TH: FIRST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
JOHN 6:26-35

1. Seek for the eternal (John 6:27). Multitude followed after 5000 were fed; followed for secular and worldly satisfaction. Jesus discouraged it. Look for food which endures spiritual nourishment (Christ), instead of material sustenance. Greed leads to destruction. Not go after the worldly things, but that of eternity. People look for signs (1 Samuel 10:7; Luke 1:18). Miracles are not the important criteria. We have to seek His kingdom.

2. Have full faith: Believe in Christ (6:29). God wants us to believe in Jesus. Miracles help to believe. Faith after seeing miracle is temporary. Believe even without seeing miracles.

3. Jesus is the bread of life (6:35). As bread takes care of our weaknesses and deficiencies, Jesus gives us renewed strength and energy. Jesus invites us to go to Him for comfort, relief and rest (Matthew 11:28). The true bread gives eternal life. The life on high for evermore: Psalm 92:8. Jesus gives for the life of the world: John 6:51.

4. The seven "I am's" in the 4th Gospel.

5. The word of life (John 1:1f)cf. In the beginning was word; and the word was with God; and the word was God (In the beginning was prayer meeting; the prayer meeting was with dinner; and the dinner was the prayer meeting). Everybody was created with that word (Genesis 1:1-3; John 1:1-3; cf. Matthew 4:4; John 6:68). The Word of Life and the Bread of life are needed to reach the goal. cf. Incarnated Word and Spoken Word.

6. Bread of heaven: Psalm 105:40.The people asked, and He brought quail and satisfied with the bread of heaven (Exodus 16:12f). Manna gave only temporary physical strength. The grinding and baking of grain to make bread pervaded life.

7. Bread of affliction: Deuteronomy 16:3: Unleavened bread -- came out from Egypt in haste.

8. God, not Moses, gave manna to the Israelites.

MATTHEW 11:20-30
1. God would judge the unrepented more severely than those who had not the opportunity to hear Him.

2. God does not reveal the truth about salvation to the worldly wise because they think they can find God in their own.

3. Like children (18:1-15), we have to accept the truth with trust..

4. Jesus came to judge the world (John 9:39)... judgment in this world and at the end of the world. Alchoholism, dru addictions, immoral life, dishonesty, violence, gluttony all bring destructive and dangerous results. Loosing fellowship with God results in greatest punishment and judgment. "If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him" (1 Corinthians 3:17). Judah participated in the Last Supper but later betrayed Jesus, his master. "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment" (John 7:24). Judge righteously. "Judge not, that you not be judged" (Matthew 7:1). (Reasons for denying visa: LR, LP, TP, SL): Do not jump into conclusions without factual basis. Only God can judge: 1 Corinthians 4:5.

5. Invitation to rest: "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest" (11:28: The sweetest verse in the Bible). We are all toiling and working all the time. We need rest. Jesus invites us all with burden to come for rest "from the guilt of sin by justification and from the power of sin by sanctification. Christ is the creator, healer and the feeder. Sinners need Him. He pardons and frees. He comforts in sorrows. "Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal. He clears doubts and disbeliefs (St. Thomas and St. Peter). We have to go to Him. The Samaritan woman did... the greatest invitation.

LUKE 8:4-15
1. This parable explains why some people do not hear. Here is a lesson on rightly hearing the word of God.

2. Many people do not benefit from the Gospel message because they allow the devil to take it from their hearts or they choose an easier life-style or they allow the cares of this life to sidetrack them.

3. When the Gospel is received, it produces an abundantly enriched life (John 10:10).

ACTS 17:10-15
1. Paul and Silas left Thessalonica for Berea and Athens to continue their mission work.

2 CORINTHIANS 5:14-6:10
1. Christ's love for us motivated St. Paul to proclaim the transforming and reconciling work of Christ (1 John 4:19). By Christ's death, He made it possible for all to die to our selfish way of life. By faith we have to accept this death to self and please Him who died and rose again.

2. We should not judge according our own self-interest or to outward appearances.

3. In Christ, we are a new creation. Changes seen in a restaurant under a new management: Good service, clean table, neat waitresses, good food. So also when Christ in us, big changes.

No more sin. Weep over sin and cry out for forgiveness.
Loves the Gospel, the good message.
See others saved: Like saving someone from a burning building.
Attitude toward others: Love them. By that others know that we are His disciples: No hatred toward others (Giving property to build a church with condition not to allow anyone to use it who he hates). Remember that when we die, we leave all our wealth.
Giving is more blessed than receiving.
Ask ourselves: "Show me myself; Lord, show me myself."
Pray: "Lord, show me Thyself."

4. We are Christ's ambassadors.

5. We shall continually reaffirm our faith.

6. The righteousness of God shall become a reality in our lives.

7. We should not loose the grace we have received : Isaiah 55:6-7.

8. We should not do anything detrimental to our ministry.

9. We have to serve others and endure self-imposed disciplines to devote more time to ministry.

10. We have to keep up the moral character: purity, kindness and love.

11. Whatever we do shall be pleasing to God, not the world.

GENESIS 41:38-40
1. Joseph's supernatural ability revealed by interpreting Pharoah's dreams and was appointed Governor of Egypt.

EXODUS 12:31-40
1. The story of the last plague and the start of the Exodus.

2. Pharaoh recognised the supernatural power of Moses.

JOSHUA 5:9-12
1. The reproach that God had rolled away (Gilgal: To roll) from His people.

2. In remembrance of the Exodus and as a symbol of Israel's deliverence from bondage and death (Exodus 12:11-17; Leveticus 23), the observation of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Passover.

JEREMIAH 29:10-16
1. Will be blessed by prayers answered, finding God, a unified heart, release from captivity and a new settlement in the Promised Land.

2. David's descendants would not rule Judah.

SERIES 7 (LOL VOL:2 ISSUE:11 JUNE 1,2002)

SECOND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (JUNE 2ND):
MATTHEW 10:5-16

1. Sent among the lost (John 7:49). We have to go after the Lost: Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, Prodigal Son.Their ignorance and Jesus' concern for them: "How much do you love me ? "This much": The game we play with children by hand signals and finally asking: "Do you love Jesus this much?": Ephesians 2:4-7; John 3:16.

2. Early ministry among the Israelites: They are the Lost Sheep. Need to organize one's own family, parish, church, etc. Clean the household.

3. Only after resurrection, Jesus commanded to go to all the world with His mission (Matthew 28:20).

4. Not only preaching, but action. Do good things: healing, helping, caring, etc., are parts of the ministry. Tend the Lost and preach the Gospel: Missions of the Church: Preach good tidings to the poor; heal the broken hearted; free the captives (Matthew 10:7 cf. Isaiah 61:1f).

5. God provides the workers; depend on God. We shall be filled with the peace of God to pass on to others. Attitude is more important than aptiude and altitude.

6. Lead simple life: Have simple living and high thinking: God gives the reward.

7. Missionaries should have discipline: Wandering house to house without any aim doesn't bear fruits; only it is harmful. Need knowledge (study and meditation) and holy life.

8. The ministers shall be supported, but they should not be greedy. Sodom and Gomorrah: (Genesis 19:23-24). Freely received GRACE (John 1:16) to be shared with others.

9. Deal with the "wolves" intelligently and sincerely to win them. Wise as serpents (2 Corinthians 12:16; Ephesians 5:15; Colossians 4:5).Harmless as doves:(Philip. 2:14-16).

LUKE 6:13-23
1. We have to trust in a loving Father, not in amassed wealth.
2. In Jewish religion, the oldest son gets a double portion of the wealth to support his mother and sisters, if any.
3. We have to have the right attitude toward wealth: Wealth is not just for hoarding; wealth is not just for one's own personal use and pleasure; wealth alone cannot satisfy one's lasting needs (Matthew 6:33); anxiety or worry only add to more problems.

MARK 3:7-19
1. Jesus' popularity increases; people from many places followed Him.
2. Jesus chose His 12 disciples and summoned them onto a mountain, often a place of divine revelation.

 

3. The disciples, the extension of His ministry (1:16-17, 38-39) were sent out (6:17-18) to preach, teach, heal, and to cast out demons.
4. Sons of Thunder: James and John: their conduct (9:38; 10:35-41).; name shows the character.



ACTS 4:23-31
1. They prayed to God so that they could witness: come together and pray.
2. The victory of God's chosen king (David) gave them the courage (Psalm 2:1-2).
3. Faith in God's control of events: Our trust shall be in Jesus.
4. We should have the courage to face the challenge (John 20:19)
5. Prayers answered with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

EPHESIANS 2:11-22
1. If Christ is not within us, it is a sad state.
2. Christ reconciles us with anybody: Then we will have glorious experiences.
3. The Church is God's temple; we are part of that building, which is built on the foundation of the word of God by the Apostles and Prophets. Christ is the chief cornerstone (1 Peter 2:4-8).
4. The Church finds its unity in Christ.
5. The Church is not yet complete: members are being added to it.
6. God is spirit: He is present everywhere.

LEVETICUS 19:1-8
1. We should be holy as God is holy ( 1 Peter 1:15-16): Our relationships with parents, children, women, aged, poor, strangers and our worship.
2. Follow the commandments: our duties to God as well as to people.
3. We have to do our duties and services willingly and freely.

2 SAMUEL 5:1-10
1. David became king of all Israel (1 Chronicles 3:4; 11:-3; 29:26-27) at the age of 30 and reigned altogether for 40 years.
2. Jerusalem became the capital: 1 Chronicle 11:4-9; 14:1-7
3. Abner and Ishbosheth died.
4. The Jebusites: Boasting doesn't mean anything.
5. Zion, the hill, where the Jebusites had there fortification was first mentioned here.
6. God should be with us in all our endeavors.

DANIEL 6:25-28
1. God delivers Daniel from the lions.
2. King Darius declared his faith that He is the living God (cf. 4:1-3).
3. Daniel was blessed and prospered.

THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (JUNE 9TH):
JOHN 6:35-46

1. Changed their attention from physical to spiritual. Those who go to Him will not be cast out (v.37) and those who believe in Him will have everlasting life (v.39). They get satisfaction (v.35)..never hunger or thirst.

2. MANNA: Bread from heaven (Nehemiah 9:15). ˙Hoped manna at the arrival of Messiah (2 Baruch 29:8). Manna was the image of Messiah.

3. Jesus is the bread of life: The first of seven "I am's" (John 6:35, 48; 8:12; 10:9; 10:11; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1). Adam and Eve couldn't enjoy the fruits of the tree of life. It was Jesus Christ: He is the bread of life. Jesus came from heaven as Manna also came from heaven. Temptation when hungry: Jesus - Matthew 4:3; Rich man: Luke 16:24-25. Avoid weakness: James 1:14. Food gives life to the body; love gives life to the soul. God fills us with love through Holy Spirit. When we love others, we depart from death and enter into life (1 John 3:14): Doing His will (the food of Jesus) is the road (John 4:34). Work hard for the bread for survival; earn bread of life.

4. Jesus satisfies every one who comes to Him sincerely and earnestly (The sweetest verse in the Bible: Matthew 11:28: "Come to me all who labor and heavy loaden, I will give you rest.") Need complete surrender and dedication: Live in goodness, humility, sinceriety and holiness. Never forsake (6:37). Promised paradise to the thief on the cross: Ezekiel 18:21-24. Those who go to Him will not get hungry or thirsty. What an exciting experience?

5. Every one who believes in Him will have everlasting life. When we listen to the words of Jesus, spiritual hunger and thirst; when we receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ, quenches the hunger and thirst. (Luke 24:30-32). Those who received absolution and forgiveness, if they go back to sin again, difficult to conversion... reached to the point of diminishing returns.

6. The Jews protested about Jesus' claims. Jesus was not welcomed among them because of jealous and enmity.

7. Jesus quoted Isaiah 54:13 to prove that all can achieve salvation. God teaches goodness and righteousness. We can receive or reject.

8. We can see God through seeing and experiencing Jesus Christ. Those who are attracted to God shall go to Jesus. He never forsake us. Father waited for lost son. He(She) who looks at Him and believes Him has eternal life. People looked at the brass serpent Moses raised and were escaped. We have to go to God to be blessed...to quench our hunger and thirst.

MARK 6:4-13
1. The rejection by His own people: Jesus was rejected by the leaders of the nation earlier (3:1-6); here by His own people.
2. God could not do much among unbelievers.
3. Sent the disciples two by two.

LUKE 9:1-11
1. Jesus's ministry continued through the training of the twelve. He gave them the power and the authority. They reported back to Jesus (v.10).
2. Christ helps us to fulfill our responsibilities and we are obliged to be accountable.
3. We shall depend upon Him in doing our duties.
4. We shall not be pleasure seekers.
5. We may be face with rejections.
6. The perplexed Herod sought to see Jesus.
7. The multitude followed Jesus where ever He went.

ACTS 13:26-39
1. St. Paul's preaching in Cyprus.
2. Jesus' ministry, condemnation, resurrection and forgiveness.

GALATIANS 6:10-18
1. St. Paul wrote the letter by himself.
2. There is an interpersonal relationships between Christians.
3. Those who are advocating certain parts of the law and not keeping up with the other parts are hypocrites.
4. We have to boast only Christ and His cross and nothing else.
5. We are new creations with Christ.
6. Paul suffered due to his total commitment (marks); we have too.
7. Blessed benediction.

GENESIS 42:18-25
1. Joseph's encounter with his brothers who sold him.
2. A guilty conscience even after many years of their dealings.
3. Joseph, hearing the story of Reuben, turned away and wept.

JEREMIAH 3:1-5
1. God calls Jerusalem to repent.
2. God is ready to receive a repentant (Deuteronomy 24:1-4).
3. The adulterous Israel can reconcile with God.

DANIEL 3:21-30
1. The faith Daniel's friends is tested and vindicated.
2. The king saw four men in the fire instead of three -- the fourth one "like the Son of God."
3. Nebuchadnessar's faith in God and the decree.

FATHER'S DAY (JUNE 16th)

LITTLE HISTORY:
Sonona Smart Dodd in Spokane, Washington wanted to show her love and admiration toward her dad by honoring him who raised her and her five brothers after their mother died. A Mother's Day sermon she listened in 1909 instigated her to do so. Thus Spokane observed the first Father's Day in June, 1910, the month of William Smart's birthday with the help of the community and the governor. The third Sunday of June was declared Father's Day by the Mayor of Spokane and in 1956 the Congress recognized the date and observation and a permanent national celebration day was proclaimed by president Nixon in 1972, 58 years after Mother's Day was declared 1n 1914. Like Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day, now Father's Day has been observing all over the country.

BIBLICAL:
1. Honor your Father and your mother: Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16 (one of the ten commandments) cf. Deuteronomy 8:1-9
2. My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother: Proverbs 1:8
3. Receive father's words and treasure his commandments: Proverbs 2:1
4. Pay attention to father's words (Proverbs 4:20) and wisdom (5:1)
5. Humble before a friend: Proverbs 6:3
6. Make parents glad: Proverbs 10:1
7. Listen, observe, and follow the footsteps of father: Proverbs 23:6
8. Fear the Lord: Proverbs 24:21
9. Be wise: Proverbs 27:1.

SPIRITUAL WELFARE:
If parents are concerned about the children's eating habits, the enamel of thier teeth, etc., they should also be concerned about their moral and spiritual welfare. Children should not grow up in a spiritual vaccum. Joseph's parents taught their children to love God and value charity from childhood. Jesus gave us a moral foundation. He put meaning and purpose into our lives. He fills our life with His presence. Parents should play with them and pray with them and eat with them. "I'd rather have Jesus than silver and gold I'd rather be His than riches untold." Being a father is life's greatest privileges and responsib-ilities. Inch by inch a child's personality is formed by the closeness it has with its family. Share the pain, hurt, and rejections. Share joys and sorrows, failures and successes, hopes and dreams.

ABRAHAM, AN IDEAL FATHER:
Father of All Nations:
(1) Praised children and especially spouse: "Beautiful" Genesis 12:11
(2) Found a suitable match for his son (not from other tribe, but from his own): Genesis 24:3-4
(3) No dowry question: He was rich in many ways.
Early Fathers blessed their sons:
(1) Issac: Esau and Jacob: Genesis 27: 1ff
(2) Jacob: Genesis 49: 1ff
(3) Moses: Deuteronomy 33: 1ff
A. Blessed promise to all of God's people
B. Underneath are the everlasting arms: Deut 33:27.

A FATHERS' ADVICE:
1. Compliment where ever and when ever possible
2. Say "Thank you" and "please" a lot
3. Make friends, but keep secrets
4. Learn the trade and admit mistakes
5. Be brave and learn to listen
6. Do charity works and pray for wisdom and courage

7. Read the Holy Bible cover to cover
8. Never deprive someone and never take action when angry
9. Loose a battle, but win a war
10. Don't gossip
11. Don't expect life to be fair
12. Substitute "problem" with "opportunity"
13. Do not walk on a quarrel with the spouse
14. Do not procastinate
15. Get priorities straight
16. Don't be afraid to say "I don't know" or "I am sorry"
17. Make a list of things you want to achieve in your life and follow through. Have parental love and support, give children freedom to choose, build sel-respect, be model to them and have open communication. Do not expect more than they can, don't be too authoritative, give utmost concern for priorities, do not be a hypocrite, and do not misuse or abuse parental authority.

TURN THE HEARTS OF FATHERS TO THE CHILDREN (MALACHI 4:5-6):
1. Right leadership: Bring the children to the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Display compassion, courage, godly understanding, firmness, maturity, and loving leadership. Be a coach, not a judge,
2. Good provider: He gives all good things (James 1:17): Support, love, emotionally and spiritually.
3. Guidance: Train them the right way to live (Proverbs 22:6; Deuteronomy 6:7): Moral matters, discipline. Father should be around the children to support them (Psalms 128:1-4)
4. Consistent: The same yesterday, today and for ever (Hebrews 13:8): Value of God's way; character; peaceful (1 Corinthians 14:33). God is our model. Keep the faith and be strong: 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 Abshalom fought with his father: 2 Samuel 12:1ff David loved Abshalom, his son, so much. But Abshalom murdered Abnon ( 2 Samuel 13:28-28). David regained Abshalom's affection ... Abshalom's plot against David ( 2 samuel 15:1-6). David still loved him (2 Samuel 18:5) Father's love and affection toward their children.

DADS ARE GREAT: May not be a world leader, a famous doctor or a war hero or a sports hero or business tycoon.. but a father is the greatest person in the eyes of his children... He pays his bills, goes to church with them on Sundays, helps the kids to learn and to shop around. Like mother, he is all in all in the family. Respect him and give him credit as he is a great success as a husband, a father, and a friend. If a MOTHER is a CEO, vicepresident, treasurer, secretary, bookeeper, quality control manager, event coordinator, creative director, productive analyst, humanitarian, trainer, or the communications manager, FATHER is the supervisor of all of these and much more.

POPULAR GIFTS:
(1) Cologne:About 3,500 gallons are sold every year in connection with Father's day making it the the second largst cologne-purchasing holiday after Christmas.
(2) Ties: About 10 million ties sold, again second after Christmas
(3) Roses: About two million every year. Flower gift-givings have been increasing 30% every year.
(4) Telephone calls: About 100 million (115 million on Mother's Day) making it third after Mother's Day and Christmas.
(5) Greting cards and gift packages: 130 million cards and 75 million packages, again third after Christmas and Mother's Day.
(6) Pants and small gift items: Wrinkle-free pants and small gifts are also popular items.
(7) Tools and Game items: Restock stool sheds with power equipments or present with golf/tennis items ... anything according to the need and taste of fathers.

FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (JUNE 16th):
Beginning of the Apostle's Fast
LUKE 10:1-16

1. The mission spread ... more ministers in the field.

2. Selected 70 (72) evangelists. Twelve Apostles represent 12 tribes (12 bells on the censer chain) and 70 elders (Numbers 11:24) represent 70 evangelists (70 sections on the censer chain) ... like Sanhedrim... (12 springs/70 palm olives: Exodus 15:27). These 70 from Noah's family: 14 from Yapeth; 30 from Ham and 26 from Shem totalling 70 (Genesis 10:1-32). Need to preach the Gospel to each one - in order to lengthen the cords and strengthen the stakes (Isaiah 54:2). 70 were selected to continue His teachings like the twelve Apostles and later seven deacons in Acts 6:1-7.

3. Sent by two: Help to share and bear: Two heads are better than one.

4. Sent out not to sow the seeds, but to reap. Their mission: 9:1-6; 10:2-11: To heal the sick and to preach the Good news. Everybody should have exhortation and counselling (Hebrews 3:13). Give courage those who are frightened, make busy those who are lazy, comfort the sorrowful (1 Thessalonians 5:14-22).

5. Jesus' tender heart: Too much to do; but few to work. To ask the Master to send laborers (Matthew 9:37-38) to save those without shepherds. .. to spread the kingdom of God ... to bear witness to the truth (John 18:37); to be witnesses of whom God raised from the dead (Acts 3:15); to be witnesses of all things Jesus did (Acts 10:38); to prepare the hearts; to reap thirty, sixty, hundred times of harvest. The harvest is great; but the laborers are few: We have a very wide mission field... work and pray. Have concern.

6. Apostles followed; how about we? When God calls, need to rspond. Where there is no revelation, destruction is at hand (Proverbs 29:18).

7. Seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit: Galatians 1:16-17.

8. "Here I am": Isaiah 6:8

9. The field: Like lambs in the midst of the wolves: Expect protests, troubles, tribulations, deaths. Continue with sinceriety and faith. If we are with Christ, satan will be defeated.
10. Evangelists should be careful: snake's intelligence and dove's meekness.

11. Evangelists shall be provided.

12. Extend peace to the household and to every one. Wishing peace is very important. Receive the message of conversion with humility. Pride goes before fall (10:15). Meditate the laws of God day and night: Psalm 1:2.

13. Those who don't listen shall be punished. Jesus cursed Chorazin, Bethsaida and Caparnaum because they did not listen to Jesus to bear fruits.

14. Acceptance and refusal of mission workers like accepting or neglecting Jesus Christ.

DEUTERONOMY 33:23-29
1. Like the early fathers (Genesis 27:1-4; 49:1-27), Moses blesses his sons.
2. The blessed promise to all of God's people (33:27): the everlasting arms.
PSALM 15
1. An excellent description of the life of entire satisfaction
2. The question in verse 1 is answered in verses 2-5
3. The communion and fellowship with God (v. 1)
4. Uprightly:Wholehearted; complete; perfect; blameless
5. Righteousness: Right actions and relationships
6. Speak the truth: Correspondence with reality These three elements are needed for rightful ritual.
7. What is done and what is not done are reckoned.
8. Troubles or problems will not change the sheltering presence: Psalm 91:1-2.

ISAIAH 65:8-12
1. Believing people will be blessed; they will have a glorious hope.
2. God calls us constantly; we have to obey.
ACTS 6:1-7
1. Seven deacons were chosen from among the Greek speaking to meet the need.
2. The need of deacons for the growth of the Church.
3. Apostles took the first step.
4. Alleged discrimination on the basis of language and culture.
5. All the believers were called for the selection.
6. Selected qualified candidates ... men of good reputation, full of Holy Spirit and wisdom.

7. Congregation selected and brought to the Apostles
8. Church leaders shall give full time to prayer, preaching and teaching.
9. Ordination by prayer and laying on of hands.
10. The gospel spread all over: big crowd and many workers.

CORINTHIANS 16: 13-22
1. St. Paul's concluding exhortations and greetings.
2. Stand fast, be strong, and have love.
3. Respect those who serve in the Church through their ministeries.
4. The Church spread all over Asia: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos (Revelation 1:11), Colosse, Laodicea, Hierapolis (Colossians 4:13, 16.)
5. Aquila and Priscilla, St. Paul's companion workers in Ephesus (Acts 18:1-3; Romans 16:3-4).
6. Personal touch for authenticity.
7. Though the Corinthian Church had several problems, St. Paul sent his love to them.

MATTHEW 14:14-23
1. Feeding of the Five Thousand: the only miracle in all four Gospels: Mark 6:12-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15. Jesus had compassion: 15:32; 20:34; 9:36.
2. Jesus multiplied the only rsources: five loaves and two fish.
3. The disciples experienced more about Jesus
4. Tell Christ what we have (v. 17)
5. Listen to what He says (v.18)
6. Obey what He commands: (v. 19)
7. Rejoice in what He does through us: vv.20-21
8. They collected the left over: no waste
9. 5000 men besides women and children: the family unity

FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (JUNE 23rd) :
LUKE 9:10-17

1. Feeding of 5000 in all four Gospels.

2. The disciples returned and reported: Give report of the work.

3. Jesus took them for a retreat ... for some rest.

4. Many came to see Jesus: All kinds of people: drug addicts, alcoholics, publicans, sick and sinners.

5. Not irritated; but received and blessed. God never forsakes, even parents do: Psalm 27:10 God never forsakes, even a woman forgets her child: Isaiah 49:15. A friend loves at all times: Proverbs 17:17 Never cast out: John 6:37.

6. Disciples told to disperse: Walking away from problems; avoiding the situation.

7. The disciples alone couldn't meet the needs of the crowd; they needed help from the Master.

8. Jesus told them to give and feed: the responsibility of the Church: Give good news, food and heal. Food is important: Physical (humanitarian works) and spiritual (Gospel preaching).

9. Christ's concern for the needy and the disciples were held responsible to take care. When obeyed, they became instruments of Jesus' power.
10. Christ's concern for the needy and the disciples were held responsible to take care. When obeyed, they became instruments of Jesus' power.

11. Brought what ever they found (from a little boy: John 6:9). Though simple, God wants us to use what we have and what we are willing to do. Bring what ever we have to the Lord, He will bless and increase.

12. Plenty in the desert: If Jesus is with us, we can solve all our problems. Thirsting to drink is a desert experience: Psalm 63:1. If God is not with us, our life is like in a desert: Isaiah 40:3. Through God's intervention, troubles in the desert are gone: multiplied.

13. Converted the desert into a grassy field. At the end of our lives, the Shepherd directs us to grassy and watery place (Psalm 23). We have to go to God for this experience.

14. Jesus blessed, broke and gave as in the Holy Qurbana: Fellowship. Bring what ever we have to the Lord. He will bless and increase.

15. We should see the needs of others.

16. Sat down in group of fifty's: Obedient group; orderly arrangement.

17. Receive with a smile and welcome with few happy words.

18. Israelites were fed with Manna in the desert; the multitude was fed with spiritual food.

19. Gathered the left over: Don't waste God's gifts.

20. The multiude believed Him and wanted to make Him king (John 6:15).

MATTHEW 20:17-28
1. Jesus telling His disciples of His coming death: Matthew 16:21-28.
2. Zebedee's sons, James and John, seek worldly preference: Mark 10:35-37.
3. The cross is Jesus' throne (27:37-38). His followers experience suffering and death.
4. God rewards the faithfuls irrespective of their experiences.
5. True value is found in service, not in domination; in the cross, not the crown: Philippians 2:5-11.
6. Jesus' death is a ransom for many: a costly one by which we are freed from sin.

ACTS 9:10-18
1. Saul, the zealous Pharisee who headed the persecution against the disciples became God's chosen vessel to witness before the Gentiles.
2. Ananias, like Samuel (1 Samuel 3:4), responded and acted.
3. Saul received God's revelation by a light, a man, and a vision.
4. The prosecutor became the prosecuted.
5. Ananias laid the hands on Saul .... and was baptized.

2 CORINTHIANS 5:14-20
1. The transforming and reconciling work of Christ.
2. Christ's love for all mankind (1 John 4:19). Christ died for all of us. We have to accept this by faith.
3. Once we accept Christ, we shall forgo our own self-interest.
4. We are a new creation in Christ Jesus.
5. We are reconciled and as ambassadors of Christ, we have to proclaim this Good News.

EXODUS 23:14-19
1. Three Sacred Feasts: Exodus 34:18; 23-26; Deuteronomy 16:1-17. A. The Feast of the Unleavened Bread: For seven days ... came out of Egypt. B. The Feast of Harvest: the first fruits of labors. C. The Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year.
2. Commitment.

PSALM 16
1. A song of trust, a joyous testimony.
2. The reasons for trusting God (vv. 1-4). God is the source of all goodness (Job 35:7) and is received by faith.
3. Benefits of the trust (vv. 5-8). We have to make God our most prized possession (portion, inheritance). We will have god-given security.
4. The confidence of those who trust in the Lord (vv. 9-11): Our faith extends beyond the grave. Even our death cannot bring an end to that fellowship. 5. Life in newness makes us closer to God.
ISAIAH 40: 27-31

1. God is faithful and delivers us.
2. It is foolish to depend upon human strength.
3. We have to wait for Him. THE TWELVE APOSTLES: Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:14-19; Luke 6:13-16; Acts 1:13.
MATTHEW 9:36-10:15

1. God has compassion for sinning people; so also Jesus had compassion when He saw the people wandering in sin like lost sheep without a shephered (10:6).
2. There are plenty to receive the Gospel, but few to preach. Need to pray and work. 3. Jesus called the 12 disciples who became Apostles (shared in Jesus' mission) representing Jesus to represent the 12 tribes of Israel (19:28) for the beginning of the New Israel, which is the Church. The twelve and (St. Paul) witnessed His resurrection and helped to build the Church.
3. These 12 Apostles are in three groups of four each: A. Two pairs of brothers: Simon Peter and Andrew & James and John (fishermen: Mt. 4:18-22). B. Philip, Bartolomew, Thomas and Matthew (Levi): Matthew 9:9; Luke 5:27 C. James (son of Alphaeus), Judas Iscariot, Thaddaeus, and Simon (the Cananite, the zealot). (For more about the Apostles, see chapter two: "THE EXPANSION OF OUR CHURCH" in OUR CHURCH by this author.
4. Jesus sent His Apostles to the house of Israel during His earthly ministry. But after resurrection, to all the world (Matthew 28:19).
5. Samaritans: Half-breeds of Israelites and Gentiles. The Jews did not associate with them due to long-standing social and religious disagtrements.
6. The disciples have to heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons.
7. The Apostles shall be supported by the congregation; should not shop around for better hospitality nor should be greedy.
8. They should greet the household and bless.
9. Unbelieving may reap the consequences.
10. Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:23-24): If you know more about God and reject, the result will be more less tolerable.
MATTHEW 19:27-30

1. Peter thought that the Apostles may have a greater award for their response to Jesus' call.
2. Rewards for all those who response based on God's graciousness and not on human merit: 19:30-20:16.
3. The reward will be at the second coming (Romans 8:18-22; Revelation 21:1-5).
4. The rewards are not based on the time or energy, but on the faith and works: 20:16.
LUKE 6:12-26
1. Before the selection, Jesus spent the whole night in prayer.
2. The selection was from a large group (10:1; Acts 1:15).
3. Apostle: One sent to a mission. Apart from the twelve, also Paul (Galatians 1:1), James (James 1:19), and Barnabas (Acts 14:14). They witnessed the resurrection and spread the Gospel message.
4. The twelve, other disciples, and a great multitude were present for the Sermon on the Mount: Matthew 5:1-12; 38-48; 7:1-15; 15-20; 24-27; 12:33-35.

ST. PETER & ST. PAUL DAY (END OF APOSTLES' FAST: JUNE 29th) :

ST. PETER:
1. Son of Jonah of Napthali tribe.
2. From Galile and lived in Caparnaum
3. Brother of Andrew, who introduced Peter to Jesus.
4. Fisherman and married
5. Called along with John and James while fishing: Matthew 4:18-20; John 1:40-42
6. His name Simon was renamed Peter, means "rock"
7. With Jesus when the daughter of Jarius was raised (Mark 5:35-43), at Mount Tabor (Transfiguration: Matthew 17:1-8; 2 Peter 1:16-18), and at Gethsamanae (struck the ear of the servant: Matthew 26:51).
8. Walked on water: Matthew 14:28-33
9. Christ's deity confessed:"Christ, the Son of the Living God": Matthew 16:13-19/
10. Once Jesus rebuked him: Matthew 16:13-19
11. Protested when the Master came to wash his feet
12. Jesus told him to forgive debtors 70 times seven.
13. Fled when Jesus was arrested, then returned, and denied three times: Matthew 26:69-75
14. Raced to the tomb when heard of His resurrection
15. Confessed, wept, and reinstated: John 21:15-17
16. Mathias was chosen under his leadership: Acts 1:15f
17. Preached at Pentecost: Acts 2:1ff
18. First mass conversion in response to preaching
19. Spoke at Jerusalem Council: Acts 15:7-14
20. Performed miracles: Acts 3:1-11; 5:14-16; 9:32-43
21. Travelled and preached the Gospel: Acts 10
22. Defended the ministry to the gentiles: 11:1-8
23. Wrote epistles: 1 Peter 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1
24. Imprisoned and angels delivered: Acts 12:3-19
25. Crucified in Rome -- head downwards per his wish.

ST. PAUL:

1. Born as "Saul" in Tarsus of Cilicia (Acts 22:3), tribe of Benjamin (Philippians 3:5), a Jew and a Roman citizen.
2. Learned tent-making when young (Acts 18:3) and studied under Gamaliel (Acts 22:3).
3. Hebrew, Pharisee (Philippians 3:5), persecuted Christians (Acts 8:1-3; Philippians 3:6), witnessed the martyrdom of St.. Stephen, and after Palastenian persecution went to Damascus for more atrocities.
4. Met the risen Christ on the road to Damascus: Acts 9:1-8
5. Conversion and new name: Paul.
6. Received Holy Spirit on the street called Straight: 9:11.
7. There after went to the Arabian jungle to spend some time in meditation.
8. Attacked and the disciples helped by sending him to Syria.
9. Antioch Church sent to missionary work: Acts 13:1-3
10. Carried the Gospel to the gentiles: Galatians 2:7-10
11. Spoke in the Council of Jerusalem: Acts 15:1-35
12. Opposed Peter (Galatians 2:11-21): corrected him.
13. Disputed with Barnabas about John Mark (15:36-45); Paul took Silas.
14. Three missionary journies: Acts 13-20
15. Founded numerous Churches in Asia Minor, Greece: Romans 15:24-28.
16. Wrote seversal (14) epistles from the prison: Half of NT
17. Arrested in Jerusalem and sent to Rome :Acts 21:27; 28:16-31
18. After release, more missionary works, then arrested again in Rome and beheaded in A.D. 68. More about St: Paul:

19. Come to Macedonia and help us: Acts 16:9.
20. Preached Jesus Christ and Him crucified: 1 Cori. 2:2
21. In Philippi Paul first preached the Gospel of Christ in Europe: Acts 16:11-40.
22. Then in Thessalonica for three weeks: Acts 17:1-9
23. "The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing": 1 Corinthians 1:18
24. St. Paul preached about repentance, the resurrection and salvation as well as God's judgment.
25. "For in Him, we live and move and have our being": Acts 17:28
26. Humans "should seek the Lord in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him": Acts 17:27 27. Dionysius and Damaris believed Paul: Acts 17:34
27. "Jesus is the Christ": Acts 18:4-5: in Corinth.
28. "Do not be afraid, but speak and do not keep silent": Paul's vision: Acts 18:9-10
29. Every thought "to the obedience of Christ": 2 Cori. 10:5
30. Christ strengthens: Philippians 4:13
31. Believe in Christ to be saved:: Acts 16:23-27
32. St. paul's trials: 2 Corinthians 11:23-27
33. St. Paul's faith: Philippians 4:13 (For more about these two Apostles, see chapter two: THE EXPANSION OF OUR CHURCH" in OUR CHURCH" by this author). MATTHEW 20:1-16

1. We receive generous rewards for obedience and faithfulness
2. Our reward is based on God's generosity; 20:15; Romans 9;20-21; Deuteronomy 15:9; Proverbs 23:6; Matthew 6:23; Mark 7:22.
3. Many are called, but few chosen.

JOHN 21:15-25 (See some where else in this book)

1. More than fishing or more than the disciples: We have to love Jesus more than anything or anyone else.
2. Lamb: Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 4:6; 1 Peter 5:2
3. Sheep: Psalm 79:13; Matthew 10:16; 15:24; 25:33; 26:31
4. Jesus predicted Peter's crucifixion
5. Peter's curiosity or jealousy by asking about the other disciple
6. Authenticity
7. More than written documents ... traditions. ACTS 1:12-14 1. In the house of John Mark, author of the Gospel, several believers, including Jesus' mother and brothers prayed together: 2:1; 7:57.

1 CORINTHIANS 12:28-13:10
1. Apostles: Disciples and others like St. Paul who had seen the risen Lord and witnessed Him: 1:1; 15:9
2. Prophets: Who proclaims God's message for the edification of the Church and predict future events: Acts 11:28; 21: 9-11
3. Love is the most important spiritual gift.
4. Obedience brings blessings: A test of Abraham's faith ... to leave his country, family, and father's house.
5. God's promise to Abraham and his descendants
6. His wife Sara was barren; but Abraham's faith and hope
7. The first act of Abraham when he arrived in Bethel was that he built an altar to the Lord.

DANIEL 1:8-21
1. Daniel and his friends were trained by the king to serve him.
2. Daniel diplomatically dealt with the circumstances and passed the test. ISAIAH 43: 1-7
3. God's presence with His people.

SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST: (JUNE 30th)
MATTHEW 15:32-39; MARK 8:1-10


1. Three times Jesus fed: a. 5000 with 5 loaves and two fish: John 6:1-15 b. 4000 with 7 loaves and few fish (today's) c. The Last Supper: 12 disciples (one betrayed): Matthew 26:17-30
2. Multitude becoming very great (conventions); should increase, not decrease: church-going the same way.
3. Miracle among the Gentiles in the summer.
4. Jesus' compassion toward the multitude: Philippians 2:5; 1 Corinthians 2:16. They were with Him for three days: Three stands for completeness / wholeness: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Jesus' concern for the people's problems: 15:32
a. People without leader is like sheep without shepherd: Matthew 9:36-37.
b. Touched the lepor: Mark 1:41
c. Told the widow not to cry: Luke 7:13
d. Wept at the tomb of Lazarus: John 11: 33-35
e. Cried for the city of Jerusalem: Luke 19:4
f. Prayed for those who crucified: Luke 23: 34
g. God of all mercies: 2 Corinthians 1:3
h. Holy Spirit: Romans 8:26. So with hope, put our burden on Him (1 Peter 5:7); forgive the sins of others (Matthew 18:35): and help others ( 1 John 3:17).
5. Some came from afar (8:3): Physically as well as spiritually we are all in this category, not just prodigal son, Mary Magdaline, Zacheus, Paul (Ephesians 2:13). We are nearer through Christ Jesus. If wecome nearer, never send us back hungry: Jesus cured the sick and raised the sick; invited all those who are burden to come for rest; Elijah was told to rise up and eat as he has to go for a long distance. If we don't come nearer, will be tired and weakened and fallen; to come and be partakers of everything including communion. Need endorsement like a check to cash.
7. Tradition to give food after service. Continue if possible.
8. Obstacles for the blessings:
a. Unfavorable circumstances ... in the desert
b. Unfavorable consumers ... big crowd
c. Unfavorable supply ... Not enough food.
9. Be with God (Mark 3:14): Then satisfaction in His presence; God works with us knowing our needs.
10. What kind of supplication and requests we have? James 4:3.
11. Listen and live in holiness and activites; then He will feed us like a good shepherd: Psalm 23.
12. Jesus consulted with the disciples as friends: John 15:15.
13. Disciples couldn't do it. They pointed out a problem. How could feed such a crowd in the wilderness?
14. They approached Jesus for His helping hand. God's servers to do what they are supposed to do: Luke 17:1-10.
15. What do you have? Jesus' question.
16. See what we have; within our community.
17. Jesus praised and thanked God and blessed the bread.
18. Submit everything to Jesus ... multiplies (Job did).
19. When Jesus blessed they ate; they were satisfied, filled and departed in peace.

20. Left over... 7 baskets: Importance of seven.
21. When we grow spiritually, physical needs are minimised; we ask for "daily" bread. Rest of the requests in the Lord's prayer are spiritual. We live not by brad alone: Deuteronomy 8:3.
22. In order not to be tired or exhausted, we have to receive the blessed bread: Holy Communion.

LUKE 17:1-10
1. Guidelines for Christians: Matthew 17:1921; 18:6-7; 21-22; Mark 9:28-29, 42. 2. Do not do anything that would cause another to sin: v. 1-2 2. Seek to correct fellow Christians, if they sin: v.3.
2. Always be quick to forgive when repents: vv. 3-4.
3. Trust God: vv. 5-6 5. Do not be proud when we do our duties: vv. 7-10. MARK 6:30-52
4. Jesus' concern for the welfare of the disciples (privacy: v. 31), on the spiritual ignorance of the people (v.34), and for their hunger: 35-44.
5. The disciples shall serve the needs of the people through Jesus.
6. The serving disciples did more effectively to reach every one with the food: v. 39.
7. Sent followers into danger to test them (v.45): in to the boat.
8. Never leaves in trouble: God's saving presence to Moses (Exodus 33:19; Elijah (1 Kings 19:11).
9. God's reassurance (Abraham 15:1): Do not be afraid.

ACTS 1:15-20
1.Selection of Mathias to replace Judas.
2. Even though Peter denied Jesus (Luke 22:54-62), he was the leader. Peter's sermon to the 120 about Judas who betrayed his master resulted in good response. 3. The failure of Judas was foretold: Psalm 25; 109:8.
3. Love of money leads to all kinds of losses and destruction ... takes away from all goodness.

CORINTHIANS 8:1-6
1. Love must guide our freedom.
2. The gods and lords of the pagans were not real
3. God, the Father, is the source of all things.

EXODUS 30:34-38
1. God wants us to be holy as the incense shall be holy.
2. We shall be happy too, but holiness shall be our priority.

PSALM 20
1. A royal messianic Psalm for spiritual warfare.
2. A petition (vv. 1-5): Five requests of prayer.
3. The assurance of God's answer: vv. 6-8; cf. 1 John 5:14-15. There is greater power in the name of God than in armies of chariots: Zechariah 4:6; Romans 8:1-13.
4. A final cry for help recognizing that God is king (v.9). The battle we face is not ours, it is His. ISAIAH 14:222-27 1. Judgment on Babylon and Assyria

SERIES 8 (LOL VOL:2 ISSUE:12 JULY 1,2002)

ST. THOMAS: (JULY 3RD)

1. Apostle: Matthew 10:3

2. Mission: All the way from the Holy Land to India to preach the Gospel. Used the opportunity he got: Hebrews 3:13. Preached and witnessed Jesus Christ and cared for the poor.

3. Love for Christ: Ready to die for Him: John 11:16. Martyr: Romans 14:8.

4. Curiosity: "How can we know the way." John 14:4-6: "I am the way, the truth, and the life."

5. Approach: All others believed by seeing Him: Mark 16:14. Not there, may be sobing or hiding. Touched and believed. Proved resurrection: John 20:25; 1 Corinthians 15:17. Did not believe before he personally experienced, did not say he understood when he really did not.

6. Inscribed a lasting tradition: The tradition is that all other disciples kissed his hand after the incident: The tradition still continues in the Church

7. Confession of Faith: The greatest confession: "My Lord and my God." John 20:28: Christ's sovereignty and identity.

8. With the Apostles in the Upper Room (Acts 1:13-14) and strengthened with the Holy Spirit: Acts 2:1-4.

9. Spiritual Fatherhood: 1 Corinthians 4:15: St. Thomas Christians in India: Four families and seven churches.

(For more on St. Thomas: see Chapter FIVE of OUR CHURCH and SUNDAY AFTER EASTER in this series).

SEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (JULY 7TH):
MARK 3:20-30

1. Casting out devils (1 John 3:8) and healing the sick are important in Jesus' ministry.

2. His own people as well as others could not understand Him; may be because of jealous.

3. His own people thought He was out of His mind because He was too busy to eat. They said that Jesus is crazy: Lots of people are called thus because of their attitude and ideas for reforms: Acts 26:24: St. Paul. A house should not fight against it. Abraham Lincoln' spech on "The House Divided" during civil war. A man's enemy is his own household.

4. The religious leaders ... the scribes rejected earlier: Mark 2:7 - those who think that they know - also created problem. Jesus publicy criticised them : 7:16.

5. Those who don't understand, and those who don't want to do things always create problems.

6. They attributed Jesus' power to Beelzebub.; through the power of satan.

7. Using a parable, Jesus tells that how satan would rise up against himself.. The strong man is satan. Jesus is the one who entered his house, bound him, and was releasing people from his power: cf: Denial of satan in baptism. Jesus came to defeat him. Do not have friendship with satan.

8. Fighting each other results in destruction: "United we stand; divided we fall": Abraham Lincoln.; our Church case. Fighting each other leads to stress and ills.

9. God forgives all sins, except the one against the Holy Spirit: Mark 3:28-30; Luke 12:10; Hebrews 6:406; 1 John 5:16. Do not conceal truth; don't say false witness; accept goodness where ever it is. When Holy Spirit persuades one to believe in Jesus Christ, and then if we work against it, it is working against Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit helps to believe (1 Corinthians 12:3). We have to believe Jesus Christ, instead of the devil, through the power of God. They concealed the truth of healing the person with Beelzabub: interpreted good as evil. It is a wilful sin. Do not see light as dark.

10. False accusation is sin against Holy Spirit; they rejected the truth: about casting out the devils: cf. Isaiah 5:20. When God said of good things about Job (1:8), satan found faults (1:10 cf. 3:1).

11. If we ignore the goodness of others, that is sin against Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit leads us to repent. When we see wrong as wrong, that leads to repentance. Look through the rear view mirror what is going on behind us.

12. Do not resist the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51: St. Stephen) ; do not lie (acts 5:1ff: Ananias and Sapphira); do not sadden ther Holy Spirit; fill with Holy Spirit; lead and walk with Holy Spirit; and be sent by Holy Spiri 13. See every one as children of God and pray for His grace. Goal and means, both should be nice; all means are not good.

14. Jesus shall take care of our affairs if we act properly:

a. Attitude: Example: If one says: "My feet hurt", people feel sympathy ; if says: My feet are killing", people laugh.

b. Surrender: The throwing of our conscious selves on the mercy of power.

c. Ego reduction

d. Sinceriety.

e. Concern for others.

MATTHEW 12:30-50
1. There should be no neutral ground in our attitude; either with Him or against Him.
2. Jesus cast out the demons with the power of the Holy Spirt. The Pharisees did not believe that; it is an unpardonable sin: Mark 3:28-29.
3. The fruit of their lives was bad; the fruit tells what kind of a tree it is: our attitudes, actions and words. We should bear fruit to God (Romans 7:14): Spiritual fruits (Galatians 5:22-23). God's spirit lead to bear fruits through thoughts of understanding, association, conviction, rejection and outlook by taking God's attitude about everything. Fruits of the spirit, grown, not given (gifts): Need intimate relationship between the vine and branch, rooted and grounded in Christ.

(a). Love: John 15:10, 12. The sum total of reconciliation, forgiveness, mercy and compassion, humility, meekness, hungering and thirsting for righteousness. Jesus showed the way and lived it. Love is God's character (1 John 4:8; 5:3); Right attitude (1 Corinthians 13:1-8. 13); Right words (Ephesians 4:15); Right actions (1 John 3:16-18).

b. Joy: Nehemiah 8:12. Joy of the Lord in our strength.Joy is not just happiness. Transcends selfishness ... when seeing others blessed. Jesus felt this kind of joy when gave Himself to others (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus wants to remain the joy in us (John 15:11). When in trials, count it all joy (James 1:2); glad with exceeding joy (1 Peter 4:12-13; Hebrews 10:34); walking in truth makes joy (3 John 4; help others with joy (2 Corinthians 1:3-4); rejoice and leap for joy (Luke 6:23). c. Peace: 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. Obedience to God's law brings great peace (Psalm 119:165), brings harmony with God, others and self and peacefully resolves conflicts.

d. Long Suffering: To endure trouble, extend mercy and wait patiently to act (Colossians 3:13).

e.Kindness: Sensitivity to the needs of others. For secure and confident (Psalm 18:35; 1 Thessalonians 2:7).

f. Goodness: Generosity. Give freely and cheerfully (1 John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 9:7).

g. Faithfulness: Loyalty, faith, dependability .... needed for relationship to prosper and grow: Hebrews 11:6; Proverbs 25:19.

h. Gentleness: Produces humility and destroys pride. Esteem others and control ourselves (Philippians 2:3).

i. Self-control: This affects the taste and growth of all the other fruits (1 Corinthians 9:25).

These fruits constitute the perfect character of God.

4. They have seen numerous miracles (chapters 8-9); but asking for more is testing Him again and again.
5. The preaching of Jesus on the kingdom of God is greater than that of Jonah on repentance or the wise judgments given by Solomon.
6. Those who rejected Jesus will be condemned.
7. Because they rejected, their heart is empty and will be filled with worse evils.
8. Obedience is the key factor to have relationship with Jesus; not the blood relationships.

ACTS 4:32-37
1. Believers share in all things.
2. The Spirit brings love and unity: Acts 5:12; Romans 15:5-6; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Philippians 1:27; 2:2; 1 Peter 3:8.
3. The Apostles continued their witness through the power they received at Pentecost: Lame man's healing: Acts 1:8, 22; Romans 6:15.
4. The unity of love and the spontaneous sharing of possessions to help the needy.
5. Barnabas (means son of Encouragements), vouched for Saul's conversion: 9:27.

EPHESIANS 2:11-22
1. The Church is One and God's temple.
2. The sad state of the Gentiles before Christ came: VV. 11-12.
3. Christ's reconciling Jews and Gentiles to God and to each other: vv. 13-18.
4. The established new glorious society (19-22). Christ, the Corner Stone, controls the shape and strength of the structure. The Church finds its unity in Christ. People are being added to it every day. God is present in spirit with His people where ever they are.

LEVETICUS 16:29-34
1. The Day of Atonement, the most sacred event in the Jewish year: The Fast: Acts 27:9.
2. A day for prayer, fasting and repentance with genuine contrition: Isaiah 58:5-6.
3. An everlasting statute for the atonement: vv. 30-34 give a summary of plans for the day.

HOSEA 5:1-5
1. Israel's leaders failed to rule justly over the people.
2. Israel is called Ephraim, the largest of the 10 northern tribes.
3. They are accused of harlotory because they did not worship the Lord.

ISAIAH 57:15-19
1. Peace to the contrite, not to the wicked.

2. God is holy and eternal and dwells with the contrite and the humble.

3. Our refusal to submit ourselves to God in trust and obedience (Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5) causes backsliding: Luke 8:13-14.

4. God restores the repentant, but peace is not available who persist in their wickedness: Psalm 1:6.

EIGHTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (JULY 14TH):
JOHN 6:47-59

1. This miracle on the day before our Lord's Last Supper" when the Holy Eucharist was instituted for eternal life (v.51, 53-54. 56 cf. 1 John 5:12), for unity with the Father and the Son and every one else (v.56); John 15:1-10; and for the resurrection of the dead: v. 54.

2. "I am the bread of life": John 6:35; 6:48. This bread unites us with God.

3. The seven "I am's" in the 4th Gospel.

4. "I am that I am" to Moses.

5. The difference between "Manna" and the bread of life ... live for ever. God's life given through Eucharist ... medicine for immortality. Field and workers are meaningful when eat bread... bread of life. "Manna" was given for physical entity: Exodus 16 - for day to day: "Give us this day our daily bread. Manna: Angel's food: Psalm 78:24-25.

6. Jesus is the true life-giving bread. Those who believe in Him will live for ever.

7. By receiving Holy Communion, God's life comes into us: 1 Corinthians 11:23-30; 2 Corinthians 4:10; Jesus Christ lives in us. Arguments and quarrels in spiritual life due to ignorance. Share the knowledge to others, not the arguments. Blind cannot see what we show him. Argument about how the body of Christ can be given as food... not intelligent enough to understand the spirituality. Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). If He lives in us and we live in Him, we bear many fruits (John 15:5). His words never pass away (Matthew 24:35). If we don't receive Him, we are responsible for our destruction (Revelation 3:20). Jesus followed God in everything (John 6:19). We have to follow Him to overcome trials and temptations (John 17:4). Jesus passed in all three of satan's temptations: stone to bread, worship satan and jump from the pillar. His brightness works in us (Philippians 3:21). Act and talk as God living in us.

8. We have to participate fully in Christ as the complete sacrifice for sin in order to realize the benefits of salvation. Full involvement results in eternal life. We have to abide in Christ and Christ in us when we receive the Holy Communion to be effective. Otherwise it is worthless (1 Corinthians 11:29-30). This relationship is like the Father and the Son. Son gets living power from the Father. Through communion we receive that power.

9. Spiritual hunger leads us to knock at the door of the church for some food where we receive the spiritual bread for eternal life.
10. The Eucharist bread is made out of the four outstanding ingredients for life:
1. Wheat flour: stands for clay, dust, mud.
2. Water: 3. Yeast: Air 4. Salt: Fire (energy).
The bread represents each one of us; so in the Church we share ourselves.
A. The Bread of Faith: Many are in utter turmoil and confusion: No faith in God, man or in the future. Faith is leap into the darkness; "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (hebrews 11:1).
B. The Bread of Hope: Technological advancement does not solve all the problems. Many are wandering without any hope.
C. The Bread of Love: Wars and fights all over ...at homes, in the community, in the country all over the world. Lots of us are longing for fellowship and friendship (Love Chapter: 1 Corinthians 13).
Are we giving these three loaves to others: faith, hope and love?

11. We will be tested in our day to day life. Overcome the tests.

12. Receive Him physically and spiritually through Holy Communion.

MARK 4:1-23
1. Parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-23; Luke 8:4-18). In God's field, the seeds of word are sown.
2. We must be careful to obey the word of God; God's word will accomplish its purpose.
3. The kinds of soil have their impact on the harvest:
a. Ones by the wayside: Careless hearers of the Gospel truth;
b. Stony ground: Persons who value salvation too little;
c. Sown among thorns: Persons who spend all their energies on material things (Are we one of these? Disobedience brings danger: Jeremiah 7:21-26); Even if in peril, awake and shine (Isaiah 52:1-6); He will be with us.
d. Good ground (Exodus 3:9-15): Believers who accept Christ and continue to follow Him. Those who willingly receive the truth, truly understand and obey. Jesus is the source: Hebrews 4:14-5:5.
4. Like a lamp put on a lampstand makes things visible, so the Gospel message brings God's truth to light.

MATTHEW 13:10-23
1. God's future rule had begun with the coming of Jesus; it was once secret, but now revealed.
2. If we close our eyes against the light, we will not profit anything from all possible means given to us.

1 PETER 2:4-10
1. Christ is the foundation stone: 2:4.
2. Through faith in Christ, we become God's people.
3. Believers are living stones ... by sharing in Christ's resurrection.

3. The Church is a spiritual house: compare to the temple of God: John 2:19-21; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19.
4. Jesus, the corner stone, completes God's plan of salvation.
5. We are a chosen generation, royal priesthood, holy nation, and His own special people (Exodus 19:5-6). Thus the Church is the New Israel.
6. God accepts sinners and makes them the people of God: Hosea 1:10; 2:23.
7. Whatever God sanctified is not unclean: Romans 14:14.
8. Most leaders, inventors, discovers arose from poverty.
HEBREWS 4:14-5:55
1. High priesthood of Jesus who cleanses the sinful human heart.
2. Jesus enables usto overcome sin because He overcame every form of temptation.
3. God's undeserving people receive His goodness: forgiveness for sins (mercy) and grace to help us overcome temptation. We can approach Him in prayer for blessings.
4. The high priesthood of Christ and of Aaron. Both offered sacrifice for the sins of others. Both were called by God. But they differ in the nature of their calls and the effectiveness of their sacrifices. The call of Christ surpasses the call of Aaron in that God made Christ a priest for ever.

EXODUS 3:9-15
1. God knows the sorrows of His people.

2. God's method of deliverence is reaching people through people: MOses.

3. Moses' thought "who am I", instead of "whose I am ."

4. Moses also thought that God's people, now in Egypt more than 400 years , would have been even forgotten His name.

5. YHWH: YAHWEH: JEHOVAH: I AM THAT I AM (3:14): Answe to Moses. The present one, He who is. The God is present in their midst even in exile.

SEVEN I AM'S IN THE 4TH GOSPEL

1. I am the Bread of Life: John 6:35: Bread for physical survival. Lord's body for spiritual life (6:51). We have to be renewed in the faith of His body and in the love of His blood. Feed and give us strength.

2. I am the light of the world: John 8:12. Warfare between light and darkness. In the beginning God created light. Evil fights against light. Dark moves away with the appearance of lightt (2 John 2:8). Be one with Christ (Ephesians 1:10). Light, Jesus, to show our way.

3. I am the Door (John 10:7): Door to the way of life. Words of eternity are with Him. Those who go through Him will be saved.

4. I am the Good Shepherd (John 10:11): Great shepherd of the shep (Hebrews 13:20); chief shepherd (1 Peter 5:4); the Lord is our shepherd (Psalm 23:1). A shepherd's responsib-ilities include feeding (Bread of life: Holy Communion), protecting from the enemy ... satan and sin ... , caring, encouraging, keeping in order and giving guidance and spiritual direction (John 21:15-17; Acts 20:28-31; 1 Thessalonians 5:2-15; 2 Timothy 4:1-5). A caring shepherd looks after the flock (Luke 12:32; John 10:7-16); his relationship is like between God and His people (Psalm 23; 95:6-7); he leads (Ezekiel 4:23; Micah 5:2-4); guides his flock to good pastures (Isaiah 40:11); feeds his sheep (psalm 23); guides them (1 Samuel 17:34); he searches for the strayed and lost ones (Matthew 18:12); he knows his sheep individually (John 10:1-4); he tends his sheep (Genesis 33:13).Jesus came down to enquire about the status of the lamb. He went out seeking the one lost leaving the 99. Jesus told Peter to feed the lamb. Jesus is the Good Shepherd (2 John 1:1-16) ...."Behold, the lamb of God", John the Baptist witnessed. The leaders are also shepherds (Acts 21:28). Moses found a lost sheep of his father-in-law. God saw this and found a leader to lead and guide the Israelites. David was a shepherd. God is our real shepherd (Psalm 23:1). Immanuel is with us till the end of the world. He knows us individually and personally. The self-sacrificed watches us all the time. (Ezekiel 34:4: Bad shepherd).

5. I am the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25): Eternal life - life after death. We live because of Him.

6. I am the way, Truth, and Life (John 14:6): Way to the Father; light of light, very God of very God. Truth to believe and life to be lived.

7.I am the True Vine: Spiritual, internal relationship. We are the brtances (15:5). He is our fellowship. When we are like Him, we bear fruits.

JEREMIAH 7:21-26
1. Obedience is first, sacrifice comes after.
2. Starting from Moses, prophets gave Israel messages of warning and promises through out history: Deuteronomy 18:15-22.
ISAIAH 52:1-6
1. A call to God's people to dress in beautiful garments in preparation for the salvation of God: cf. 3:16-4:1, where Zion tries to make herself beautiful, and to 47:1-3 where beautiful Babylon is stripped like a captive.
2. Shall be redeemed from sin without money: 55:1-2.
3. Assyria and Babylon oppressed Israel without any reason.
4. The enemies say that God could not do anything to save them.: (If we remain in sin, the same thing will happen)
5. We have to recognize God's true greatness.

ST. KURIAKOSE (JULY 15TH):

1. There are several churches in Kerala in the name of St. Kuriakose as patron saint including my own original parish, Mundukuzhy St. Kuriakose Orthodox Church, Kunnamthanam, Thiruvalla.
2. The conviction and commitment of the faithful mother Euliti and her three old son Kuriakose made them martyers whose story is not clearly known to many.
3. The blessed Euliti and her saintly son trampled the devil and all his wicked means under their feet and received the crowns of martyrdom.
4. Euliti, a beautiful rich woman and a good Christian, a descendant of the Asian kings, was born in Icornium in Asia Minor where SS. Paul and Barnabas founded the Church (Acts 14).
5. Euliti spent most of her time in praying and helping the poor.
6. Euliti's only son Kuriakose grew up in a spiritual atmosphere whose first spoken words were, 'I am a Christian.'
7. When Euliti's husband passed away all on a sudden, she had to raise her son by herself.
8. Dioceltian, the Roman emperor, started the worst Christian persecution when Kuriakose was only three years old.
9. Euliti, in order to escape from persecution, fled to Selucia in Syria with two of her maids.
10. As the situation there was also worse, they went to Tarsus, the birthplace of St. Paul.
11. The Roman tetrach in that city, Alexandros was also very cruel toward Christians.
12. Euliti was arrested and brought before Alexandros. Because Euliti confessed that she is a Christian as against the warnings of Alexandros, the soldiers threw Euliti on the ground after taking away young Kuriakose from her.

13. Alexandros promised to release her if she forsook Jesus Christ to which she answered that even a child, like her son, would not budge.
14. Alexandros asked Kuriakose: 'Would you agree to worship the idols.'
15. Young Kuriakose replied: 'Your idols are made by stone and wood; My real God is Jesus Christ.'
16. When Euliti heard this, she filled with courage shouted: 'I am Christian; I worship the real God Jesus Christ who made heaven and earth.' Then Kuriakose also started shouting: 'I am Christian; I am Christian.'
17. Soldiers continued beating Euliti and the ruler tried to play with the boy to attract his attention.
18. The tetrach got md at the child as he was not falling into his trap and threw him to the ground. The young boy hit his head against one of the concrete steps and died instantly.
19. When Euliti saw this, she prayed: 'Thank you my Lord because you considered Kuriakose worthy of receiving this glorious crown. I ask you now my Savior to take me also'
20. On hearing this, the angered Roman emperor ordered her to be beheaded. Thus she was beheaded while she was repeatedly saying: 'I am Christian, I am Christian.'
21. At night, her two maids took the bodies and hid them in a cave near Tarsus.
22. When Constantine, the first Roman emperor, came to power, he built a church where the Mother and the child were martyred.
23. Parts of the relics of these two saints'are preserved in the Syrian St. Mary's Monastry in the valley of Nitron. There is also a historical church bearing their names in Tahta.
24. Our Church commemorates their remembrances on July 15th.
25. May their intercessions be a blessing for each one of us.

NINTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (JULY 21ST):
LUKE 14:7-11

1. Feast and marriage allowable: Jesus is there.

2. Looking for prominent seats to catch other's attention (even in prayer and singing: start early, end last, etc.) Even in the church we see such tendancies these days. If they don't get, criticize every one and even leave the church. So law-abiding members sometimes do not get recognized. "I to decrease, he to increase". Invitees at the Pharisee house looked for important seats. Ego: self, "I" not "you" or "He."

3. Those who exhibit their position: Prestige and power: Do not try to buy it; earn it. Do not demand or command, earn it.

4. Humble before Good; He will lift us. James 4:10. Only those who are humble deserve the kingdom of God: Job 22:29; Psalm 18:27; 29:23; Matthew 23:12; Luke 18:14. God came down: Learn from Jesus: Matthew 11:29. He is gentle and lowly in heart. The righteous will shine: Matthew 13:43.

5. Forgo "self" and be humble and simple. Selfishness brings embarassment: Proverbs 25:6-7. Do not promote ourselves. Let others do that for us.

6. Regarding highly than is pride. Pride goes before a fall.

7. Courtesy is appreciated and rewarded. Should have Christ's attitude: Philippians 2:5; James 4:8, 10.

8. Old Testament about achievements/rewards of the faithful; New Testament about their responsibilities.

9. If the invitees do not behave, detrimental to all: Punished: Numbers 25:1-8; Isaiah 24:2. For the hope of Israel, Paul was chained: Acts 28:20; in Corinth: 1 Corinthians 6:1-11. Weed among us: Matthew 13:23-35.
10. Host determines the seat. God determines our destiny based upon our deeds and actions. To be invited to the kingdom of God.

11. Brought what ever they found (from a little boy: John 6:9). Though simple, God wants us to use what we have and what we are willing to do. Bring what ever we have to the Lord, He will bless and increase.

MATTHEW 13:24-43
1. Seven parables in this chapter.
2. Although the kingdom of God has come, there is still evil in the world.
3. Tare: A weed that closely resembles wheat. The two are almost indistinquishable until they mature at harvest time.
4. During judgment, the unjust will be removed from the just.
5. God's work often appears insignificant first, but has far-reaching results (mustard and leaven): 12:35 cf. Psalm 78:2; Romans 16:25-26; 1 Corinthians 2:7; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:26.

ACTS 28:11-22
1. St. Paul's imprisonment in Rome.
2. Syracuse (28:12): Founded by Greeks in 734 B.C. was the chief city of Sicily.
3. Paul was respected by the Romans, but his message was rejected by the Jews. So he sought to explain his situation to the Jews.

1 CORINTHIANS 6:1-11
1. No lawsuits between believers.
2. Christians should not sue each other before the civil authorities over disagrements.
3. One day Christians will judge the world, including the angels (vv. 2-3): cf. Matthew 19:28, Revelation 2:26. We should be able to judge matters by ourselves.
4. If we sue, that means there are no wise people in the Church to judge.
5. Taking another Christian to the court is a spiritual defeat: Matthew 5:39-42.
6. Those who do not have right relationships with God and are indulged with unlawful dealings do not belong to God.
7. Christians are washed (Revelation 1:5), sanctified (made holy and set apart), and justified (declared righteous).

DEUTERONOMY 4:1-6
1. The consequences of obedience and disobedience. Obedience makes an expression of faith and commitment to God. 2. The Sinai statutes and judgments distinquished Israel from all nations. 3. Baal of Peor: The Moabite God (Numbers 25:1-9). Those who kept themselves for God were alive: Romans 6:23. 4. Following the law to live a holy life needs diligence: Matthew 7:21. PSALM 22:1-21
1. The victory of the Suffering Servant.
2. V. 1: Words uttered by Jesus on the cross: Matthew 27:6; Mark 15:34.
3. When God seems ignore our cries, we will feel loneliness.
4. God dwells where He is praised.
5. For God's help, we have to trust Him.
6. In times of despair, we all feel that we are just worms, even though we are a little less than God Himself (8:5).
7. Onlookers add our misery.
8. vv. 7-8: Matthew 27:39, 43.
9. God is with us from the day of our birth.
10. The Calvary scenes.
11. God answers our requests and appeals: 22:21.

PROVERBS 13:1-7
1. Wisdom loves righteousness
2. A scoffer is an egotist who has a strong hatred for correction (9:7-8). The Lord has no delight in such pride: 3:34.
3. Our success and failure depends on the proper use of our mouth and hands.
4. Hard work and diligence produce both material gain and moral character.
5. Righteous man verses wicked man.
6. A rich man may have nothing; a poor person may have everything. cf. Matthew 10:39.

ISAIAH 24:1-5 <1. Human sin has brought divine judgment, and the earth is laid waste.
2. Every one will face destruction, irrespective of various positions.
3. The inhabitants break the laws of the covenant which leads to desolation. death cannot bring an end to that fellowship. 5. Life in newness makes us closer to God.

TENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST: JULY 28TH:
MATTHEW 18:1-4


1. The relationship between each other.
2. The true greatness: Be simple and humble.
3. Give importance to what is due: Jesus talked about His incoming passion, death and resurrection; but disciples went to Him asking "Who is great......". People seek position and prestige, but not ready to do the job; want to be fed, but not ready to earn.
4. Jesus set a child (it is believed that this child became St. Ignatius of Antioch) in the midst. Children were not recognized until then. The children are our central attraction: Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:17; Luke 18:14-17. Turn to the state of a child. Prodigal son called "Father'" and thus became a child. Repentance needs to turn. The mental stage of John who leaned on Jesus' bosom (John 13:23) like a child. Children have no worry or jealousy.
5. The person who humbles himself is the greatest in God's kingdom (vv. 1-4) Humility makes one great: Mark 9:33-37; Luke 9:46-48; 22:24-27. Have's and havenot's; higher ups and lower ups. God is the greatest. No body is lower or greater; all are created in God's image: Genesis 1:26. Consider others great: Philippians 2:3.
6. The attitude for the desire to be the greatest shall be changed: Psalm 131:12; Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:15; Luke 18:16; 1 Corinthians 14:20; 1 Peter 2:2.
7. The cake unturned: Hosea 7:8-9
8. We must be careful not to sin or cause another to sin (vv. 5-9). Allow no occasion for sin.
9. Discard offenses: Luke 17:1; 1 Timothy 4:1; Matthew 26:24. Discard the problem makers (cut out hands and legs) or discard those who cause us to sin.
10. Gaining eternal life is important. Even if we have to loose something, we have to pay more attention to gain our souls: Mark 8:36; Matthew 5:29-30.
11. Trials and tribulations to get into eternal life. Israel - bitter water in Mara .. spring water: Exodus 15: 22-27; Job 42:7-17 ... multiplied wealth.. psalm 112:1. Throw away that causes sin: 18:8-9.
12. Angels: Guardian angels. We are angels in His presence: Psalm 34:7; Zechariah 13:7; Hebrews 1:14.
13. We have to do what ever is possible to bring back an erring Christian: James 5:19-20; Luke 15:4-32: The Lost son and the lost coin. Search and find the lost.
14. 100 is fulness/complete. That is what we have to look for.
15. The desire for everybody's salvation: Matthew 18:14; eternal life: will of the father: 1 Timothy 2:4.
LUKE 9:12-17 1. With the help of Jesus, the disciples met the need of the people.
2. The loaves were brought by a boy: John 6:9.
3. In groups: To make the distribution in order.

MATTHEW 16:13-20 1. Peter's confession (v.16) reached the climax of Jesus' revelation of Himself.
2. The Apostles are to help found the Church and expand.
3. Caesarea Philippi (v.13) built in honor of Augustus Caesar Philip, Herod's son, a secluded place was selected to reveal Himself.
4. Jesus valued His disciples' opinion.
5. How people see us? Not only others, but our own.
6. Bar Jonah: Son of Jonah or John (21:15).
7. Peter: Stone or rock (Greek); Cephas (Aramaic): John 1:42.
8. Peter and the Apostles were the witnesses to Christ's resurrection and the first preachers so that the Church was built on their faith.
9. Gates of Hades: Job 33:17; Psalm 9:13; 107:18; Isaiah 38:10.

10. The power of evil will not stop the Church.
11. The keys: The truths of the Gospel. All those who believe enter the kingdom and those who do not believe were kept out.
12. Tell no one (v.20): Mark 1:44; 5:43; 7:36; 8:26 cf. 1:25, 34; 3:12: Not until resurrection (8:30; 9:9):
- May be to limit people to come for healing so that to use more time for preaching and teaching;
- Didn't want demoniac testimony
- Didn't want to misunderstand His mission: No earthly rule, but to deliver from sin.
- At trial revealed: 14:62.
- After resurrection, disciples did: 9:9.

ACTS 28:23-30 1. Paul testified in the prison: Some believed; some not.
2. 28:26-27: Isaiah 6:9-10: Quoted five times to explain of Gospel truth: Matthew 13:14-15; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; John 12:40-41; Romans 11:8. ROMANS 10:5-21 1. It may be difficult to keep the Law fully. But through fellowship with God through faith in Christ is possible.
2. Jesus is Lord and God for the Jews and the Gentiles alike
3. We have to preach and teach to spread the Gospel.
4. Israel heard the good news, but rejected. EXODUS 15:22-27 1. The miracle of water at Marah.
2. People's suspicion of God and the leaders during the journey from the Red Sea to Sinai.
3. God is the Deliverer and the Provider.
4. People's skeptical and untrusting attitude.
5. Marah: Bitter: Numbers 33:8; Ruth 1:20.
6. Complained (v. 24): Exodus 14:11; 16:2; Psalm 106:13.
7. Cast in to the waters (v. 25): 2 Kings 2:21.
8. Statute: Joshua 24:25.
9. Tested: Exodus 16:4; Deuteronomy 8:2.16; Judges 2:22; 3:1, 4; Psalm 66:10.
10. Diligently (v.26): Exodus 19:5-6; Deuteronomy 7:12, 15.
11. Diseases: Deuteronomy 28:27, 58, 60.
12. Heals (v.26): Exodus 23:25; Deuteronomy 32:39; Psalm 41:3-4, 103:3; 147:3.
13. 70 palm trees and 12 wells: v. 27. JOB 42:7-17

1. Restoration of Job and his friends.
2. Seven bulls: Numbers 23:1: very expensive offering.
3. Go to my servant job: Matthew 5:24.
4. Pray for you: Genesis 20:17; James 5:15-16; 1 John 5:16
5. Restored (v.10): Deuteronomy 30:3; Psalm 14:7; 85:1-3; 126:1: Blessed abundantly: Psalm 103:17.
7. Job was blessed (v.11): Friends and family: 19:13-20.
8. Doubled the animal possessions (v.12): 1:3: Latter days: 1:10; 8:7; James 5:11.
9. Very beautiful daughters
10. Job died full of days: More than double as in Psalm 90:10.
PSALM 112:1-10 1. A wisdom poem
2. Contrast between the upright (vv.2-9) and the wicked (v.10)
3. He who fears the Lord inherits the blessings: Psalm 102:28; Proverbs 3:16; 8:18; Matthew 6:33.
4. Divine guidance and generosity are the characteristics of the righteous : Job 11:17; Psalm 97:11.
5. Graciousness and discretion of the good man: Psalm 37:26; Luke 6:35; Ephesians 5:15; Colossians 4:5.
6. The righteous trust in the Lord and remain confident without disturbance: Proverbs 10:7; 1:33.
7. He who has an established heart (Hebrews 13:9) is not afraid (Psalm 27:1; 56:11; Proverbs 1:33; 3:24; Isaiah 12:27) and sees his desire: Psalm 59:10.
8. The righteous shall be exalted.
9. The wicked's plans and wishes will not be materialized.

SERIES 9 (LOL VOL:2 ISSUE:13 AUGUST 1-31,2002)

ELEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST: (AUGUST 4TH)
MARK 6:7-13

1. Sending the twelve with responsibilities: with commandments, directions and advice.

2. Abide with rules and regulations: No bread, cash, etc. Leveticus 19:13-18: 11 No's. Just take the bare necessities: Luke 22:36. Joshua 23:7-14: Don't worship others; Malachi 4:1-6: If do not follow, punishments.

3. Depend on God and people: Matthew 10:11-13.

4. Sent two by two: Ecclesiastics 4:9-12 with power to cast away the devils: Two are better than one.

5. Teach the Gospel of peace: Leveticus 19:15: Do righteousness; Matthew 18:15-22: Reconcile with others.

6. Sandles: Ephesians 6:15.

7. Shake off the dust: Acts 13:51; 18:6. Those who reject would become like unbelieving Gentiles.

8. Not just peach, but have actions: Faith without works is dead: James 2:17. Cast the devil and heal the sick; anoint with oil: James 5:14: Unction of the sick, not just the last rite.

MATTHEW 18:15-22
1. A one-to-one discussion for reconciliation. If all attempts fail, expel from the Church: Leveticus 19:17; Luke 17:3-4; Galatians 6:1; 2 Thessalonians 3:15; James 5:19-20; 1 Peter 3:1.
2. 18:16: Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15; John 8:17; 2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19; Hebrews 10:28.
3. Heathens and tax collectors were not considered as God's people.
4. If a person doesn't reconcile, avoid him: Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14; 2 John 10.
5. 18:18: Absolution; Eternal consequences: Matthew 16:19; John 20:22-23; 1 Corinthians 5:4.
6. God confirms the reconciliation: 1 John 5:14; 3:22; 1 Corinthians 1:10.
7. 18:20: Ten males were required according to Jewish guidelines; here only 2 or 3 and Christ will be there: Matthew 6:14; Mark 11:25; Colossians 3:13.
8. Only 4 times in the Jewish religion; here without any limit: Luke 17:4; Matthew 6:14; Mark 11:25; Colossians 3:13.

MARK 9:33-50
1. Disciples did not understand the ministry of Jesus; so argument about who would be the great among them.
2. 9:34: Because of shame, they kept silent.
3. Humble ourselves to be great..
4. 9:36-37: Little status for children in those days. Child represents needy people: Mark 10:13-16; Matthew 10:40; Luke 10:16; John 13:20.
5. vv.38-40: John's concern for position and authority. We must recognize all Christians: Numbers 11:27-29; Luke 9:49; 1 Corinthians 12:3; Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23.
6. v. 41: The care and concern count, not the volume or size: Matthew 10:42.
7. v. 42: One who causes failure will have grave consequences: Mathew 18:6; Luke 17:1-2; 1 Corinthians 8:12.
8. vv. 43-48: Hardship now is better for eternity: Revelation 21:8.
9. When we go through our trials and tests, we will be purified.
10. We have to have the loving attitude of service; then no more argument (vv.33-37); Matthew 5:13 (Leveticus 2:13); Luke 14:34; Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 4:6; Romans 12:18; 14:19; 2 Corinthians 13:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:13; Hebrews 12:14.

11. Salt is a preservative, a flavor enhancer and a purifying agent.
12. Could lose our Christlike life and influence and we will no more be His followers.

JAMES 2:14-16
1. Faith shall lead us to a holy life of righteousness and mercy: Matthew 7:21-23.
2. Faith without works is like words without deeds: vv. 15-17: Matthew 25:35; Luke 3:11, 1 John 3:17-18: We have to show loving deeds: Mark 7:6.
3. Obedient living is vital to keep the faith: Abraham proved his faith (John 15:12-15) by being ready to sacrifice his son, Isaac (genesis 22:1-3; 9-12); Rahab also rpoved her faith by risking her life protecting the spies came to Jericho: Joshua 2:1-16.
4. Faith should work in good works (v.24): No contradiction to Romans 3:28-31.
5. Living faith transforms life; dead faith doesn't.

1 CORINTHIANS 14:34-39
1. St. Paul's instruction to women for proper worship procedure: 1 Timothy 2:11; 1 Peter 3:1; Genesis 3:16: Not a restriction for prayer or worship:11:15.
2. We have to have order and discipline in our worship services.

1 CORINTHIANS 14:34-39
1. St. Paul's instruction to women for proper worship procedure: 1 Timothy 2:11; 1 Peter 3:1; Genesis 3:16: Not a restriction for prayer or worship:11:15.
2. We have to have order and discipline in our worship services.

LEVITES 19:13-18
1. A call to holy living: Exodus 22:7-15; 21:27; Mark 10:39; Deuteronomy 24:15; Malachi 3:5; James 5:4.
2. v.14: Deuteronomy 27:18.
3. v.15: Deuteronomy 1:17; 10:17; 16:19; Exodus 23:3,6; Psalm 82:2.
4. v.16: Proverbs 11:13; 18:8; 20:19; Exodus 23:7; Deuteronomy 27:25; 1 Kings 21:7-19.
5. v.17: 1 John 2:9, 11; 3:15; Matthew 18:15; Luke 17:3; Ephesians 5:11.
6. v.18: Deuteronomy 32:35; 1 Samuel 24:12; Romans 12:19; Hebrews 10:30; Matthew 5:43.

- Quoted nine times in the New Testament: Matthew 5:43; 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31, 33; Luke 10:27; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14; James 5:8.

- It is the last part of Jesus' summary of the Law: Matthew 22:37-40.

JOSHUA 23:7-17
1. Joshua's farewell.
2. Should have obedience, loyalty and love.

MALACHI 4:1-6
1. The coming of the Lord: The wicked and the righteous will both receive rewards.
2. The sun's heat will bring healing to those who fear Him.
3. Obedience and reconciliation.
4. A reflection Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration: Matthew 17:1-4.
5. John the Baptist fulfilled the promise of Elijah: Matthew 17: 10-13.

TRANSFIGURATION (AUGUST 6TH):
LUKE 9:27-36; MATTHEW 17:1-8

1. Festival of the Tent: One of the three festivals (Passover, Pentecost (Festival of weeks) and the Festival of the Tent: For the redemption from Egyptian passover: after seven weeks, Festival of Weeks; after fruit gatherings, Festival of Tent for seven days (Deuteronomy 16:13-17). All children, slaves, wicked share this: Deuteronomy 16:14.

2. Jesus called three of His disciples: Peter, John and James.

3. They went to a high mountain apart.

4. Lord' revelation of His glory: God is the light of the world (1 John 1:5): The bright cloud, the shining of Jesus' face like the sun, and the whiteness of the garment (Matthew 17:2, 5) all demonstrate that Jesus is God. Jesus showed a part of this light of His glorification to His disciples: the "uncreated light."

5. Now we are light in Christ: Ephesians 5:8. Fruits of light: Goodness, righteousness and truth: Ephesians 5:10. Christ's whole life spread spiritual light (Matthew 4:14-15). Sacrificial life and death show His life of light. Christ's good natural deeds of light given to the world to glorify God (Matthew 15:16). The righteous shine like son (Matthew 13:43; like a palm tree (Psalm 92:12).

6. Moses appeared: Drawn from the water; married; deliverer; Law: represnts all those who are dead. Elijah represents all prophets; unmarried, ascended, raised widow's son, fed by ravens, contest with the priest's Baal. They represent the dead and the living (Romans 14:9), married, unmarried, communion of the saints (Hebrews 12:1). Their disappearance means Old Testament time is over and New Testament time began.

7. The Holy Trinity is manifested: Christ is transfigured (Matthew 17:2); Father spoke from heaven testifying Jesus' divine sonship (Matthew 17:5); and the Holy Spirit is present in the form of a dazzling light surrounding Christ's person, overshadowing the whole mountain (Matthew 17:5).

8. Be careful not to be ashammed at His glorification: Mark 8:38; 1 John 2:28; Will be happy at the reward: Matthew 16:27-17:13. Christ is capable: Romans 11:36

9. Peter wanted to stay there for ever: Harmonious. Let us have that experience so that it is good to be with Him all the time.

10. Place in our hearts for Him: Let Him to enter: Psalm 24:7. God shall be glorified through us: Isaiah 61:3.

11. Sign of the participation of divine lightness: 2 Peter

I JOHN 2:23-3:1
1. If we deny Jesus Christ, looses our fellowship with the Father: John 14:6; 15:23; 5:23; 1 John 4:15; 5:1; 2 John 9.
2. The fellowship with the Father and the Son is the essence of eternal life:2 John 6-7, 9; John 14:23; 1 John 1:3.
3. The false teachers distract us. We shall be protected by the Scriptures as well as by the anointing of the Holy Spirit: John 14:16; 16:13; 1 John 2:20.
ROMANS 11:25-36
1. The blindness of Israel lead to the salvation of the Gentiles and finally to the salvation of Israel: Psalm 14:7; Isaiah 59:20-21.
2. Israel's rejection led to the salvation of the Gentiles: 9:1013.
3. Those who don't believe God are blind.
4. God's judgments are unsearchable: Isaiah 40:13; Jeremiah 23:18; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Job 36:22; 41:11.
5. Christ has authority over all things: John 1:3; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16.

DEUTERONOMY 16:13-17; LEVET. 23:33-34
1. Feast of Tabernacles: Everyone participates in this harvest completion thanksgiving festival, five days after the Day of Atonement: Leveticus 23:34.
2. Regular worship with God is essential.

PSALM 24
1. This Psalm may have originally sung when the ark was brought to Jerusalem: 1 Chronicles 16:1-6.
2. God is the creator and the owner of the whole world (Psalm 136:6). We the inhabitants enjoy earth's wealth and fertility with His permission.
3. Only the righteous have fellowship with God: Psalm 15:1.
4. Unrighteousness (Isaiah 1:5) to be cleansed. Motives, the inner condition of our hearts, are to be reckoned: James 4:8; Job 17:9, Psalm 26:6; 51:10; 73:1; Matthew 5:8. Exclusive dedication and intensity needed.
5. We have to open our hearts to receive the Almighty God.
6. God defeats our outward and inward enemies and we can live victory: Exodus 15:3; Isaiah 63:1-9.
7. God is sovereign over all, including angels: Matthew 26:53.

ISAIAH 61:1-3
1. Righteousness comes from Messiah upon whom is the Spirit of the Lord God: Isaiah 11:2; Matthew 3:17; Luke 4:18-19; John 1:32; 3:34; Psalm 45:7; Matthew 11:5; Luke 7:22; Psalm 147:3; Isaiah 42:7; Acts 10:43.
2. Acceptable year (61:2): the 5oth jubilee year: Leveticus 25:10, 13.
3. Vengeance:Isaiah 34:8;Malachi 4:1,3;2 Thess. 1:7.
4. Comfort:Isaiah 57:18;Jeremiah 31:13;Matthew 5:4.
5. Give beauty for ashes: Psalm 30:11.

FIRST SUNDAY AFTER TRANSFIGURATION: AUGUST 11TH:
MATTHEW 21:28-32

1. The state and affairs of the Kingdom of God in several parables. It grows contineously from small start. Those who do, not just preach, inherit it. Their condition: Not treachery and cheating, but truthful: Deuteronomy 25:13-16; just: Ezekiel 7:1-4; fearless: Psalm 27; and satisfaction: Philippians 4:11. Compare Pharisee and the Publican: Luke 18:9-14.

2. Vineyard: Matthew 20:1, 21:33; 13:44-52; Mark 4:21-34; Tax collectors: Luke 7:29; 37-50; John the Baptist: Luke 3:1-12; 7:29.

3. First son said, No", but did. Repented and went. He represents the tax collectors and harlots who repented when they heard John the Baptist. They said "No" first by their sins; but when realized they repented and came back saying "yes." Nathan to David: 2 Samuel 12:1-6; prodigal son repented, the older son didn't. Mary Magdaline did. St. Paul went all the way to the 3rd heaven. Peter experienced on Mount Tabor with others. Do His will: John 14:31; Matthew 7:21.. Heaven is for the repenters.

4. The second son said "yes", but didn't. Excuses; he represents the Jewish leaders who claimed to be religious, but rejected God's kingdom. Some promise to do, but don't.; some want all rights, but no rites; some give all dues, but no doing. Fruits show what kind of a tree it is. Actions are more important than words. Making decisions and breaking. cf. Matthew 7:21 (Do His will to enter into Heaven).

MATTHEW 4:21-34
1. When a lamp is on a lampstand, it sheds light over and makes things clear. So also the Gospel message brings God's truth to light: Matthew 5:15; Luke 8:16; 11:33.
2. 4:22: Nothing hidden: Ecclesiastes 12:14; Matthew 10:26-27; Luke 12:3; 1 Corinthians 4:5.
3. 4:23: Only those who willingly receive can understand and obey: Matthew 11:15; 13:9. 43; Mark 4:9; Luke 8:8; 14:35; Revelation 3:6, 13, 22; 13:9.
4. 4:24: The more we hear, the more light we get: Matthew 7:2; Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9:6.
5. 4:25: Those who refuse shall lose what they always have: Matthew 13:12; 25:29; Luke 8:18; 19:26.
6. vv. 26-29: Like the farmer doesn't know how his crop grows, we do not know how the transforming power of the kingdom of God; only God knows: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43; Luke 8:1; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Peter 3:18; John 12:24; Mark 13:36, 39; Revelation 14:15.
7. vv. 30-32: Though appears small, the kingdom of God spreads all over the world: Matthew 13:31-32; Luke 13:18-19; Acts 2:41; 4:4; 5:14; 19:20.
8. vv. 33-34: Parables are stories from every day life to teach spiritual truths: Matthew 13:34-35; John 16:12; Luke 24:27, 45.

MATTHEW 13:44-52
1. vv. 44-46: These two parables teach us that we should take any sacrifice to share the richness in the Kingdom of God: Philippians 3:7-8; Isaiah 55:1; Revelation 3:18; Proverbs 2:4; 3:14-15; 8:10, 19.
2. vv. 47-50: Parable of the dragnet. cf the rares: vv. 24-30; 36-43; Matthew 22:9-10; 25:32. The separation of the wicked and the righteous during the last judgment.
3. We have to share the truth with others.

1 JAMES 4:7-5:6
1. We have to draw near and submit to God, resist the devil, cleanse our hands and purify our hearts for full spiritual life.
2. v. 7: To resist the devil, we have to submit our will to God: Ephesians 4:27; 6:11; 1 Peter 5:8.
3. v. 8: If we truly go to Him, God accepts us wholeheartedly. Those who divide their hearts' love between God and the world are double minded: 2 Chronicles 15:2; Zechariah 1:3; Job 17:9; Psalm 24:3-4; Isaiah 1:16; Jeremiah 4:14; Malachi 3:7; 1 Timothy 2:8; Hebrews 7:19; James 3:17; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:3.
4. v. 9: We have to lament, mourn and weep toward past unfaithfulness: Matthew 5:4; Luke 18:13-14.
5. v. 10: Humble: Job 22:29; Luke 14:11; 18:14; 1 Peter 5:6.
6. v. 11: Do not criticize others: Matthew 7:1-5; 2 Corinthians 12:20; Ephesians 4:31; James 5:9; 1 Peter 2:1-3; Romans 14:4.
7. v. 12: God is the only Law giver: Matthew 10:28; Romans 14:4.
8. vv. 13-14: Do not ignore the brevity of human life: Job 7:7; Psalm 102:3; 1 Peter 1:24.
9. v. 15: Acts 18:21; 1 Corinthians 4:19.

10. v. 16: 1 Corinthians 5:6
11. v. 17: Sin of omission: Luke 12:47-48; John 9:41; 2 Peter 2:21.
12. 5:1: Proverbs 11:28; Luke 6:24; 1 Timothy 6:9: Ungodly rich.
13. 5:2: Jeremiah 17:11; Matthew 6:19; Job 13:28 (Expensive clothing: Acts 20:33): All earthly wealth have only temporary nature. 14. 5:3: Selfish hoarding makes the corrosion: Romans 2:5.
16. 5:4: Leveticus 19:13; Job 24:10; Jeremiah 22:13; Malachi 3:5; Exodus 2:23; Deuteronomy 24:15; Job 31:38.

Thus hoarding far more wealth than needed, refusing to pay just wages, living in self-indulgent luxury amid other's poverty, and taking the lives of the innocent and helpless (vv.1-6) are unfair dealings and God doesn't approve yhem. PHILIPPIANS 4:8-20
1. v.8: We have to meditate - think deeply and fill our minds continually with honest, honorable, right, fair, acceptable, attractive, inspiring, gracious, and commendable virtues and characteristics: Ephesians 4:25; 2 Corinthians 8:21; Deuteronomy 16:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; James 3:17; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
2. V. 9: Romans 15:33; Hebrews 13:20: Paul's teaching, his Gospel message, and his own life should be model to all of us. Christ should be above all; Christ-like humility (2:5-7), divine goal (3:14): These should be our quest in our life.
3. 4:10: The Philippian Church that Paul first established on his second missionary journey (Acts 16:6-15) continued to support him: 2 Corinthians 11:9; Philippians 2:30.
4. v. 13: We have to depend on Christ, not on our own strength: John15:5.
5. v.14: The gift was appreciated: Philippians 1:7.
6. v. 15: There is joy for both the one who helps and the one being helped: 2 Corinthians 11:8-9.
7. v. 16: God uses people to meet the needs of His servants.
8. v. 17: Those who support will be blessed: Titus 3:14.
9. v. 18: A gift given and accepted in love is a sacrifice pleasing to God: Philippians 2:25; Hebrews 13:16; Romans 12:1; 2 Corinthians 9:12.
10. v. 19: Through Christ, God meets all the needs of His generous people: Psalm 23:1; 2 Corinthians 9:8.
11. v. 20: We have to be thankful to God: Romans 10:27.

DEUTERONOMY 25:13-26
1. Social responsibility: v. 13: cf. Leveticus 19: 35-37; Proverbs 11:1; 20:23; Ezekiel 45:10; Micha 6:11.
2. V.15: cf. Exodus 20:12.
3. v. 10: Proverbs 11:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:6

PSALM 27
1. The faith of a person who has been tested is affirmed. He has a strong desire and gains hope and assurance.

2. v. 1: David's experience of God proves that he has nothing to fear: Psalm 18:25; 62:7; 84:11; 118:14; Isaiah 12: 2; 60:19-20; 118:14; Micha 7:8; Exodus 15:2.

3. v. 2: Destruction caused especially by slander: Psalm 14:4.

4. v. 3: Cf. Psalm 3:6.

5. v. 4: God's will first in life: Psalm 26:28; 65:4; Luke 2:37; Philippians 3:13-14.
6. v. 5: Psalm 31:20; 91:1; 40:2: Through our nearness to God, we receive safety and security: Psalm 23:6.
7. v.6: Psalm 3:3
8. v. 8: We have to come to His presence: The heart is the seat of affections, thoughts and will.
9. v. 9: The loss of God's intimate fellowship is unbearable: Psalm 69:17; 143:7. 10. v. 10: Parents love and care are lesser than that of God's : Isaiah 49:15. 11. V.11: Psalm 25:4; 86:11; 119:33.
12. v. 12: Deuteronomy 19:18; Psalm 35:11; Matthew 26:60; Mark 14:56; John 19:33.
13. v. 13: Job: 28:13; Psalm 52:5; 116:9; 142:5; Isaiah 38:11; Jeremiah 11:19; Ezekiel 26:20.
14. v. 14: Psalm 25:3; 37:34; 40:1; 62:5; 130:5; Proverbs 20:22; Isaiah 25:9; Habakuk 2:3.

EZEKIEL 7:1-4

1. A prophetic prophecy of Judah's end.
2. V. 2: Ezekiel 5:6; 11:13; Amos *;2, 10; Matthew 24:6, 13-14.
3. V.3: Romans 2:6.
4. v. 4: Ezekiel 5:11; 12:20 (Eye is the first organ to express pity).

ASSUMPTION: AUGUST 15TH:

1. A. India's Independence: August 15th: Pray :1 Timothy 2:21A. India's Independence: August 15th: Pray :1 Timothy 2:21
B.Remembrance of His Holiness Patriarch Abdel M'shiho who transferred Catholicate to Malankara in 1912.
C. Assumption of St. Mary, Mother of our Lord and Savior: End of 15 days fasting. Mother Mary died and burried (Sepeclcher church in the valley of Kedron in Jerusalem on the way to Mount Olive), but the body was taken to heaven in her bodily attire like Enoch and Elijah, with the Apostles and angels participating. This is not a dogma, but a tradition; festival from the 5th century. All Catholic Churches uphold this tradition.

2. Blessed in all generations (Luke 1:48): Two out of seven times of daily prayers are specially ascribed to her; one (Wednesday) out of seven days of prayers are specified to remember her (the Sunday prayers from the Exaltation of the Cross to Easter are also the same); one out of three altars in our churches are in her name; and hundreds of churches all over the world in her name... she herself said that all generations will call her "blessed" (1:48) cf. Revelation 12:1-6; Psalm 45: 9-11: "See the royal daughter stand....".

3. The Tabernacle: (Hebrews 9:3-12; 7:14-53): God's presence here like that of Mother Mary; Fire in the Bush (Exodus 3:2); Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 16:34; 25:10-27); the Gate that was Shut (Ezekiel 44:2). She is model to all faithful; complete commitment to the will of God; Jesus in her belly---shall be in our heart; given Jesus to the world--- we also have to; her faith, prayer life and worship (Luke 2:41); her meditation ...kept all things in her heart (Luke 2:31); helping nature (John 2:3).

4. Parents: Father was Yuyakim of Judah tribe, of David's family in Nazareth; Mother, Anna of the same family.

5. Prophecy fulfilled: "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14)
a. She was ever virgin: Ezekiel 44:2; Song of Songs 4:12
b. The highly favored one (full of grace): Luke 1:28
c.Jesus was "born of a woman": Galatians 4:4
d. She was the "woman clothed with the sun": Revelation 12:1
e. Jesus was born of Mary: Matthew 1:16
f. Jesus is the Son of God: John 10:36
g. The Holy Spirit came upon her: Luke 1:35
h. The Mother of my Lord (Elizabeth): Luke 1:43

6. The Maid servant of the Lord: Luke 1:38: Her humility: Luke 1:46-55 (The Magnificat): She had a heart of complete submission to God ... Followed God's will all the way to the cross.

7. With the Baby (Matthew 2:11): Took the Baby to Egypt (Matthew 2:13); when He was lost, searched until found in the temple (Luke 2:41-46) ... should be with Him and members of the Church, not be outsiders; she served (John 2:12; Matthew 13:55-56); at the foot of the cross; with the disciples at Ascension (Acts 1:14).

8. Her full conviction in Him: "Whatever he says to you, do it" (John 2:5). She kept everything with her (Luke 2:19, 51. A helping hand at Cana. Like Elisha to Elijah, let us pray to double the spirit in us (2 Kings 2:91)

9. Our Mother: "Behold, your Mother" (John 19:27: John took care of her; she is everyone's mother; she is everybody's Mediator; she is our mother ... whoever does His will are reckoned as His mother, brother, sister.

10. Role foretold: Genesis 28:12-15: Ladder: Mary; the Lord stood over; angels and so on; angels at the birth of Jesus too; Genesis 22:13: Ram caught in a thicket by its horns; Exodus 3:2: Flame of Fire: The Lord: Hebrews 12:29; Burning Fire: Mother; Exodus 24:16-17: Mount Sinai: St. Mary; Judges 6:37: Fleece of wool: St. Mary; Dew: Jesus ; Numbers 20:7-8:The Rock that yielded water; Isaiah 6:1: Throne: St. Mary; Jeremiah 36:2-10: Scroll of Book; Matthew 17:27: Fish; Luke 13:21: Woman in leaven; Psalm 138:8: Ark.

11. Submitted all problems before God (1 Peter 5:27): No murmering when Joseph misunderstood her or during when ran away to Egypt or at the crucifixion of her son.

12. Ascended into heaven like Enok (Genesis 5:21-24) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11).

JOHN 2:1-11
(Also on Pethratho Sunday)
1. The first of the seven miracles revealing Christ's glory (the last was raising Lazarus:11:25)
2. v.1: Hebrews 13:4; Joshua 19:28; John 19:25
3. vv.3-5: Embarassing situation; bring the problem to Jesus; Mary's concern, intervention and profound confidence in Jesus.
4. v.4: Woman, just like from the cross (19:26): refer John 7:6, 8, 30; 8:20; 2 Samuel 16:10.
5. vv.6-8: Waterpots for purification - washing of hands. Matthew 15:2; Mark 7:3; Luke 11:39; John 3:25.
6. vv. 9-10: John 4:46; the joyful good wine of the Gospel replaced the water of Jewish legalism.
7. Jesus' divine power manifested: John 4:54; (1:14).


MATTHEW 12:46-50
1. Obedience to the will of His Father is more important than blood relation.
2. v.46: Mark 3:31-35;Mark 6:3; Luke 8:19-21; Matthew 13:55; John 13:55; 2:12; 7:3, 5; Acts 1:14; 1 Corinthians 9:5; Galatians 1:19.
3. v. 47: Matthew 13:55-56; John 2:12; Acts 1:14
4. vv. 49-50: John 20:17; Romans 8:29; John 15:14; Galatians 5:6; 6:15; Colossians 3:11; Hebrews 2:11.

JOHN 19:25-27
1. v. 25: Mother's sister: Probably Salome, wife of Zebudee and mother of James and John (Matthew 27:56; Mark 15:40); Luke 2:35; 23:49; 24:18.
2. v. 26: Jesus' concern for His mother: John 13:23; 20:2; 21:27; 20:24; 2:4.
3. v.27: Luke 18:28; John 1:11; 16:32; Acts 21:6.

LUKE 2:22-35; 42-52; 11:27-32
1. A new mother is unclean for 7 days (Leveticus 12:1-2). After this the baby had to be taken to the temple for circumcision. She is unclean for another 53 days and thereafter to offer a sacrifice for purification. Mary and Joseph offered turtle doves or young pigeons (they were too poor to offer a lamb: Leveticus 12:6-8). Then they presented Jesus to the Lord for a life of sacrifice. v.23: Exodus 13:2, 12, 15; 22:29; Leveticus 27:26; Numbers 3:13; 8:17; Deuteronomy 18:4; Nehemiah 10:36.
2. v.25: Simeon was righteous, dedicated to God, looking for the Messiah and Holy Spirit was with him: A good model for every one: Isaiah 40:1; Mark 15:43; Luke 2:38; 23:51.
3. v. 26: Psalm 89:48 (John 8:51; Hebrews 11:5). v. 27: Matthew 4:1
4. vv.29-32: "Nune Dimittis" (Latin): God's salvation through Jesus. Simeon's great purpose for living had been fulfilled: Genesis 46:30 (Philippians 1:23)
v. 30: Psalm 119:166, 174 (Isaiah 52:10; Luke 3:6)
v.32: Isaiah 9:2; 42:6; 49:6; 60:1-3; Matthew 4:16; Acts 10:45; 13:47; 28:28 (Romans 9:24; Galatians 3:14)
5. vv.34-35: Simon blessed the parents and revealed three prophecies:

1. Jesus will be the cause for the fall and rising of many (even the followers will be discouraged by the crucifixion before they rose to victory): Isaiah 8:14; Hosea 14:9; Matthew 21:44 (Romans 9:32); 1 Corinthians 1:23 (2 Corinthians 2:16; 1 Peter 2:7-8).
2. Jesus was a sign from God, but would be rejected: Matthew 28:12,15; Acts 4:2; 17:32; 28:22 (1 Peter 2:12; 4:14).
3. Mary would be pierced with grief when Jesus suffered and died: Psalm 42:10; John 19:25.
6. By the people's acceptance or rejection, their spiritual attitudes would be revealed.

7. 2:42: Passover (unleavened bread), Pentecost, and Tabernacles - the three feasts Jewish males were required to attend (Exodus 23:14-17): Passover is in memory of the night the death angel passed over the homes of the Hebrews when God sent the 10th plague on Egypt. killing the first born of the Egyptians: Exodus 12:1-13. 12 Years old: The age to accept in the religious community.
8. vv.43-45: Entire family (big crowd) travelled together.
9. vv.46: Searched for three days
10. v. 47: Human relationship and divine guidance: Matthew 7:28; 13:54; 22:33; Mark 1:22; 6:2; 11:18; Luke 4:32; John 7:15.
11. vv.48-49: The priority of Jesus' relationship with the Heavenly Father: John 9:4 (Mark 1:22; Luke 4:22, 32; John 4:34; 5:17, 36).
12. v.50: Mark 9:32; Luke 9:45; 18:34; John 7:15, 46.
13. v.51: Displayed proper obedience to His parents: Daniel 7:28.
14. v. 52: Isaiah 11:2-3; Colossians 2:2-3; 1 Samuel 2:26; Proverbs 3:1-4.
15. 11:27: Luke 1:28, 48.
v. 28: Psalm 1:1-2; 112:1; 119:1-2; Isaiah 48:17-18; Matthew 7:21; Luke 8:21; James 1:25.
v. 29: Matthew 12:38-42; 1 Corinthians 1:22
v. 30: John 1:17; 2:10; 3:3-10; Luke 24:46; Acts 10:40; 1 Corinthians 15:4.
vv.31-32: 1 Kings 10:1-10; 2 Chronicles 9:1-8 (Isaiah 9:6; Romans 9:5); John 3:5
MARK 3:31-35
1. United with God is a closer bond than with human families.
2. v. 31: Matthew 12:46-50; Luke 8:19-21.
3. v. 35: Ephesians 6:6; Hebrews 10:36; 1 Peter 4:2 (1 John 2:17)

ACTS 1:12-14; 7:44-53
1. v. 12: Luke 24:52 (1.2 km)
2. v. 13: John Mark's home: Mark 14:15; Luke 22:12; Acts 9:37: 39; 20:8; Matthew 10:2-4; Luke 6:15; Jude 1
3. v.14: Over 100 believers in this "house church" prayed earnestly in unity: 2:1, 46; 7:57.
4. 7:44: Stephen's defense: Israel has no excuse to plead ignorance to obey God: Exodus 25:40 (Hebrews 8:5).
5. v. 45: Deuteronomy 32:49; Joshua 3:14; 18:1; 23:9; Nehemiah 9:24; Psalm 44:2; 2 Samuel 6:2-15.
6. v. 46: David's covenant: 2 Samuel 7:1-13; 1 Kings 8:17; 1 Chronicles 22:7; Psalm 132:4-5.
7. v. 47: 1 Kings 6:1-38; 8:20-21; 2 Chronicles 3:1-17
8. v. 48: 1 King 8:27; 2 Chronicles 2:6; Acts 17:24
9. v. 49: Isaiah 60:1; 2 Matthew 5:34
10. v. 50: Psalm 102:25 (In the New Testament, believers are God's temple).
11. v. 51: Exodus 32:9; Isaiah 6:10; Leveticus 26:41.
12. v. 52: 2 Chronicles 36:16; Matthew 21:35; 23:35; 1 Thessalonians 2:15; Acts 3:14; 22:14; 1 John 2:1
13. Though received the Law, they refused it: Exodus 20:1; Deuteronomy 33:2; Acts 7:38; Galatians 3:19; Hebrews 2:2.

HEBREWS 9:3-12; 2:14-18; GALATIANS 4:1-7
9:3: The sanctuary: Exodus 25:21-22; 26:31-35; 40:3
v.4: Leveticus 16:12; Exodus 25:10; 16:33; Numbers 17:1- 10; Exodus 25:16; 34:29; Deuteronomy 10:2-5
v.5: Exodus 25:17, 20; Leveticus 16:2; 1 Kings 8:7
v.6: Numbers 18:2-6; 28:3
v.7: Exodus 30:10; Leveticus 16:34; Hebrews 5:3; 6:6; 10:3, 22, 26.
v.8: The way to God is through Christ: John 14:6; Hebrews 10:20
v.9: The sacrifics before Christ could not make the worshipper perfect ... could never cleanse one's conscience: Galatians 3:21; Hebrews 7:19.
v. 10: New time began with Christ: Leveticus 11:2; Coloss. 2:16; Numbers 19:7; Ephesians 2:15; Hebrews 10:1
v.11: The tabernacle of Christ's ministry is heaven, the dwelling place of God: Eph. 1:3-11; Hebrews 10:1
v.12: Aaron, on the Day of Atonement, offered a calf for Himself and a goat for the sins of the people (Leveticus 16:6-9). Christ, with His own blood, offered sacrifice once for all that brings full cleansing from for all eternity: Hebrews 10:4; Isaiah 53:12; Ephesians 1:7; Zechariah 3:9; Daniel 9:24.
2:14: The Son by being human delivers God's people from the fear and power of both physical and spiritual death: Romans 5:12-21; John 1:14; Colosians 2:15; 1 Corinthians 15:54-57; 2 Timothy 1:10.
v.15: Psalm 68:18; Isaiah 42:7; 45:13; 49:9; 61:1; Luke 1:74
v.17: Christ saves people from the guilt of sin: Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 2:14; 4:15; 5:1-10
v.18: Saves from the power of temptation: Hebrews 4:15- 16; Romans 3:25-26; 1 John 2:2; 4:9-10

GALATIANS 4:1-7
We are children of God experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit.
vv.1-2: Like a child under the supervision, Jews and the Gentile Christians under bondage before Christ came: Romans 1:19-21.
v.3: By keeping the Law and doing goods, we can save ourselves: Galatians 4:9; Colossians 2:8, 20; Hebrews 5:12; 9:10.
vv.4-5: From Christ's time onwards, all followers enjoy the full privilege of sonship. As God's son, born of a woman under the Law, Christ made us God's children: Genesis 3:15; 49:10; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:25; 5:17; 20:29; Luke 2:21, 27; John 1:12; Romans 1:3; 8:3; Galatians 3:13; Philippians 2:7.
v.6: Holy Spirit makes our sonship a living reality so that we have the closest fellowship with the Father: Acts 16:7; Romans 5:5; 8:9, 15, 16; 2 Corinthians 3:17.
v.7: By the gracious work of God through Christ, we are no more slaves but His children with the full privilege of heirs: Romans 8:16-17.

EXODUS 3:1-6; 19:16-23
Moses' call in a vision:
v.1: Exodus 4:18; 2:16; 18:5; 1 Kings 19:8; Exodus 17:6
vv.2-3: Judges 6:12; Deuteronomy 33:16; Mark 12:26; Luke 20:37; Acts 7:30; Acts 7:31.
v.4: "Moses, Moses": Twice for special attention: "Abraham, Abraham" (Genesis 22:11); "Samuel, Samuel" (1 Samuel 3:10); "Saul, Saul" (Acts 9:4). Also see Exodus 4:5; Deuteronomy 33:16.
v.5:Sacred because of God's presence: Joshua 5:15; Acts 7:33
v.6: God's presence made Moses fearful: Isaiah 6:5; Genesis 28:13; Exodus 3:16; 4:5; Matthew 22:32; Mark 12:26-27; Luke 20:37-38; Acts 7:32; 1 Kings 19:13.
19:16: Miracle followed when the creator intersected creation (Luke 2:8-15): Hebrews 12:18-19, 21.
vv.17-18: Deuteronomy 4:10-11; Judges 5:5; Psalm 104:32; 144:5; Exodus 3:2; 24:17; Deuteronomy 5:4; 2 Chronicles 7:1-3; Hebrews 12:18; Genesis 15:17; 19:28; Revelation 15:8; Psalm 68:8, ! Kings 19:12; Jeremiah 4:24; Hebrews 12:26.
v. 19: Hebrews 12:21; Nehemiah 9:13; Psalm 81:7
v. 20: Moses followed God's instructions and went up.
v.21: God uses Moses to warn the people: 1 Samuel 6:19.
v.22: Exodus 19:24; 24:25; Leveticus 10:3; 21:6-8; 2 Samuel 6:7-8.
v.23: Israel has to be holy to share with God: Exodus 19:12.

ISAIAH 45:11-19
God makes the decisions of our future:
v.11: Isaiah 8:19; 29:23; 60:21; 64:8; Jeremiah 31:9
v.12: Isaiah 42:5; Jeremiah 27:5; Genesis 1:26; 2:1; Nehemiah 9:6.
v.13: Isaiah 41:2; 44:28; 2 Chronicles 36:22; Romans 3:24.
v.14: "There is no other" - 3 times: 14, 18, 21: Emphasizes God's unique character: Psalm 60:31; 72:10-11; 149:8; Isaiah 14:1; 45:5; 49:23; 60:9-10, 14, 16; Jeremiah 16:19; Zechariah 8:20-23; 1 Corinthians 14:25.
V.15: Psalm 44:24; Isaiah 57:17
vv.16-17: Isaiah 44:11; 26:4; 51:6; 29:22; Romans 11:26.
v.18: Isaiah 42:5; Genesis 1:26; Psalm 115:16; Acts 17:26.
v.19: Deuteronomy 30:11; Psalm 19:8; Isaiah 45:23; 63:1.

EZEKIEL 44:1-3
The sanctity of the temple
v.1: Ezekiel 43:1: Faces East
v.2: Ezekiel 43:2-4
v.3: Genesis 31:54; Exodus 24:9-11; 1 Corinthians 10:18; Ezekiel 46:2, 8; Deuteronomy 12:18 (Peace Offering).

FIRST SUNDAY AFTER ASSUMPTION: AUGUST 16TH:
LUKE 6:39-45

1. The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) to the newly appointed twelve, the other disciples, and the other multitude. 2. Lots of "blind" try to become leaders and lead the followers in jeopardy. 3. We have to see what is going on around (v.39): We are the light of the world and we should lead who are in the darkness (Matthew 15:14; 23:16; Romans 2:19). We have to lead the Christian way (James 1:27). Blind cannot lead the way. If we are blind, we cannot see even in the light. Sin makes us blind. If we have sin, we cannot walk in holiness and goodness. Confessions and communions make us the way to walk in the way of God. 4. We should be trained to be like our Master (v.40); not to be above Him (Matthew 10:24). We may have to sacrifice several things and even face persecutions (John 13:16; 15:20). Parents have a great responsibility to train their children in the right way. 5. We must pay close attention to personal righteousness (vv. 41-42): We usually overlook our own great faults (self-justification) and magnify the faults of others - gossip. We try to cover up our own faults.We love us more than we love God. Before we criticize others, we have to live the way we expect others to live (Matthew 7:3-5). We downgrade the values: truth, love, concern, morality; we knock down the heroes: superiors and leaders; we often experience half of the truth. Watch those who criticize others: Stick is much bigger than speck. With too much errors, mistakes and drawbacks, how could someone criticize others. Jesus asked them to throw the woman caught for adultery to stone her first who is blameless. 6. The condition of our hearts produces the action of our hands (vv.43-45). We recognize a tree by its fruits; same with human beings: our thoughts, words, and actions. "He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruits in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatever he does shall prosper" (Psalm 1:3). God expects us to bear fruits. The lights within us are good fruits. When the light within us, i.e., the good works shine, we bear good fruits (Matthew 5:16). Trees with only leaves (Matthew 21:19), and fruitless fig tree (Luke 13:6). Live in Him to bear good fruits (John 15:4-5). Sap has to come out from the main stem. Be with God, the source of all goodness, to bear good fruits. Weeds do not bear fruits, and they are useless. But today's weeds can be tomorrow's fruitful tree like Mary Magdaline and Saul (later Paul). At the last judgment, Jesus looks for our fruits (Matthew 25:31-46): our conversations, actions, makeups, and so on. Jesus cursed the fig tree without fruits - cut and thrown into the fire. "Bear fruits worthy of repentance" (Luke 3:8-9). Blessed are the pure in heart (Matthew 5:8). If satan in the heart, fruits will be devilish (Matthew 12:34-35). A"tree is known by its fruit" (Matthew 12:33). We have to use our knowledge rightly (Proverbs 15:2), 28; 16:23; 18:21). If the treasure in our hearts is Jesus Christ, we will not accuse others. Our hearts shall be Christ-filled. Human race is like a tree: beautiful, strong, vulnerable. Though its branches, roots and main stem pull to each other, normally it stands straight and strong. People are like the leaves in various shapes. Organizations are like the branches joined and connected to the main stem depending upon each other. Roots spread around to support the tree to stand straight. Love, faith, happiness, peace, hope, etc. are the sap of the tree. The tree bends and hangs in the wind signifies various ideas, beliefs, conflicts, confrontations, and so on. Sun gives the enery and power: God, the omnipotent, omniscient, gives strength. Each leaf has its own individuality (not the same) does its job and eventually falls down. Cannot give shadow by itself, only the whole tree can .. need communal effort.

LUKE 14:25-35
1. Call for total commitment: Jesus had great following (v.25): A great multitude went with Him.
2. We must love Jesus greater than anyone else (VV.26-27): We must value Him more than life itself. He must be Lord of all. We must fully commit to Him. We have to bear His cross. We must be ready to forsake anyone or anything: Deuteronomy 13:6; 33:9; Matthew 10:37; Romans 9:13; Revelation 12:11.
3. We must consider the cost and be ready to pay it to be Jesus' disciples (vv.28-33): We have to prepare ourselves (Proverbs 24:27). Entire consecration is the key (Matthew 19:29).
4. Totally uncommitted Christians are like SALT that has lost its flavor (vv.34-35): Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:50; Colossians 4:6; Ephsians 4:29.
Salt was a sign of God's covenant with Israel (Leveticus 2:13). It is a preservative, a flavor enhancer, and a purifying agent. For Jews, the Law is the salt of the earth.
Salt has 14,000 uses; only 3% of the salt is used in the home. Just a dash of salt to season a meal makes a big difference. (1 ounce: 28 grams; 1 tea spoon: 5.5 grams; 1000 milligrams: 1 gram). Sodium is essential for good health. Average person takes about 6 to 18 grams of salt daily, when our body requires only about.5 grams salt. Too much salt leads to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Controlled sodium eating is essential.
(1) Salt is pure: no gems. If we are pure, our work should be pure (Proverbs 21:8); our hearts (1 Timothy 1:5); our conscience (1Timothy 3:9); our thoughts (Philippines 4:8); our religion (James 1:27).
(2) Salt makes meal tasty and pleasurable: Job 6:6: Christians should add flavor to other people's lives.
(3) Salt produces thirst: We should produce spiritual thirst in others: Matthew 5:16.
(4) Salt symbolizes hospitality (salt at the end of plantain leaf for wedding feast, etc., in Kerala in olden times): Christians should be hospitable: Numbers 18:19; 2 Chronicles 13:5.
(5) Salt melts at 801 celsius (1,474 degrees fh), but still it retains its particular chemical composition; so should Christians be.
Salt was a part of all grain offerings (Leveticus 2:13). Salt was so valuable that it was used to pay the wages of Roman soldiers; also used to buying and selling Greek slaves.
It is possible to lose our Christ like life; Those who fail to live up to their calling, they are worthless and no longer disciples.

LUKE 15:1-10
1. The Lost Sheep and coin: God's concern for the lost (three examples: Lost sheep, coin and son). God's joy is great when the sinners turn to Him: Matthew 9:10-15.
2. vv.2-7: Acts 11:3; Galatians 2:12; Matthew 18:12-14; 1 Peter 2:25. The plight of the lost sheep reflects the hopelessness and helplessness of sinners. God's love is revealed here: Romans 12:15; Luke 19:10; 1 Peter 2:10, 25. God rejoices at the repentance of sinners: Luke 5:32; Mark 2:17.
3. vv.8-10: Value of the lost sinner and God's diligence in seeking each one.

1 JOHN 2:22-29
1. vv.22-23: He who denies that Jesus Christ is the Promised Messiah is the greatest lier. He looses his fellowship with the Father and the Son: John 14:6; 1 John 4:3; 2 John 7.
2.vv: 24-25: The doctrine of Jesus Christ; His humility and diety shall remain with us to have true fellowship with the Father and the Son which is the essence of eternal life: 2 John 6-7, 9; John 14:23; 1 John 1:3.
3. vv.26-27: The false teachers try to lead us astray. The anointing of the Holy Spirit protects us. Through the anointing presence of the Holy Spirit in us, God also abides in us. So we also abide in God. The anointing of the Holy Spirit enables us to distinguish truth from error: John 14:16; 16:13; 1 John 2:20; Jeremiah 31:33; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:9.
4.vv.28-29: By being obedient, we abide in fellowship with Christ. We have to practice righteousness to have eternal life with Christ who is righteous: Ephesians 3:12; 1 John 3:7, 10, 21; 4:17; Acts 22:14; John 7:18.
5. At His second coming, all the faithful departed shall resurrect and be taken to heaven (1 Corinthians 15) along with the faithful living. Our earthly experience with God and then in paradise and in heaven is the eternal life.

EPHESIANS 6:10-17
1. Spiritua warfare (vv.10-11), identifying the enemy (v.12), and describing our weapons (vv.13-17).
2. v.10: Only in the power of God's might, we can win against sin and satan.
v.11: God provides complete armor to protect us from all kinds of evil and temptations (2 Corinthians 6:7). Through the devil's schemings, we are drawn to carelessness and sin.
v.12: The Christian life is a struggle. Only through decisions and efforts, we can overcome. The devil and his hosts are our real enemy, not human flesh and blood. These rulers blind us to spiritual values. God has adequate power against all such evil doers: Acts 1:8; Romans 8:38; Luke 22:53.
v.13: By God's help, we can stand firm in the Lord during our hardest battle against evil: 2 Corinthians 10:4; Ephesians 5:16.
v.14: The Christian soldier must first put on truth, a firm commitment to the revealed word of God (Isaiah 11:5; Luke 12:35; 1 Peter 1:13. Seeking to do God's will is righteousness which protects us from evil: Isaiah 69:17; Romans 13:12; Ephesians 6:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:8.
v.15: We serve the prince of peace by which we can stand against God's and our enemies: Isaih 52:7; Romans 10:5.
v.16: Our dependence on God's promise protects us from the attacks of satan: 1 John 5:4.
v.17: The salvation provided by God through Christ is our safety and victory. The Holy Spirit enables us to use the sword of the spirit (Bible) to become spiritually strong and to lead others to Christ: 1 Thessalonians 5:8; Isaiah 49:2; Hosea 6:5; Hebrews 4:12.

EXODUS 14:21-31
1. The Israelites crossed the sea and believed the Lord and no more feared the Egyptians (v.10). They fixed their hope on Him.
v.21: Psalm 66:6; 106:9; 136:13-14; Exodus 15:8; Joshua 3:16; 4:23; Nehemiah 9:11; Psalm 74:13; 78:13; 114:3,5; Isaiah 63:12-13.
v.22: Exodus 15:19; Joshua 3:17; 4:22; Nehemiah 9:11; Psalm 66:6; 78:13; isaiah 63:13; 1 Corinthians 10:1; Hebrews 11:29; Exodus 14:29; 15:8; Hebrews 3:10.
v.24: Judges 7:19; Exodus 13:21.
v.25: Exodus 7:5; 14:4, 18.
v.27: Joshua 4:18; Exodus 15:1, 7; Deuteronomy 11:4; Nehemiah 9:11; Psalm 78:53; Hebrews 11:29.
v.28: Psalm 78:53; 106:11
v.29: Exodus 14:22; Psalm 66:6; 78:52-53; Isaiah 11:15
v.30: Exodus 14:13; Psalm 106:8, 10; Isaiah 63:8, 11 (Psalm 58:10; 59:10).
v.31: Exodus 4:31; 19:9; Psalm 106:12; John 2:11; 11:45.

1 SAMUEL 8:4-9
v.5: Samuel's sons were not worthy to follow his footsteps cf. Eli's sons (2:12, 22). So Israel asks for a king: Deuteronomy 17:14-15; Hosea 13:10; Acts 13:21.
vv.6-7: 1 Samuel 12:17; 7:9: Samuel listened and prayed to God.
vv.8-9: Their motive was rejection of God. But God did not like their request and Samuel warned them: vv.11-18.

ISAIAH 43:1-5
A very relevant promise of God: v.1: 43:5; 44:6; 42:6; 45:4
v.2: Psalm 66:12; 91:3 (Deuteronomy 31:6; Jeremiah 30:11; Daniel 3:25).
v.3: For freeing Israel, God permits the Persians to extend their empire: Proverbs 11:8; 21:18.
vv.4-5: Isaiah 63:9; 41:10; 44:2; 49:12; Jeremiah 30:10; 46:27-28.
God's presence gives us hope and salvation: Crossing the Red Sea aand destroying the Pharaoh's army (Exodus 14:21). Do not fear: Isaiah 43:2.

SECOND SUNDAY AFTER ASSUMPTION: AUGUST 25TH:
LUKE 11:14-23(Also 7th Sunday after Pentecost)

1. vv.14-16: Matthew 9:32-34; 12:22, 24: Jesus healing the devil possessed: Complained that Jesus is casting out devil with the help of Belzebub: Their opposistion to Jesus; they became satan's slaves. Jesus' opponents, especially Pharisees, claimed that His power came from satan and challenged to prove His power with a supernatural sign: Trying to make Son of God that of satan's. If fight against truth, lies or false doesn't win. Belzebub, the god of Ekron (2 Kings 1:3), is God's enemy.

2. If the devil is cast out, that means the kingdom of God is at hand. Devilish actions are temporary. Like darkness clears away with the coming of the light, the power of the devil swept away with the power of God. Evil shall be ovecome with goodness: Need communication with God; prayer. In baptism, we deny satan and accept Christ: Christ is the ruler: Hebrews 3:6. Thief comes to rob and destroy (John 10:10); should be careful to withdtand.

3. Those who seek for signs would not admit that.

4. vv. 17-18: Division brings weakness. If satan grants power to cast out darkness, he weakens his own evil work. A country or home or family if fights each other, destruction will follow. Win goodness fighting against evil.

5. Jesus' power is from other source: Matthew 12:25-29; Mark 3:23-27; John 2:25.

6. v.19: Some of the Jewish leaders claimed they had power from God to cast out demons. They could not judge Jesus without judging some of their own also.

7. vv.21-23: One cannot do the will of God and of satan at the same time. Fight against evil. Not for God are against the Almighty. We have to choose whether we will be with Jesus or against Him: Matthew 12:29-30; Mark 3:27; 9:40; Isaiah 53:12; Colossians 2:15;

8. If God is with us, nobody is against us. Who is our enemy? Others or the evil power within us.

9. vv.24-26: When Jesus delivers us from sins, we have to fill us with His spirit and busy with His works. Otherwise we will be worse than before by the works of the devil. The devil came back with seven because it was unclean and empty: Against laziness and inattentiveness:. Noah over-came the evil around (Genesis 6:30); Lack of fearful faithful: Psalm 12. After cleaning, there should be actions: singing, praying, Bible reading, etc. Matthew 12:43-45; Mark 1:27; 3:11; 5:13; Acts 5:16; 8:7; John 5:14; Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26; 2 Peter 2:20.
LUKE 18:1-8
1. Maintain faith through prayer during the invisible kingdom period, i.e., the coming of the kingdom of God. Just as the widow never gave up, we must never become discouraged as we wait for His return. Christ will return at just the right time. We should never lose faith.
2. vv.1, 5, 7-8: Luke 11:5-10; Romans 12:12 (Ephesians 6:18); Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Luke 11:8; Revelation 6:10; Hebrews 10:37 ( 2 Peter 3:8-9).

LUKE 18:9-17
1. He who admits that he is a sinner and comes in childlike faith enters God's kingdom.
2. V.9: Self-righteousness finds no approval from God: Proverbs 30:12; Luke 10:29; 16:15.
3. v.11: Psalm 135:2; Isaiah 1:15; 58:2; Revelation 3:17
4. v.12: Pharisees fasted on Mondays and Thursdays.
5. v: 13: Beating the breast is a sign of repentance. God delights to hear and to answer the prayer: "God, be merciful."
6. v.14: The Pharisee justified himself, God justified the tax collector: Job 22:29; Matthew 23:12; Luke 14:11; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5.
7. v.15: Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16.
8. v.16: Children are very important for God: Matthew 18:3; 1 Corinthians 14:20; 1 Peter 2:2.
9. v.17: A child receives everything freely from his parents. When we accept God's fatherhood, we receive all blessings from Him: Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:15.

2 PETER 3:8-14
1. Thoughts on the end of the world shall lead us to conversion and hard work: 1 Thessalonians 5:1ff.
2. v.8: Christ's second coming: What seems like delay to us does not seem long to God: Psaalm 90:4.
3. v.9: The Lord has not forgotten His promise to return. He waits so that more people will have the opportunity to be saved:Habakuk 2:3; Romans 13:11; Hebrews 10:37; Psalm 86:15; Isaiah 30:18; Ezekiel 33:11; Matthew 20:28; Romans 2:4.
4. v.10: Christ's return will be sudden and unexpected: Luke 12:39-40; Isaiah 13:10-13; Matthew 24:29, 35, 42-43; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; Revelation 3:3; 16:15; Genesis 1:6-8; psalm 102:25-26; Isaiah 51:6; Revelation 20:11.

5. V.11: Prepare with holy conduct and spirit of godliness: 1 Peter 1:15.
6. v.12: Christians to lead others to Christ and to pray for the salvation of the lost: 1 Corinthians 1:7-8; Titus 2:13-15; Psalm 50:3; Isaiah 24:19; 34:4; Micha 1:4. The physical universe will be removed or cleansed from the effects of sin.
7. V.13: God will establish a new world order. It will be completely free from the effects of sin: Isaiah 65:17-25; 66:22; Revelation 21:1-2; Romans 8:21.
8. v.14: We should live a blameless life of holiness until Christ comes: 1 Corinthians 1:8; 15:58; 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13; 5:23.

1 THESSALONIANS 5:1-11
1. Be prepared for Christ's coming.
2. v.1: The time and manner of Jesus' return: Matthew 24:3.
3. v.2: The second coming is surprising like that of a thief: Matthew 24:44; Luke 21:34; 1 Thessalonians 5:4; 2 peter 3:10; Revelation 3:3; 16:15.
4. v.3: The unchristians will be separated from God and the Church (2 Thessalonians 1:9) and they cannot escape (Amos 5:18-20; Isaiah 13:6-9; Hosea 13:13.
5. vv.4-5: Darkness is a symbol of sinfulness and light of godliness. Christians are children of light and of the day. The light of Jesus Christ is upon us (2 Corinthians 4:4, 6). We have been enlightened by God's truth and made new by His Spirit: Acts 26:18; Romans 13:12; Ephesians 5:8; 1 John 5:8.
6. vv.6-7: Unbelievers live in the night. They are spiritually asleep and are irresponsible as if drunk: Matthew 25:5, 13; Mark 13:5; 1 Peter 5:8; Luke 21:34; Acts 2:15; 2 Peter 2:13.
7. v.8: Like a good soldier ready for battle, we, Christians should be ready for the return of Jesus Christ armed with faith, love and hope of salvation (Ephesians 6:14-17)> We should be spiritually aggressive: Isaiah 59:17; Ephesians 6:14.
8. vv: 9-11: We have the final blessedness with God who died for us. When He comes, we all those who are alive and dead will live together with Him: Romans 9:22; 2 Thessalinians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 5:15.

GENESIS 6:3-12
1. We are not of the dark, but of Jesus Christ, the true light.
2. Noah's time was of evil. He lived in blameless and righteous.
3. v.3: Genesis 41:38 (Galatians 5:16-17); 1 Peter 3:19-20; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; Psalm 78:39. Maximum life span would be reduced to 120 years.
4. v.4: Numbers 13:32-33: Godly men of the line of Seth and the sinful women of the line of Cain (Luke 17:27). Their intermarriage produced giants, renowned for wickedness.
5. v.5: Genesis 8:21; Psalm 14:1-3; Proverbs 6:18; Matthew 15:19; Romans 1:28-32.
6. v.6: God is very compassionate: Genesis 6:7; 1 samuel 15:11, 29; 2 Samuel 24:16; Jeremiah 18:7-10; Zachariah 8:14; Psalm 78:40; Isaiah 63:10; Ephesians 4:30; Matthew 3:5.
7. v.7: Human sin affected all the animal world (Romans 8: 19-22); genesis 7:4, 23; Deuteronomy 28:63; 29:20; Psalm 7:11.
8. v.8-9: Noah, like Enok, was blameless: Genesis 17:1; 19:19; Exodus 33:12, 17; Luke 1:30; Acts 7:46; Ezekiel 14:14, 20; Hebrews 11:7; 2 Peter 2:5: Diificult to live in an evil society; but Noah proved that we have to face such challenges.
9. vv.10-12: Genesis 5:32; 7:13; Deuteronomy 31:29; Romans 2:13; Ezekiel 8:17; Psalm 14:2; 53:2-3; psalm 14:1-3; isaiah 28:8.

ECCLESIASTES 7:1-7 1. The importance and value of character.
2. v.1: Need a serious approach: Proverbs 22:1; Eccl. 4:2
3. v.2: Better to visit the bereaved than to go to a party (Psalm 90:2). We should be ready for the death. We can overcome this enemy in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:54-57).
4. V.3: "Still waters run deep": (2 Corinthians 7:10) Sorrow produces repentance.
5. v.4: Wise people understands the importance of mourning.
6. v.5: It is better to listen the wise than the joke of the fools: Psalm 141:5; Proverbs 13:18; 15:31-32.
7. v.6: Psalm 58:6-9; Eccleseastes. 2:2: Quick - burning fuel for cooking fires.
8. v.7: Oppression and bribe deviate straight thinking.

PSALM 12:1-7
1. Lack of God-fearing people.
2. v.1-2: David starts the prayer with a complaint. All godly persons are gone (Isaiah 57:1; Micha 7:2). All who are left speak from the double heart of sinful: James 3:8-12; Psalm 10:7; 41:6
3. v.3-4: God doesn't like flattering lips and speaking proud things. Arrogant pride rebels against God.
4. v.5: God intervenes and helps the poor and the needy.
5. v.6: God's words are complete purity: 2 samuel 22:31; Psalm 18:30; 119:140; Proverbs 30:5
6. v.7: God preserves and keeps the poor and the needy.

SERIES 10 (LOL VOL:2 ISSUE:14 SEPTEMBER 1-30,2002)

THIRD SUNDAY AFTER ASSUMPTION: (SEPTEMBER 1)
MATTHEW 17:22-27

1. Jesus told the disciples the second time about His forth-coming death: Talk openly; share with others our problems and situations.

2. They were sorrowful to hear the disturbing news:

3. Caperneum was Jesus' headquarters in Galilee. Which is ours?

4. The tribute money miraculously paid: only in St. Mathew's Gospel.

5. All Jewish males 20 and over have to pay an annual half-shekel taxes (about two day's wages) to support the temple: Exodus 30:11-16; Nehemiah 10:32-33: Our responsibility to support the Church and its activities ... Model to pay in the maintenance of the church.

6. Giving is better than receiving: Acts 20:35. The fish opened its mouth to give to the Church and to God; How about us?

7. This tax was collected about a month before passover (an indication about the closing events of Jesus' ministry).

8. The questioning attitude of the critics.

9. Peter did not argue about paying taxes.

10. Jesus was born under the Law (Galatians 4:4). So no objection; Disciplinarian ... followed the rules and commandments.

11. Jesus, the eternal son of God, is free from the taxes of the temple system. Only "strangers" to pay taxes (Isaiah 60:10-17).

12. In order not to offend, Jesus told Peter to pay the taxes. Woe to those who create division: Matthew 18:7; 1 Corinthians 8:9-13.

13. Our conversation: Proverbs 12:18: Creates pain and enmity ... heart feelings: James 1:9; 3:5.

14. Jesus is penniless.

15. Wealth and other things entrusted us: Luke 19:11-27; Rich people's activities: James 5:1-6; Truth, faith, justice: 2 Corinthians 10:4; Away from immoralities; Ezekiel 18:21.

16. Even with loss of wealth, avoid division: Abraham to Loth: Genesis 13:8-9; Blanket also: Matthew 5:40; St. Paul: 1 Corinthians 6:7; Make settlement before offer sacrifice: Matthew 5:22-23; Anger: Ephesians 4:26.

17. Jesus' power to solve the problem: Money from the mouth of the fish caught from the sea to pay tax.

18. Fish in the sea: Man in the sea of sins: To catch them with preaching and converting.

19. Worked and paid the tax: Work hard

20. Peter worked for Jesus and paid tax

21. Jesus paid tax for Him as well as for Peter: Assurance that He takes care of those who share with Him.

MATTHEW 19:1-12
1. v.1: Jesus went to Judea, on the east side of Jordan.
2. v.2: There was a big following: Matthew 12:15
3. v.3: Two schools of interprtation: (1) Divorce for anything that displeased the husband (2) Only for infidelity by the wife.
4. vv.4-6: Jesus opposed all divorces: Genesis 1:27; 2:24; 5:2; Malachi 2:15; Mark 10:5-9; Ephesians 5:31; 1 Corinthians 6:16; 7:2. Marriage is for creation purposes. cf. Matthew 5:31-32.
5. v.7: The Old Testament command: Deuteronomy 24:1-4; Matthew 5:31
6. v.8: Moses gave the command as a concession to human sinfulness. A notification is better than sending her away. When God established marriage at creation, it was not like that: Hebrews 3:15; Malachi 2:16.
7. v.9: The first marriage shall be truly dissolved: Matthew 5:31-32; Mark 10:11; Luke 16:18; 1 Corinthians 7:10.
8. v.10: Disciples thought it is inadvisable to marry: Proverbs 21:19
9. v.11: All are obliged to marry, except those who are gifted not to: 1 Corinthians 7:2, 7, 9, 17. Sexual relations are a normal and holy part of marriage: 1 Corinthians 7:1-9; 25-28.
10. v.12: Those who choose celibacy are free of family responsibilities so that they can give themselves completely to the work of God: 1 Corinthians 7:32.

LUKE 19:11-27
v.11: Jusus' disciples and the Jews expected an earthly kingdom soon to be established in Jerusalem. So with a parable, Jesus presented the nature of His kingdom: Acts 1:6

v.12: Jesus will ascend to heaven and receive the kingdom from God, the Father and will return later to establish His kingdom: Matthew 25:14-30; Mark 13:34.
v. 13: His servants shall be diligent in kingdom business until His return.
v.14: Many of the Jews refused to accept Him: v.27; John 1:11
v.15: Upon His return, each one has to account the assignments and answer.
vv.16-19: Commendation and reward from the Master: Matthew 25:21, 23; Luke 16:10
vv.20-23: The unfaithful servant blame the Master for the negligence (Matthew 25:24) like most of us blame our disobedience on others or our God: From own mouth: 2 Samuel 1:16; Job 15:6; Matthew 12:37; 25:36.
vv.24-26: He who is diligent finds wider opportunities and he who fails finds less advancement. Be faithful for greater spiritual benefits at His coming: Matthew 13:12; 25:29; Mark 4:25; Luke 8:18.
v.27: This may happen during the final judgment: 19:14; 13:27. JAMES 5:1-6
Wealth is good; but the attitude toward using it makes us good or bad. How do we make money? How do we spend it? Just for us! Do we help the needy? Do we dig it? parable of the Talents!.
v.1: The fate of the ungodly rich: Proverbs 11:28; Luke 6:24; 1 Timothy 6:9
v.2: Riches (grain, wine, oil) subject to spoilage: Jermiah 17:11; Matthew 6:19; Expensive garments (Acts 20:33); Job 13:28. Earthly wealth is temporary and futile to hoard it.
v.3: Corosion due to selfish hoarding which leads to judgment and destruction: Romans 2:5. Second coming: vv. 7-9; Amos 5:18
v.4: Old Testament Law for the laborer: Deuteronomy 24:14-15; Leveticus 19:13; Job 24:10; Jeremiah 22:13; Malachi 3:5; Exodus 2:23; Job 31:38. :Lord of Hosts": 1 samuel 17:45: God's awesome power.
vv.506: The ungodly rich live in self-indulgent luxury amid others' poverty and took the lives of the innocent and helpless who have no legal defense.

2 CORINTHIANS 10:1-7
1. In our spiritual warfare, we have to face truth, faith and righteousness (v. 4).
2. Complete commitment to the will of God.
3. Love God with all our mind.

EXODUS 24:12-18
God offered a covenant to Israel (chapter 19) with certain requirements (chapters 20-23) and was accepted by a sacred ceremony.
v.12: God asks Moses to go up to the Mountain to receive the covenant (12). Only Moses alone can go (24:2, 15) and he did and received the tablets of stone (Exodus 31:18; 32:15; Deuteronomy 5:22). v.13: Moses obeyed God, arose with his helper Joshua (32:17) and went up to the hill.
v.14: Moses entrusted the people with Aaron and Hur, his trusted assistants (14:10, 12), during his absence.
v.16: The glory of the Lord rested in Mount Sinai (Exodus 16:10; 33:18; Numbers 14:10). Moses had to wait six days to hear from God who was hidden in the cloud.
v.17: God is far beyond human senses, though He is accessible: Exodus 3:2; Deuteronomy 4:26; 9:3; Hebrews 12:18, 29.
v.18: Moses spent there 40 days and 40 nights: Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 9:9; 10:10.

1 SAMUEL 3:16-21
Eli's failure to control the wickedness of his sons prompted God to announce their destruction through Samuel, only 12 years old.
v.16: Eli called Samuel to find out the vision. Eli's words "My son" and Samuel's answer "Here I am" are noteworthy.
v.17: Eli warns to speak the truth without cover up or else face the consequences: Ruth 1:17.
v. 18: Samuel told everything the Lord told him (vv.11-14). Eli's submission to God's will.
v.19: Samuel grew up with the blessings of the Lord: 1 Samuel 2:21; Genesis 21:22; 28:15; 39:2, 21, 23, 1
Samuel 9:6.
vv.20-21: Samuel became a prophet for the whole land of Israel (Acts 3:24) as revealed by God: 1 Samuel 3:14.

EZEKIL 18:21-24
Turn away from unethical activities.
vv.21-22: If a person chooses to repent, God forgives him: Ezekiel 18:24, 27; 33:12-19; Isaiah 43:25; Jeremiah 50:20; Micha 7:19; Psalm 18:20-24.
v.23: God is love whose nature is mercy so that He does not like the wicked to die: Lamentations 3:33; Ezekiel 18:32; 33:11; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9.
v.24: If a righteous person turns away from God, he could easily lose salvation: 1 Samuel 15:11; 2 Chronicles 24:2, 17-22; Ezekiel 3:20; 18:26; 33:18; 2 Peter 2:20.

FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER ASSUMPTION: SEPTEMBER 8 :
MATTHEW 5:38-48

Highly praised moral exhortations: ideal characteristics of a Christian in Sermon on the Mount.

1. According to the Old Testament Law, retaliation would fit the crime: "Eye for an eye": Deuteronomy 13:10; 19:21; Exodus 21:24; Leveticus 24:20: Tit for Tat. Cain murdered his brother Abel; Abraham with 318 soldiers subdued the rulers who conquerred the weak before the time of the Law. As of Moses, situations changed; The time of the Law: as against the strong man rules. Tit for Tat: Inborn nature ... love those love; hate those hate ... like animals.

2. New Testament time: Christ's rule: No tit for tat: Show left cheek because slapping to the right cheek is very soft unless you are a left hander. Love and perseverence since Christ. Overcome evil with forgiveness and goodness. Forgive instead of revenge and retaliation: Proverbs 20:22; Luke 6:29; Romans 12:17; 1 Corinthians 6:7; 1 Peter 3:9; Isaiah 50:6; Lamentations 3:30. Forgive others to be forgiven: Matthew 6:15: Humble ourselves and pray to be forgiven and healed: 2 Chronicles 7:14. Christ died for us (Romans 5:10). Apostles and martyrs did the same. To grow into fulness as Christ showed us. God loves us even if we are not qualified.

3. A. Wealth is power; B. Idea is power; C. Media is power: Medium is message is now changing to MEDIUM IS MASSAGE.

4. Love enemies too. Jesus taught this: Leveticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 23:3-6; Psalm 41:10 (pray for them); Luke 6:27; 23:34; Romans 12:14; 12:20; Acts 7:60; 1 Corinthians 4:12; 1 Peter 2:23; One who loves his enemies is like God (Psalm 65:9-13; Luke 12:16-17; Acts 14:7). Love, kindness, patience x Enmity, hatred, revenge; Divine, spiritual, Godly, eaverlasting x Human and worldly. No evil for evil (Romans 12:17); Win evil with goodness (Romans 12:21); Jesus called Judas who betrayed, "Friend"; Jesus made friends on the cross. Like moon when not increases, decreases. Alexander, Napoleon, Chalimegne... all built their empires through power; Jesus built through love. So even today millions there to die for Him. We can win everything by love. Tax collectors were regarded as traitors as they contracted with Rome to collect taxes. Even they were nice to persons who were nice to them (Luke 6:320).

5. We have to show our Christian love by going beyond we are asked for: Romans 12:21; Matthew 27:32. (Tunic is undergarment; cloak is outer garment). Give not only tunic, but also cloak; if compels to go one mile, go two; do not turn away from those who seek help or want to borrow.

6. Help the poor and do not put material gain over human need: Deuteronomy 15:7-11; Luke 6:30-34; 1 Timothy 6:18. Do good over evil. Concern for the last, lost and least.

7. Friction among humans: Jesus came to His paternal city ( Mark 6:1-6). They watched and listened His works and preachings. Instead of belief and honor, disbelief. To them, Jesus is just the son of Mary and Joseph, the carpenter. They knew His kins. They failed to understand Jesus and became an onstacle. Their judgment failed them; their jealousy failed them. Eradicate jealousy, treachery, etc: 1 Peter 21:2f; pray for each other for good relationship: Job 1:1-5; Repent and confess: Isaiah 1:18.

8. We have to be perfect by loving each other like God loves all of us. We have to love our neighbors with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength as we love ourselves (Genesis 17:1; Leveticus 11:44; 19:2; Luke 6:36; Colossians 1:28; 4:12; James 1:4; 1 Peter 1:15; Ephesians 5:1). Moses' instruction to love the neighbor (Leveticus 19:18), nothing about to love enemies. Jesus wants us to love our enemies and pray for them too: showed in His life on the cross and taught through the parable of the Good Samaritan.

MATTHEW 18:1-11
vv.1-2: The greatest in God's kingdom is the one who humbles himself: Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:14; Luke 18:14-17.
vv.3-4: We have to turn from our proud attitude and humble ourselves: Psalm 131:2; Matthew 19:14; 20:27; 23:11; Mark 10:15; Luke 18:16.
v.5: Whoever is like the little children are dear to Jesus: Matthew 10:42; Luke 9:48.
v.6: We must be careful not to sin or not to lead another one to sin: Mark 9:42; Luke 17:2; 1 Corinthians 8:12.
v.7: Shame and destruction to those who cause others to sin: Luke 17:1; 1 Corinthians 11:9; 1 Timothy 4:1; Matthew 26:4; 27:4-5.
vv.8-9: Gaining eternal life is important than anything else. We should not lose our souls in hell fire: Matthew 5:29-30; Mark 8:36; 9:43, 45.
v.10: The Father is always in the awareness of His humble believers to take care of them. There are angels to guard us: Psalm 34:7; Zechariah 13:7; Hebrews 1:14.
v.11: All who wish to be saved will be secured under God's mighty hands: Luke 9:56; John 3:17.

MATTHEW 18:12-22
vv.12-14: We should try our level best to bring back those who fell in to sin. God doesn't want any one of us perish: 1 Timothy 2:4.
v.15: Try for a one-to-one reconciliation if there is a differnce of opinion: Leveticus 19:17; Luke 17:3--4; Galatians 6:1; 2 Thessalonians 3:15; James 5:19-20; 1 Peter 3:1.

v.16: If that fails, try with two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15; John 8:17; 2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19; Hebrews 10:28.
v.17: Still he doesn't listen, refer the matter to the Church: the Christian community. If he refuses to be reconciled, consider him as an unsaved person, like a heathen or a tax collector: Romans 16:l7; 1 Corinthians 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14; 2 John 10.
v.18: God ratifies the reconciliation of an erring believer. If he doesn't come to terms through the efforts of the Church --confession, reconciliation, absolution .. he reaps the consequences: Matthew 16:19; John 20:22-23; 1 Corinthians 5:4.
v.19: If we reconcile, God accepts our reconciliation and our prayers: 1 John 3:22; 5:14; 1 Corinthians 1:10.
v.20: According to Jewish tradition, at least ten people are needed to establish a synagogue. Two or three are enough to establish a Christian fellowship because Christ is in their midst: Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 14:26.
v.21: One should forgive a repented offender four times, according to Jewish tradition. Peter is generous here by asking "seven times?": Luke 17:4.
v.22: God forgives anyone who repents without any time: Romans 13:8; Matthew 6:14; Mark 11:25; Colossians 3:13.

1 PETER 2:1-5
v.1: We have to grow in the Lord without ill toward others (12:1): hypocrasy, envy, etc., and live in love with pure hearts: 1:22.
v.2: We have to grow spiritually by feeding on the word of God: 1:23; Matthew 18:3; 19:14; Mark 10:5; Luke 18:17; 1 Corinthians 14:20; 3:2.
v.3: When we experience God's grace in Christ, we want to grow in it: Psalm 34:8; Titus 3:4; Hebrews 6:3.
v.4: Christ is the foundation stone, though rejected (at the crucifixion) by man (Psalm 118:22), He has been raised from the deadand gives life to us.
v.5:We are the living stones. Church is the spiritual house or temple being erected in praise of God. We have to offer sacrifices of praise and obedience that are acceptable to God because of Christ's sacrifice for sin. Church is a divine institution. We are all living stones to build the Church. Church will be built on that rock: Matthew 16:18 cf. 1 Peter 2:4-5. Christ is the corner stone. St. Johnsaw the holy city: Revelation 21:9-27. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches: John 15:1ff. Like the stem distributes sap to the branches, Jesus distributes spirituality through the Holy Eucharist - body and blood. If we don't live in Him, will dry: John 15:6. Holy communion for unity.

1 CORINTHIANS 3:16-23
V.16: We are God's temple. God's spirit dwells in us: Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21.
V.17: The body of true believers make the Church. It is God's temple. It is holy and God owns it. He who defiles the Church with divisiveness and contention (v.3) will be punished.
VV.18-20: We should not boast in the foolishness of our wisdom (Proverbs 3:7). We have to know God through trusting in the message about Jesus Christ crucified: Proverbs 3:7; Job 5:13; Psalm 94:11.
VV.21-22: Christ is the source of all things (2 Corinthians 4:5). We should not limit ourselves by boasting in others. Earthly teachers are only God's servants representing God. We should live and die victoriously by the power of Christ (15:55-57). In Him we have nothing to fear for now or in the future.
V.23: We belong to Christ and Christ is God's. He has full equality with God. In Him we are safe and secure: Romans 14:8; 1 Corinthians 15:23; 2 Corinthians 10:7; Galatians 3:29.

EXODUS 3:1-6; 11-14
Moses was called, like great prophets after him, in a vision of God. Horeb is another name for Sinai. Flame of fire (v.2) is a symbol of God's presence, either for judgment or for cleansing.
V.4: Moses, Moses: Repetitions to call attention: Abraham, Abraham (Genesis 22:1; Samuel, Samuel: 1 samuel 3:10; Saul, Saul: Acts 9:4.
V.5: The dirty sands profane the holy ground as God's presence is there: Joshua 5:15; Acts 7:33.
V.6: The glory of God (Isaiah 6:5) made Moses to hide his face.
VV.11-12: Moses doubted that those in Egypt for more than 400 years might have forgotten God.
V.14: God revealed to Moses as Yahweh (YHWH) who is present then and now: Exodus 6:3; John 8:24, 28, 58; Hebrews 13:8; Revelation 1:8; 4:8.

JOB 1:1-5
VV.1-3: Job's moral integrity and devotion to God: Genesis 6:9; 17:1; Deuteronomy 18:13; Proverbs 16:6.
VV.4-5: His family (sevn sons, three daughters and very rich) was very close. Job offered sacrifices regularly for his children to be cleansed from sins and for blessings: Genesis 8:20 (Job 42:8); 1 Kings 21:10, 13.

ISAIAH 1:15-20
V.15: God does not delight just in sacrifice, unless there is genuine repentance: Amos 5:21-24; Proverbs 1:28; Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:1-3; Micha 3:4. BLOOD: May be child sacrifice: Ezekiel 23:36-39).
V.16-17: Good behavior is that God counts: Do good, seek justice, defend the fatherless, and plead for the widow.
V.18: God wants to free us from sin and promises to turn the scarlet sins into white as snow: isaiah 43:25-26; Micha 6:2; Psalm 51:7; Revelation 7:14.
V.20: If we oppose, destruction is the result: isaiah 40:5; 58:14; Micha 4:4; Titus 1:2.

THE NATIVITY OF MOTHER ST. MARY : SEPTEMBER 8

1. Father: Euyakim of Judah tribe, David's family in Nazareth; Mother: Anna of the same family; One sister: Mary, wife of Clopas (John 19:25); like Samuel and Jeremiah, God has chosen her in the womb; spent her first 12 years at the temple.

2. The first Christian - the Christ bearer, the first to hear the coming of Christ through her and the first who involved in the joy, love, the pain, and sorrows of being a Christian.

3. The first and chief among the saints.

4. Mother of God (Luke 1:43): Nicean Creed decreed this. God is eternal. God was born through Mary to save the sinners. The divinity was there before. The humanity is from Mother Mary. Children inherit some of the attributes of parents. No immaculate conception. She has original sin. She was different. She was a selected Mother. Her seed will bruise the head of the serpent: Genesis 3:15.

5. Word became flesh (Christ): John 1:14 .. through virgin Mary. Through woman, Jesus in our homes and society.

6. Mother of all humanity. Even on the cross, Jesus had concern for His Mother (John 19:25-29). She reminices her early experiences --- bearing and rearing the child, running away to Egypt, taking to the temple, etc. Now she is unable to do anything, but just stand and watch His crucifixion. Two stages: From the manger to Cana and from Cana to Calvary.

7. A model for women, men, young people, boys and girls. She was devoted in prayer and personal commitment to God and lived in communion with God. She was morally pure. She inquired the meaning of the annunciation (Luke 1:31-35) and accepted it wholeheartedly: "May it be to me as you have said" (Luke 1:38). She followed the laws of the land and went up to Bethlehem to be recorded for the tax thus showed herself as a good citizen, even at a difficult and burdensome time (Luke 2:4-6). After the days of her purification (Leveticus 12:2-8), she went to the temple (Exodus 13:12) and presented Jesus in the temple (Luke 2:22-24) thus fulfilled her responsibilities and obligations as a mother. She cared for her child in the proper way (Luke 2:12) and trained Jesus in Church life (Luke 2:27-32). Her parental love (2:48) and her reflective and meditative approach (Luke 2:51); her courage and devotion and loyalty and commitment in difficult and unpopular moments at the foot of the cross (John 19:25); her courage, faith, and dedication are all noteworthy. She knew the Scripture and the message of the prophets. Her dilema with Joseph and the angel's intervention. She visited Elizabeth and stayed with her three months - one well past child bearing age and the other still a virgin - shared a unique moment in history. Greetings (1:42) and the Magnificat (vv.46-55); presentation of the child at the temple and the presence of Simon and Hanna (2:35)...tests after tests... "lost" for three days (2:41-52)...Among the believers (Acts 1:14-15).

8. "Behold the maid-servant of the Lord" (Luke 1:38): Her complete commitment. We have to inflow the qualities of Christ into us and to outflaw the Christian qualities to others: God pleasing qualities (Romans 12:1); "Be ye holy, as I am holy" (Leveticus 11:45); God dwells in us, be holy (1 Corinthians 3:17).

9. She is ever Virgin: Just as the bush where God revealed Himself to Moses (Exodus 3:13-15) remained unaffected by the flame, she remained a virgin, even though she gave birth to Jesus Christ. She is an eternal virgin; no other children. If any, should not have been asked John to take care of her (John 19:26). That door was closed for ever (Ezekiel 44:2). Jesus' brothers were Joseph's children of first marriage.

10. She accepted the awesome calling to be the Mother of Jesus. She simply accepted the call of the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:30): Unlike Samson's father Manoah (Judges 13:22) who panicked, John the Baptist's father Zachariah doubted (Luke 1:18), Abraham's wife Sarah laughed (Genesis 18:10-13).

11. No miracle at her birth; For the burrial, all Apostles, prophets, angels, Jesus... to take her to paradise: Assumption. Now queen of angels, interceding for the whole world. First miracle through her request at Cana continuing on.

12. She was "full of grace": Luke 1:28

13. The "Lord was with her": Luke 1:28.

14. All generations will call her blessed: Luke 1:48

15. The scene of the BABE lying in the manger with the Mother.

16. Luke 2:34-35: On the 40th day, infant baby was taken to the Jerusalem temple. Coming back, after 12 years in the temple, and for her purification after the 40th day (80 days if a girl) and to dedicate her son. She carried the baby and Joseph carried the two doves. Simon was there and experienced the presence of Jesus, the Lord. He sang: Luke 2:29032. She bowed before and he said that "a sword will pierce through her own soul" (Luke 2:35) foretelling the passion. Her worries and passions: Psalm 22:12-21; Isaiah 63.

17. The Nativity Scenes, Christmas Cards, numerous portrits - all declare her sanctity and holiness.

EXALTATION OF THE CROSS : SEPTEMBER 14:

1. God and man and man and man unite in the cross.

2. We sign the cross with three fingers: Trinity. From head to chest: Jesus came down from heaven to earth; From left shoulder to right: From the state of evil to blessedness. Genesis 28:10-12: Jacob's ladder in Bethel: Heaven and earth join together in the cross; humans and angels came together; we become spiritual, Godly and heavenly. Eliminate differences and join together. When we reverence the cross, we reverence ourselves. The world is a wilderness; the Church is the camp; we are all sinners; Look at the cross and revere it (Good Fridays).

3. Cross is the sign of victory, blessings and salvation: The vision of the cross converted Constantine into Christianity in A.D. 313: Saw a sign of cross in the air and heard: "You will win by this." Cross on the flags and the military uniforms and fought and he won the war.

4. Miracle: From A.D. 64 - A.D. 303, the Church weathered nine major Roman persecutions. The tentth was under emperor Diocletian that lasted for ten years. His successor emperor Constantine had a vision: "By this sign (of the CROSS) you will conquer" and he did and became Christian in 312. Constantine's mother queen Helena went to Jerusalem to discover the cross on which Christ was crucified; Found three; put each one on a dead body brought that way with prayers to show the cross of the Lord with a miracle. When Jesus' cross touched the dead, the dead rose up and thus recognised the right one. With procession, taken the cross from Jerusalem to Constantinople. In remembrance of this, the festival of the exaltation of the Cross every year on September 14th.

5. I: Pride / Ego: Luke 12:17-19: Six "I"s and four "my"s. The vertical piece, i. e, "I" means "myself" and "myself" only ("Aham" in Sanskrit).
+ : When crosses, selfishness gone: If we draw a knife through where our heart is, that kills us and "Aham" or "myself" is gone. This is Cross. + : Sign the cross; wear the cross; carry (hold) the cross, and bear the cross. To deny ourselves, take up the cross and follow Him.

6. Cross in various forms: Even Jesus' birth in the manger through a poor girl itself was a cross; Jesus' whole life was a cross (Philippians 2:6-8); the lamb that carried the sins of the world (John 1:29) was sacrificed on the cross; like the blood of the passover lamb redeemed the Israelites from the bondage (Exodus 12), Jesus' blood on the cross redeemed us from sins; the tree at the center of the garden of Eden is that cross Jesus died... Jesus is the fruit of the tree; the lamb was replaced; Isaac is that Jesus. The fiery brazen serpent: Numbers 21:9. Joseph laid his hands in the form of a cross on Ephraim and Manassah and blessed them (Genesis 48:13-14). "TAV" (X), the last letter of the Hebrew Alphabet on the foreheads of men to be saved from the coming destruction; Cross at various places: in the church; on the altar; on the top of the church; on way sides; seal with cross in sacraments; chalice and paten are held in the form of a cross when the Mysteries are brought through the isle; twelve crosses in the communion bread. Human beings are created in the form of a cross: (stand up and stretch out both hands).

7. To be worthy: Carry the cross and follow after Him: Matthew 10:38; Luke 9:23; The cross of Christ should be made effect: 1 Corinthians 1:17; Boast only in the cross of Jesus Christ: galatians 6:14; Reconcile through the cross: Ephesians 2:14-16; Destruction to the enemies of the cross: Philippians 3:18-19; Christ died on the cross for our sins: 2 Corinthians 5:21; Give comfort by bearing the suffering of others - people in sickness, ignorance, poverty and sin: Matthew 16:24-25; Crucify with Him: Galatians 2:20 (St. Paul)

8. Bear the cross and follow Jesus: Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; Acts 14:22; 2 Corinthians 4:10-11; 1 Thessalonians 3:3; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 2:21. Christian life is a life of sacrifice: 2 Corinthians 6:3-10 (St. Paul).
A. Self-sacrifice: Deny oneself; accept God and deny ourselves. self-centered vs. God centered. Luke 12:16-21: "I" six times and "my" four times.
B. Bear the cross: Like Apostles, prophets, martyrs.
C. Follow Him: The Game called, "Follow the Leader." Jesus washed the disciples' feet; sacrificed Himself on the cross for the sinners; prayed for those who crucified Him; worked hard - cured, healed, fed, prayed. His obedience.
D. Crucify with Christ: Galatians 2:20.

9. To St. Paul, the most glorious thing in his life was the fact of the cross of Christ. It was the power of his life. "I am crucified with Christ", St. paul declared. Earlier he persecuted Christians. What a change? Boast only in the cross of the Lord: Galatians 6:14.
A. Cross conquers the heart. Emperor Constantine became Christian. His successor Julian did not and persecuted Christians. He was wounded in a war, down in a pool of blood, and cried aloud with his own blood throwing in the air uttering: "You have conquered, O Man of Galilee." He introduced the Julian calendar vs Gregorian Calendar.

B. Climax on the cross: Our pilgrimage to the cross during the Lent reach on Good Friday.
C. Gives courage: Jesus prayed for the courage for the cross in Gethsamanae: Matthew 26:36-46.
D. Wins enemies: Prayed for the enemies: Luke 23:14 cf. Matthew 5:44. We see forebearing, forgetting and forgiving on the cross. He pardoned His enemies.
E. Concerns for others: Told disciples to sleep; told the women to "cry for their children"; gave Mother to John and asked John to take care of His Mother.
F. Humility and Obedience: Humbled Himself and obeyed to be crucified.
G. Complete Victory: No more grief: Ephesians 2:14-16
H. Propitiation: 1 Corinthians 15:3: Christ died on the cross for our sins.
I. No cross, no crown: No victory without cross. He carried our sins and won.
J. Symbol of Sufferings: Christ suffered. We have to identify with this experience. Like we salute the national flag, we adore the cross, especially on Good Friday's service. We use the cross for all blessings. Cross has the power to give life.
K. Tradition: Adam took a branch from the Tree of Life in the garden of Eden and placed on Mount Moriah and it became the place of worship. So Abraham took Isaac over there for sacrifice. Melchizedek sacrificed on this Mount. This branch became a tree and Solomon gathered it during the building of the Jerusalem temple. Part of it in the Bethseda pool and sick were cured out of it. Part of it was used for the cross on which Jesus was crucified.
L. The cross reveals the depths of man's sin and the price paid for that sin. Adam and Eve committed sin. Killing, stealing adultery still continues. Calvary is the climax of the sin. Jesus died on the cross there.
M. The cross reveals the character of God's justice: The Law is broken and so the punishment. Therefore Jesus was sent to die for our sins.
N. The cross reveals the height of God's love: His love is paramount: Asked Peter whether he loves "more than these".
O. The cross draws us to Christ: Like a magnet, Jesus draws sinners to Him: Mary Magdaline, Samaritan woman, Zaacheus.
P. It molds character: It sends people into service.
Q. The promise of the cross is glorious: Jesus came to prepare a place for us. He promised that where Christ is, there we may be also - in heaven.
R. Cross, a confrontation: God's great love and human's deep sin. The created crucified the creator (John 3:16). God's love is depicted here.
S. Symbol of reconciliation: The vertical (I) line signif-ies reconciliation between God and man and the horizontal (--) line symbolizes reconciliation between man and man. Cross was needed to bring together God and man who went astray due to the sin of Adam and Eve. The both extended hands on the cross invite the whole humanity to Almighty God through Christ Jesus. We are reconciled to God through Christ's death on the cross (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; Colossians 1:19-20; Ephesians 2:4-6).
T. Ladder to Heaven: The ladder Jacob saw in Bethel (Genesis 28:12) is completed on the cross. There angels went up and down, here God himself did. So cross is our way to ascend into heaven. So it is the sign of salvation. Here is the accepted time and the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2; 5:14-15; Ephesians 1:13; Hebrews 5:9).
U. Cross signifies sacrifice: Ephesians 5:2; 1 Corinthians 10:16; Romans 3:25-30; 8:3. Also see the parable as the sacrificial lamb in John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:19; Revelation 5:6 and in John 19:36 and 1 Coprinthians 5:8 as passover lamb. Jesus shed His blood on the cross for all human beings: Romans 5:9; Colossians 1:20; Ephesians 1:7; 2:13; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 5:9.
V. The meaning of CROSS:
C: Christ (1 Corinthians 2:2); Christianity (Hebrews 12:2); Centrality of the Cross :Galatians 6:14 cf. 1 Cori. 1:18)
R: Reconciliation: Ephesians 2:18-19; Colossians 1:20-22; Redemption (Ephesians 1:7); Rstitution ; Ransom: Mark 10:45; John 10:11, 15.
O: Obedient unto cross (Philippians 2:5-11)
First Adam X Second Adam
Disobeyed X Obeyed
Tempted in garden X Tempted in the desert
Ate X Fasted
Closed paradise X Opened
Head of the FallX Head of the Redeemed
(Matthew 26:39; John 10:18; Acts 5:8f; Romans 5:19) Offensive against will; Ointment to the wounded.
S: 1 Corinthians 5:7f: Sacrifice of the Lamb (Exodus 1:2): No shedding of blood, no redemption. Destroyed alienated; set apart for Christ. Like Jonah's readiness to die, we should also sacrifice ourselves for Christ.
S: Should not perish (John 3:16); Salvation (Hebrews 2:3); Shepherd (gives his life for the sheep): John 10:11.
Escape the Cross? We can't Seek the Cross? We may Glory in the Cross? We may (Galatians 6:14) Bear the Cross? We should.

FIRST SUNDAY AFTER THE EXALTATION OF THE CROSS :SEPTEMBER 15
MATTHEW 5:1-12 (THE BEATTITUDES):

1. Big multitude, believers and unbelievers, crowded around Jesus to hear Him. News of Jesus spread all over. All kinds of people came to heal: Matthew 4:24-25.

2. Jesus went up on a mountain; the disciples followed. This is a very usual scene: Matthew 14:23; 15:29; 17:1; Mark 3:13; Luke 6:17; 9:28; John 6:3, 15. Sermon on the Mountain through them for the people.

3. Jesus taught them: Matthew 7:29; Mark 10:1; 12:35; John 8:2.

4. The beatitudes are the blessings and responsibilities of discipleship.

5. God blesses those who acknowledge their spiritual need: Proverbs 16:19; Isaiah 66:2; Matthew 11:28-30.

6. God strengthens those who are sorrowful of their spiritual poverty through forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Comforter: Isaiah 61:2; John 14:16-17; 25-27; 16:7-15, 20; Acts 16:34; 2 Corinthians 1:7; Revelation 7:17; 21:4.

7. The gentle, humble, submissive to God (Matthew 11:29; Psalm 37:11; Isaiah 29:19; Romans 4:13) will receive all the blessings God promised: Isaiah 57:13; Mark 10:29-30.

8. God will satisfy (Isaiah 55:1; 65:13; John 4:14; 6:48; 7:37) those who earnestly desire all that God offers (Luke 1:53; Acts 2:4).

9. Those who show kindness and forgiveness to the undervi-ng as God has shown them (Matthew 25:31-46; Micha 6:8) will be rewarded with mercy from God as well as from others: psalm 41:1; Mark 11:25.

10. Those who have integrity and genuiness of purity (Psalm 15:2; 24:4; Hebrews 12:14; James 4:8) shall see God (Matthew 5:48; 6:10; Acts 7:55-56; 1 Corinthians 13:12).

11. Those who actively work to reconcile alienated persons (Colossians 3:12-15; Hebrews 12:14) are like God in nature and character: Matthew 5:44-48; 1 John 3:1-5.

12. The kingdom of heaven is destined for those who are wrongly made to suffer for doing right: 1 Peter 4:12-19; 3:14; 2 Corinthians 4:17.

13. Suffering for righteousness (2 Chronicles 36:16; Nehemiah 9:26; Matthew 23:37; Acts 7:52; 1 Thessalonians 2:15; Hebrews 11:35-37; James 5:10) enriches our lives here and rewards us in heaven (Luke 6:23; Acts 5:41; 1 Peter 4:13-14). All Prophets and righteous people, including Jesus had to go through persecutions: Hebrews 12:3.

MARK 13:28-37
1. There would be signs indicating the destruction of Jerusalem as well as Christ's second coming: Mark 5:13-23; 21:32. Jesus will return: Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Revelation 22:20.
2. Jesus' assurance that everything will happen as foretold (Isaiah 40:8; 2 Peter 3:7, 10, 12). This world will end.
3. Jesus' words are equal to those of God's.
4. Jesus will come again. Those who are in His grace will be saved.
5. There will be signs (Matthew 24:45; 25:14). Warning signs tell us that His comming is imminent.
6. No one knows the exact time (Matthew 25:13) except the Father: Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32-33; Acts 1:7.
7. We must be ready: Watch and pray: Matthew 24:42; 25:13; Luke 12:40; 21:34; 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Peter 4:7.
Blessings to those who are prepared and punishment for the unprepared. Watch and prepare. We have to abide in Him: 1 John 2:28 1 Samuel 3:9: "Speak for your servant hears" John 14:10: Complete submission 1 Corinthians 10:31: Do for His glorification. John 15:5 cf. Galatians 5:22: Bear good fruits Submission for all the time: Now, always, and for ever and ever; then death can come any time; Jesus can come any time. As we don't know the time of our end in this world, so also we don't know the time of His return.
8. Watch and be vigilent: He is coming (Acts 1:11)
A. The fact of His coming: In all New Testament books (1/30 verses), it is mentioned.
B. The time of His coming: As we don't know the time of our death, so also we don't know the time of His second coming: evening, midnight, morning? Nobody knows. WATCH: Wisdom, Ability, Trust, Character, Health.
C. Our responsibility: Lamp with oil: (Matthew 25:7-10) To bring back the king (2 Samuel 19:10: David and Absalom). We should be prepared.
D. For do not lead us into temptation: Matthew 26:41; 1 Peter 5:8 Spirit is prepared; body is weak: Robbers and thieves do not sleep in the night? When sleeps, enemies saw tares: Matthew 13:25.
LUKE 17:20-36
1. The kingdom of heaven is in our midst: Luke 17:23; Romans 14:17.
2. We must patiently await God's time for His return: Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:20; Luke 5:35; John 17:12.
3. Do not believe those who may claim to be Christ or those who set dates of His return: Matthew 24:23; Mark 13:21; Luke 2:18.
4. His coming will be as evident as a flash of lightening: Matthew 24:27.
5. Jesus suffers (Matthew 26:67; 27:29-31; Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33) and people reject Him first: Luke 9:22.
6. People will be concerned only with the affairs of this world as in the times of Noah and Lot.
7. We should be ready to go with Him at His return, without looking back like Lot's wife did.
8. We have to give away everything to Christ in this preparation.

MATTHEW 24:36-51
1. Only the father knows the time of Jesus' second coming.
2. Be alert at all times and be ready as judgment will come unexpectedly.
3. At that time righteous will be separated from the unrighteous: 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.
4. This coming is like the coming of a thief: 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4; Revelation 3:3.
5. We should be faithful and wise like the servant in the parable.
6. The fate of the unfaithful be weeping and gnashing of teeth: Matthew 8:11-12; 25:30.
7. The second coming is a blessed hope: Titus 2:13. The word coming (parousia) occurs 24 times; Appearing (epiphancia) occurs six times; Revelation (apocalypsis) is another word for second coming: 2 Thessalonians 1:7. Come is used 50 times referring His return. Descend is another term: 1 Thessalonians 4:16 The word Return is used in parables. Send is used both of Christ's first and second coming. Appear, Be revealed, Be magnified: These words are also used in reference to Christ's return.

ACTS 3:21-26
1. God calls for repentance.
2. Peter announces the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 18:15 cf. John 1:21-22 in Jesus Christ.
3. The Jews first, and then we all are the receipients of His blessings.

1 CORINTHIANS 2:10-16
1. Holy Spirit reveals God's activities and Scriptural truth: John 16:13.
2. The person who trusts in his or her own wisdom doesn't care to know the wisdom from God.
3. The spiritual person understands spiritual truth through Holy Spirit.

GENESIS 42:1-28
The brothers threw Joseph into the pit, but later came back to him for food. Those who forsake Jesus will realize His glory during the second coming.
vv.1-2: Famine all over, except in Egypt. Joseph opened all the storehouses for the Egyptians When Jacob heard that grain was plentiful in Egypt, he told his sons to get busy and do something and asked them to go to Egypt to buy so that they could live: Genesis 43:8; Psalm 33:18-19; Isaiah 38:1.
v. 3: Ten brothers: Sons through Leah, Bilhah, and Zilpah: 29:32-30:20.
v. 4: Benjamin: Joseph's brother: 42:38.
v. 5: Famine was all over, even for the God's people: 12:10; 26:1; 41:57; Acts 7:11.
v.6: Joseph, the governor, sold grains to all and his brothers came and bowed down before him: 37:7-10; 41:43; Isaiah 60:14.
vv.7-8: Even though Joseph recognized his brothers, he pretended not to understand or speak their language (v. 23; Genesis 45:1-2). His brothers did not recognize him.
v.9: Joseph remembered the dream (37:5-9). He told them that they are spies looking for the defensible part of the land.
vv. 10-15: His brothers telling th family story: 37:30; 42:32; 44:20; Lamentations 5:7; 1 Samuel 1:26; 17:55 (oath in the name Pharoah).
vv.16-20: He wanted to test his brothers and put them in prison for three days (Genesis 22:12; 39:9; Exodus 1:17; Leveticus 25:43; Nehemiah 5:15; Proverbs 1:7; 9:10). Asked to bring their younger brother: Genesis 42:34; 43:5; 44:23.
vv. 21-22: Even after 22 years, a guilty feeling in their mind: Genesis 37:26-28; 44:16; 45:3; Job 36:8-9; Hosea 5:15; Proverbs 21:13; Matthew 7:2; 1 Kings 2:32; 2 Chronicles 24:22; Psalm 9:12; Luke 11:50-51.
v. 23: Joseph knew Canaanite and Egyptian, but used only Egyptian and used an interpreter.
v.24: Jospeh wept (43:30; 45:14-15). He bound Simon: 34:25, 30; 43:14, 23.
vv.25-26: Joseph restores their money (44:1; 43:12; Matthew 5:44; Romans 12:17, 20-21; 1 Peter 3;9) and sent them back.
vv. 27-28: They saw the money in their sacks and were afraid: 43:21-22.

PSALM 34: DAVID'S SONG AFTER ESCAPING FROM ABIMELECK Psalm of David when he pretended madness ( 1 Samuel 21:10-15) before Ahimelech (Achish: Ahimelech may be a title for king of the Philistine regions: Genesis 20:2; 26:1 --- as Pharaoh was for Egypt).
vv. 1-3: David invites all to join him in the praise of God. The righteous shall praise the Lord at all times: Ephesians 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
v. 4: If we fear the Lord (v.9), we need nothing else: 2 Chronicles: 15:2; Psalm 9:10; Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:9.
vv.5-6: Those who trust in the Lord are blessed like David.
v.7: They experience the personal and imminent presence of God: Judges 6:12; Psalm 91:11; Daniel 6:22; 2 Kings 6:17.
vv. 8-9: Have trust and fear of the Lord.
v. 10: Those who seek God is blessed with everything.
v. 11: Those who learn from Him is blessed.
v. 13: Watch our mouth: Job 5:21; Psalm 120:2; Isaiah 6:6; James 3:5.
v. 14: Do good and seek peace.
vv. 15-17: The Lord listens to the righteous and bless
v. 18: We have to have a contrite heart to be blessed: Psalm 51: 17.
vv. 19-22: God delivers the righteous from afflictions, but no deliverence for those who continue in sinful ways.

ISAIAH 1:10-20
1. We should be different in heart unlike the people of Sodom and Gomorrah: Genesis 13:13; 18:20-21.
2. Do not substitute religion for godly lives: 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
3. God expects right behavior from us: Jeremiah 4:14; Romans 12:9.
4. God wants to free us from sin.
5. Salvation through cleansing of the sin: scarlet sins to become white as snow: Isaiah 43:20; Micha: 6:2.

SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE EXALTATION OF THE CROSS:SEPTEMBER 22 :
MATTHEW 16:5-12

1. Listen Jesus, not Pharisees or Sadducees: Obey God: Acts 5:17-32; 1 Corinthians 2:14-39. The disciples forgot to take bread with them when they crossed the Galilee to go to the otherside which is the land of the Gentiles whose food Jews didn't eat. Normally they take food along with them. So they were confused about what to do. They did not have bread or the leaven to make the bread. Understanding their feelings, Jesus told them to watch the leaven of Pharisees and Sadducees. They forgot that Jesus fed 5000 with 5 loaves; they forgot the presence of Jesus. Gradually they understood that the leaven was their teachings. Pharisees: 365 laws for 365 days; 248 laws for 248 days; 38 do's and 38 don'ts; strict to follow oral traditions. Only external observations; their hypocrisy. Luke 12:1 cf. Matthew 6:2, 5, 16; 23:28 vs. Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 24:51. They give importance to external observances, not for spiritual revival; showy. Do not follow them. Sadducees: The reformers in the Jewish religion rejecting resurrection and most teachings of Pharisees. They seek physical gain. Scribes: Copying the Scriptures, close to Pharisees, external, not internal: Matthew 22:23; 23. No repentance; their pride and no trust in anybody.

2. Don't be alarmed of food and wealth. Use our intelligence to understand His will. If God is with us, we have nothing to be afraid of. Joseph became great because God was with him. He interpreted the dreams (Genesis 42:9-17); even brothers were ruled by him. Measure our lives based upon God's commandments. Keep our faith and oblige to moral responsibilities (Galatians 1:6-9; 1 John 4:1). God provides everything. Look for the spiritual side: Matthew 14:34-15:11.

3. Many give importance to get respect among people and afraid of criticism. Those who demand respect and are ignored are hurt in their feelings. People's respect and praises are their gods. God knows our hearts: Luke 16:15. David was a man of God's heart. Man "looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 samuel 15:7).

4. Watch those who pretend they are spiritual and faithful. Leaven changes the taste and smell of food. This happens to spirituality also. Then no action, just words. Like the slow process of the leaven to change the status of the flour, the foul teachings could change the gravity of one's character. Leaven is referrred as "malice and wicked" ( 1 Corinthians 5:8). No pretendence or falsehood in our life! False teachings and ultra reforms are detrimental to the progress of the Church.

5. Test to find out what is good and bad.

6. Lead the good way: Psalm 1:1-2; King Solomon's prayer: 1 Kings 3:8-9 cf. Proverbs 6:1-9: Prudence to know His will.

LUKE 18:1-8
1. Maintain faith through prayer during the invisible kingdom period, i.e., the coming of the kingdom of God. Just as the widow never gave up, we must never become discouraged as we wait for His return. Christ will return at just the right time. We should never lose faith.
2. vv.1, 5, 7-8: Luke 11:5-10; Romans 12:12 (Ephesians 6:18); Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Luke 11:8; Revelation 6:10; Hebrews 10:37 ( 2 Peter 3:8-9).

MATTHEW 14:34-15:11
1. Do we recognize our Lord and SAvior? People of Gennesaret did.
2. Those who touched Him were cured: Matthew 5:24-34; 9:20; Mark 3:10; Luke 6:19; Acts 19:12.
3. Be concerned about inward conduct rather than outward.
4. Local Scribes and Pharisees questioned earlier; nor from Jerusalem: Mark 7:1; John 1:19; Acts 25:7.
5. Ceremonial hand washing (Leveticus 22:4-6): Just following the tradition is not enough: Mark 7:2-5.
6. Do not exploit the rules and regulations; do not change the rules by taking the wealth assigned to others and using for one's own benefits.

7. Do not be hypocrites; Mark 7:6.
8. Salvation is for those who profess as well as do the will of God: Matthew 7:21; Isaiah 29:13.
9. What comes out of the mouth defiles us: Acts 10:15; Romans 14:14, 17, 20; 1 Timothy 4:4; Titus 1:15.

MATTHEW 15:12-20
1. Those who heard the words of wisdom were offended.
2. Those who refuse Jesus will be uprooted: Isaiah 9:16; 60:2; 61:3; Malachi 2:8; Matthew 23:16; Luke 6:39; John 15:2; Romans 2:19; 1 Corinthians 3:12-13.
3. Even Peter didn't understand what Jesus was talking about: v. 11.
4. Evil attitudes must be cleansed: 1 Corinthians 6:13.
5. The inner qualities are important: Genesis 6:5; 8:21; Proverbs 6:14; Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:21; Romans 1:29-32; Galatians 5:19-21.

MATTHEW 16: 1-4
1. Pharisees and Sadduccees wanted to see signs and miracles.
2. "Jonah" is the only sign. His preachings converted the people and escaped from destruction.
3. Those who go after signs and miracles mislead the crowd. They do not recognize God's will.
4. Submission before Almighty God helps to get His blessings.
5. Do not forsake faith because of minor disruptions and reasons.

ACTS 5:17-32
1. The Apostles were put in prison.
2. An angel opened the door, let them free, and instructed to speak in the temple.
3. When the Council met to deal with them, they were back teaching.
4. They brought the Apostles and warned again not to preach Christ.
5. The Apostles obeyed the Lord rather than men and preached the "Prince and Savior" and the Holy Spirit.

1 CORINTHIANS 2:14-3:9 1. The person who taught his/her own wisdom has no will or power to know the wisdom of God.
2. The spiritual person understands spiritual truth and human wisdom from Christ's point of view.
3. True Christians have the mind of Christ.
4. Corinthians were neither spiritual nor natural, but carnal - lived in envy and divisions. They were babes ( 1 Corinthians 2:6; Ephesians 4:14; Hebrews 5:13). They needed full understanding of the Gospel: Hebrews 5:14.
5. Paul started the Gospel to new areas and Apollos encouraged new converts (Acts 18:24-28). No competitions, but coooperative ministers of God: To serve according to the gift one received.
6. The Church is like a cultivated field, a building and a temple.
7. Each one receives reward according to His labor.
8. God's gracious activity should be exalted.

GENESIS 42:9-17
1. Joseph recognized his brothers.
2. He tested them.
3. They were put in prison for three days.

1 KINGS 3:5-14 1 Solomon loved God and offered sacrifices to Him.
2. Solomon asked for wisdom: "an understanding heart to judge" ...." to discern between good and evil."
3. God gave him wisdom, riches and long days to live.
WISDOM 6:1-9: Exhortation to seek wisdom.

ISAIAH 48:12-16 1. God is first and last: Deuteronomy 32:39; Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 22:13.
2. God created everything: Exodus 20:11; Psalm 102:25; Isaiah 42:5; 45:12, 18; Hebrews 1:10-12.
3. Listen Him.

THIRD SUNDAY AFTER THE EXALTATION OF THE CROSS:SEPTEMBER 29 :
MARK 2:23-28

1. Fasting and Sabbath observation are the topics: Sabbath observance is for spirituality and holiness. In the Gospels, five times about breaking the observance of Sabbath, four times by the Lord and one time by the disciples. A service for a holy life, not lifeless or immaterial. Spirituality should overtake physical needs. Should go to the church with spiritual hunger; Our fathers fasted till noon. Works six days and then needs some rejuvenation to start the new week for spiritual growth.

2. Disciples plucked the heads of grain; it is legal according to Deuteronomy 23:25. Ruth gleaned....

3. Pharisees blamed the disciples. Plucking the grain was interpreted as harvesting and thus breaking the Sabbath.

4. They went to the temple fasting; so they were hungry.

5. Poor Master and penniless disciples... It was their lunch. Mother offered turtle doves, not lamb; no money to pay taxes so that got Peter's help to catch a fish.

6. Walk through the mission fields with hunger in spirit and for the soul; may find some. Harvest is plenty; laborers are scarce.

7. Complained to the Master, not to them so they could fight ... Gossip.

8. Jesus quoted from the Old Testament: 1 Samuel 21:1-6 referring David's deeds: Importance of learning Scriptures.

9. Meet the needs of the people rather than stick to strict rules and regulations. The Law should teach to love God and His creation: Mark 12:33. Rules and regulations are for the betterment of people; people are important than rules: The "economy" of the Church.

10. David and friends were clean: Clean ourselves before receive holy communion.

MATTHEW 5:13-16
1. The importance of salt: If looses flavor, cannot be seasoned.
A. For taste: For flavor B. To heal: Elisha's first miracle: Put salt in the water: 2 Kings 2:19ff.
C. To melt: on the Ice
D. purify E. Preserve
2. Lighted lamp: If we lose our Christ-like life, we fail.
A. If no light, will be in dark
B. "God is light" (1 John 1:5): Fire and light to Moses (Exodus 3:2); fiery cloud guided the Israelites (Exodus 13:2); No darkness in Him (1 John 1:5); True light (John 1:9); Flying in the light (1 Timothy 6:19). Shows light in our way to avoid danger, destroys contageous atoms, illuminates the world, exemplifies love ( John 9:5; Matthew 5:16; Ephesians 5:10; John 8:12; Matthew 6:22-23.
C. "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12); "You are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14). Moses' face lighted (Exodus 34:29-30); Jesus' at Transfiguration (Luke 9:29); Also Moses' and Elijah's (Luke 9:30-31); Righteous (Matthew 13:43); Like stars: Daniel 12:3. Light came from God. God separated light from darkness: Genesis 1:3 God dwells in the light: Exodus 13:21; Psalm 104:2; Daniel 2:22 Righteous person walks in the light: Isaiah 2:5 Son, moon and stars have "created light" The light surrounding God, the Seraph's shield, seen at Mount Tabor is "uncreated light" Jesus is the light of the world: John 8:12 The Apostles are the light of the world: Matthew 5:13 Christians are children of the light: 1 Thessalonians 5:5 Revelations talk about eternal light: 22:5 One who walks in His revelation gets light ( Psalm 119:105) as God's word is a lamp to our feet and light to our path. Those who walk in darkness do not recognize Jesus: John3:16 Light shines in darkness: John 1:5 Put our trust in the light to become children of light: Jn 12:36 God lights up the darkness: Psalm 18:28 "By Thy light we see the light Jesus full of light":Holy Qurbana God calls us out of darkness into His marvellous light: 1 Peter 2:9. The Lord is light and salvation: Psalm 27:1. Sick needs doctor; darkness needs light. If green doesn't get light, color changes into white and eventually dies. If we don't get enough light we will be in utter destruction. Robbery, murder, all happen in the dark. New York city was in the dark for sometime due to the failure of electricity. So much loss; rich man exploits poor, employer, employees, mighty one, weak ones. and so on. God saw men walking in the dark, in sin. So He sent the LIGHT, Jesus Christ, to bring them to light. Jesus touched the blind man and opened his eyes to see the light. Judas betrayed the light for 30 coins. Saul saw the light at the door of Damascus. Thereafter he started spreading the light. Moon lights in the dark; if we receive this light of Jesus, we can also shine.
D. Light is needed for growth: If no light, no use; will be in the dark. God is light ( 1 John 1:5); Jesus is the light of the world. Light is needed for growth: Five stages in growth:
a. Forming stage
b. Norming stage: Rules and regulations
c. Storming stage: "Individualism" crept in.
d. Performing stage: Day after the hurricane:
creative endeavors or destructive impasse.
e. Reforming stage.
Also there are six kinds of negative growth:
1. Visionless growth: No goal or aim or dreams (Dharshanam)
2. Missionless growth (Suvishesham): No evangalization, no expansion.
3. Ruthless growth (Karunayillatha): No sharing; no concern
4. Rootless (Verukalillatha) growth: No cultural affinity
5. Voiceless (Navillatha) growth: No public involvement
6. Futureless (Bhaviyillatha) growth: For eternity. What we need is Christian growth, i.e., growth with Christ.
a. Lord God made every tree to grow: Genesis 2:9

b. Grow like Cedar in Lebanon: Psalm 92:12
c. Grow up like tender plant: Isaiah 53:2
d. Consider the lilies how they grow: Matthew 6:28
e. Grow unto Him in all things: Ephesians 4:13-15
f. Grow in grace and knowledge: 2 Peter 3:18
g. Grow into Holy Temple: Ephesians 2:21.
Grain requires four major ingredients to grow: seeds, soil, sunlight and water. We also need four ingredients to grow:
a. God's calling: Seeds to plant: God plants the seeds of truth in our minds: John 6:44. Ours is a special calling: 1 Peter 2:9.
b. God's Law: Seeds must be planted in soil to grow. That is an obedient mind: Matthew 19:17; 1 John 2:4.
c. Jesus Christ: Grain needs light to grow. We need Jesus Christ, the true light. We cannot grow without Him: John 8:12.
d. The Holy Spirit: Water is needed for grain to grow. Holy Spirit, the living water, is needed for our growth (John 7:37-39; Romans 8:4,6,11.
WE ARE HIS LIGHT TO THE WORLD: Philippians 2:14-16. Like lamps give light, we should shine by letting people see the good works we rejoice through God's grace. Arise and shine (Isaiah 60:1). Let our light shine (Matthew 5:16).

MATTHEW 18:23-35
1. God's kingdom is like a king who freely forgave the helpless debtor, and also required us to forgive others.
2. When the debtor pleaded, the Master forgave him the debt. The Master here is God. The Lord is gracious and full of compassion: Psalm 145:8
3. The same debtor did not forgive a fellow man who owes him a much less amount; not only that he laid his hands on him and put him in prison.
4. The fellow servants reported this to the Master.
5. The Master delivered him to the torturers because he had violated God's commandment (19:19): Love your neighbor as yourself.
6. We should have wholehearted forgiveness without reservation: Proverbs 21:13; Matthew 6:12; Mark 11:26; James 2:13.

LUKE 16:1-13
1. The wise use of money
2. We must invest our wealth for eternity
3. The steward (household/ estate manager) has to give his accounts to the Master: Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Peter 4:5-6.
4. If we don't have a good report, we will lose our stewardship.
5. The steward acted wisely by reducing the debts of his creditors.
6. The Master was pleased with the steward's action of using an opportunity.
7. Use our wealth to secure an everlasting home: Give it to those who are in need and support God's works.
8. If we use our wealth faithfully for God's kingdom, we will be blessed with true riches of being with God now and for ever.
9. Do not serve money as our master. If we serve both money and God, we will fail to obtain either worldly security or eternity: Matthew 6:24; Galatians 1:10. ACTS 7:2-5: STEPHEN'S DEFENSE
1. Jewish authorities rejected God's leaders that climaxed in Jesus.
2. God is not limited to the promised land or temple.
3. God appeared to Abraham and promised him inheritance even when he had no child: Genesis 12:7; 13:15; 15:3, 18; 17:8; 26:3.

ROMANS 8:1-11:
FREEDOM FROM SIN AND DEATH
1. A. The source of freedom (vv.2,9): The Law (Romans 6:18, 22) of the spirit of life (1 Corinthians 15:45) in Christ Jesus.
B. The scope of freedom (vv.5-8). Those who live according to the spirit, as those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
C. The sequel to freedom (vv.2-4): The coming of Jesus, theSon of God, who condemned sin in the flesh.
2. We have been justified by Christ so that the indwelling Spirit assures us of eternal life.
3. At resurrection, God will raise our mortal bodies to a glorious new life.

GENESIS 42:18-22 1. Prove honesty: Here to leave one brother and to go and bring the youngest one for verification.
2. The guilty conscience pricks: Job 36:8-9; Hosea 5:15; Proverbs 21:13; Matthew 7:2.
3. They think that their brother Joseph's blood testified against them: Genesis 4:9-10; 9:5-6; 37:21-22, 29; 1 Kings 2:32; 2 Chronicles 24:22; Psalm 9:12; Luke 11:50-51.

PROVERBS 1:2-9
NOTE: A. The great wisdom in Proverbs were to make deep impression on the visiting queen of ShebaL 2 Chronicles 9:1-12.
B. The Proverb is a short statement of truth concerning some aspect of human life. The enigma and riddles present a principle of truth through a puzzle or problem to be solved.
1. The Book of Proverbs provides (1 Kings 4:32):
a. Wisdom and instruction
b. Judgment and equity
c. Prudence, knowledge, and discretion
d. Learning and wise counsel.
2. Reverence and obedience to God (Psalm 111:10; Genesis 20:11) make one wise and knowledgable.
3. Obey the instructions of one's parents.

ISAIAH 54:1-8 1. Israel is like a barren woman: Galatians 4:27
2. If she trusts God (55:3-7; 56:4-7), she will be fruitful.
3. If we are captives of our sins, like a childless woman (in that days it was disgraceful), we are disgraced. But God can deliver us.
4. God's mercy exceeds His judgment.

SERIES 11 (LOL VOL:2 ISSUE:15 OCBTOBER 1-31,2002)

FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EXALTATION OF THE CROSS
(OCTOBER 6TH): LUKE 16:13-18

1.

One cannot serve two masters of opposite values faithfully at the same time like God and Mamon - God and money: Galatians 1:10; Matthew 6:24. One cannot give undivided loyalty or total allegiance to both (Exodus 20:3-4; Matthew 6:24; Luke 14:25-27). Narrow way X Broad way; sheep X goats; wheat Xtare; Jehoad X Baal; warm X cold; Christ X Barabas; God X Mamon. No person can travel in two directions at the same time.

a.

You cannot serve God and mamon: Judas, Ananias

b.

You cannot serve God for mamon: Simon: Acts 8:18-22

c.

You can serve God with mamon: Barnabas: Acts 4:34-37

d.

You can serve God or mamon: St. Gregorios.

2.

Christ is our Master. In worldly life, we are counted as slaves.

3.

Wealth is not our master. Should have sinceriety and truthfulness in utilizing wealth. Selfishness/ crazy love for wealth will lead to forgo the love to God: Matthew 22:37; Luke 14:26. When God loves us in full heart, we have to do the same: Jeremiah 32:41. Moth and rust destroy the physical wealth; and robbers steal. Have treasures in heaven: Matthew 6:19.

4.

Wealth distracts our concentration: It is weighty; to hoard, to keep, to give account. No sleep: Ecclesiastes 5:12; Root of all evil: 1 Timothy 6:10. Dangers of wealth: Matthew 19:16-30; Luke 18:18-30; Mark 10:17-31.

5.

The Pharisees, the money lovers, did not like the Lord's comments and ridiculed Jesus; their self-justification; they are just actors, not doers.

6.

The supreme value that a person places on money (what is highly esteemed among men) is an abomination in the sight of God: 1 samuel 16:7; Psalm 10:3; Proverbs 6:16-19; 16:5. God knows our heart.

7.

Every one, including the Pharisees, who follows Christ's teaching, can enter the kingdom.

8.

Do not divorce and commit adultery: Matthew 5:32; 19:9; Mark 10:11; 1 Corinthians 7:10-11. Do not divorce faith. Serving two masters is like divorcing and marrying another one. Do not go back to the old situation - to idol worship or wretched life.

9.

Wealth is not bad: Isaac blessed Jacob to have wealth (Genesis 27:28). Rich people without wealth is: 1 John 3:17; James 5:1-5. Richness is not the greatest blessings; joy and peace are: Psalm 4:7-8.

10.

Do not trust in uncertain riches: 1 Timothy 6:17. Trust in the living God who gives us richly all things to enjoy: 1 Timothy 6:17-19. Be faithful even inleast things.

11.

Sharing the wealth gives peace of mind. Faithfully handle the wealth with accountability - stewardship. Use wealth to help others.


MARK 10:1-9

1.

Jesus continued His teachings along Judeah and beyond. Great multitude followed Him.

2.

Pharisees tested Jesus by asking questions: Matthew 19:3.

3.

Jesus answered with a question from the Scripture: "What did Moses command you?"

4.

The purpose of Mosaic Law (Deuteronomy 24:1-4; Matthew 5:31; 19:7) was to restrain divorce, not just to write a certificate and then leave.

5.

Marriage is for life long (1 Corinthians 7:10-11). The Law made this provision because men would not obey God's will.

6.

The relationship between God and Israel is like that of husband and wife.


LUKE 9:37-45

1.

Great multitude followed when Jesus came down from the mountain.

2.

The disciples could not cast out the devil / cure the only son of a man who approached Jesus for cure.

3.

Jesus healed the boy.

4.

The disciples could not understand the incoming death of Jesus.


ACTS 21: 17-26

1.

From Jerusalem, Paul went to James, the brother of Jesus (Acts 15:13; Galatians 1:19; 2:9) and told him and the elders there about his work among the Gentiles.

2.

The leaders rejoiced over the news but worried about Jewish hostility.

3.

Concern about Paul's teachings about the Jewish Law kept by the Gentiles.... the Gentile believers did not have to keep the Law to be saved.

4.

To avoid a dispute (1 Corinthians 8:9), Paul purified himself along with four other men by shaving head (Numbers 6:2-8) and paying the expense ( Numbers 6:10-12).


COLOSSIANS 1:21-29

1.

Renconciliation through Jesus Christ.

2.

Sin separated us from God, but Christ's death reconciled us.

3.

Jesus makes us blameless in His sight.

4.

We have to continue in the faith all our lives: Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 2:7.

5.

Like Paul who received a stewardship to preach the Gospel, we should also preach Christ: 1 Corinthians 2:2.

6.

We are all workers together with God (2 Corinthians 6:1) and in "His working which works" in us.


NUMBERS 29:35-40

1.

Unique set of sacrifices for the seven day Feast of Tabernacles: Leveticus 23:33-44.

2.

A sacred assembly on the eighth day - no customary work - have a burnt offering ... one day a wek for God.

3.

Moses taught the Israelites everything the Lord commanded.


1 KINGS 8:22-30

1.

Solomon's dedication prayer: He stood before the altar in the presence of the assembly, spread out his hands toward heaven and prayed.

2.

Solomon entreats the Lord to completely fulfill His promises to David.

3.

He then calls for the Lord to be attentive to the prayers offered in the new temple and to forgive sinners who worship there.

4.

We are the tmple of God ( 1 Corinthians 3:16). We should be sanctified and then receive His blessings.


PSALM 42

1.

Meditations of Korah sons: song of the heart to be with God.

2.

Sufferings endure when away from God and the temple.

3.

Spiritual thirst (vv.1-5); Psalm 63:1; 34:2; 143:6; Romans 9:26; 1 Thessalonians 1:9 (Pilgrim feast: Exodus 23:17; Leveticus 23:2).

4.

VV.6-11: Agony continues as prayer continues. The Lord is a contineous source of comfort during day and night: Job 35:10.

5.

VV. 5, 11: Trust God.

FIFTH SUNDAYAFTER THE EXALTATION OF THE CROSS
(OCTOBER 3): MATTHEW 23:1-12

1.

Jesus' confrontation with (Matthew 22:34-46; Luke 20:45-57):

A.

Scribes: Scholars, interpreters: learned but hypocrites;

B.

Pharisees: Separated for religious performances: no internal purity, only external show; no repentance, only finding faults and complaints; no humility, looking for uppermost and chief (front) seats.

C.

Sadducces: Of Saddok priestly tradition: rich, administrators; do not believe in resurrection. These people just talk, but no action: talkers, not doers; don't even touch with a finger; just like to see by others.

Jesus pointed out their showy attitudes and activities in His sermons and speeches.

2.

Phylacteries: Small leather boxes containing scriptural verses written on parchment were strapped to the forehead and left arm (Deuteronomy 6:8): Appear very religious, but not in action. 365 not to do commandments for 365 days; 248 to do laws for 248 bones; 39 don'ts on Sabbath days. Phylacteries only on their foreheads and arms, not in their hearts (Exodus 13:1-16; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:13-21 based on Deuteronomy 13:9) ... not for beauty: Numbers 15:37-40.

3.

We should respect learning and leaders, not go after titles. Follow their interpretations, not their actions and deeds. Showy people generally disguise their virtues. Leaders should assimilate with the common people in all things. Follow the real leader: Jesus Christ; God is our Father.

4.

Jewish leaders made religion a burden (Matthew 23:4). Jesus made it easy (Matthew 11:30). They taught Moses' Laws (Nehemiah 8:4; Acts 15:21). But they corrupted. People: could not fulfill the laws; Pharisees did not help to follow. So Jesus instituted other laws... offering help (11:28-30). But are we following? Wings appear heavy, but help the bird fly high: rules and regulations may appear to be heavy, but lift high to heaven.

5.

Practice what we preach: They teach but do not practice: Lots of us are like that (drinking, smoking, immoral life, etc).: Faith and action: St. James. Christianity is not just for exhortations and advices. Lead righteous life. God's name shall be glorified by our works.

6.

Preachers are fallible; Laws are infallible.

7.

Importnat seat is o.k. But if we try to get it...? David would rather be only a door keeper in the house of God (Psalm 84:10).

8.

Flattery (calling Rabbi, Father, teacher, leader, etc., ) is o.k., but not for self-respect and selfishness. We can be Rabbi, Fathers, and leaders, if we follow His footsteps. God has to see us great. through our service and humility. We are all equal. God is the Teacher (Psalm 94:10), Father (Matthew 6:9), and Leader (Luke 17:13).

9.

Humility is the basis for all good virtues. Be humble: Matthew 20:26-27; Job 22:29; Proverbs 15:33; 29:23; Luke 14:11; 18:14; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5.


MATTHEW 23:13-30

1.

Jesus' lamentation is like that of David about his son Abshalom

2.

The seven aspects of Pharisees:

A.

. Shut the kingdom of heaven: They make their own rules and regulations. The keys were taken from them and given to the Apostles to open the doors for missions (vv. 13-14).

B.

Their mission works only added atrocities: No fellowship (v.15).

C.

They keep away from truth: Give importance to gold, not to spirituality (VV.16-22).

D.

They give interests to unimportant, silly things, not to love, patience or concern (VV.23-24).

E.

They give importance to external activities, not internal purifications..no soul searching; make wealth in evil ways, but in uncleaned plates: VV.25-26.

F.

They are like whitewashed tombs (used to whitewash during passover): VV.27-28.

G.

They remember the old prophets and kill the current ones: VV.29-30.

Don't be false prophets and deceitful workers (2 Corinthians 11:13).
LUKE 20:27-40

1.

Sadducees: The priestly among the Jews in charge of the temple sacrificial system - aristocratic and liberal. They do not believe in resurrection or after life. They are characterized as selfish religious officials: 20:45-47.

2.

"Teacher": Respect for Jesus.

3.

Moses wrote: Deuteronomy 25:5-10.

4.

No marriage in resurrection

5.

Death does not end the fellowship God has with His people: Romans 6:10-11; 14:8-9; Hebrews 11:16. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all are alive and in communion with God.


MATTHEW 22:34-46

1.

Subdue Sadducees, Pharisees and Scribes.

2.

Jesus silenced the Sadducees.

3.

The greatest commandment.: Love God as well as fellow being: Matthew 7:12; Romans 13:10; 1 Timothy 1:5.

4.

Jesus corrected their understanding of Jesus as son of David: David called "Lord" (Psalm 110:1): Jesus would not be a human son of David.

5.

No one answered Jesus properly and left Jesus alone.


ACTS 2:22-29

1.

The Jews refused to continue listen his defense and protested.

2.

Paul was brought amidst them to be examined under scourging.

3.

Paul revealed that he is a Roman citizen by birth.

4.

When the commander and the crowd heard that Paul is a Roman citizen, they all withdrew from him.


1 TIMOTHY 6:13-21

1.

Paul exhorts Timothy to keep all commandments and virtues faithfully until the second coming of Jesus.

2.

Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords: Revelations 17:14; 19:16.

3.

Do not trust in uncertain riches: Pride and excessive dependence on wealth (Psalm 52:7) are not good.

4.

God is our source of wealth.

5.

Do good and support worthy causes: Luke 12:23; 18:22.

6.

Be a guardian of faith: preserve it and pass it on..

7.

Those who teach contrary views stray: 1:3-7; 6:20-21.

8.

Christians in various names: Disciples, brothers, Man of God (through baptism and conformation): 6:11.


LEVETICUS 2:1-3

1.

Grain offering, the poor man's burnt offering, as every one may not have birds, but at least some grown grain.

2.

The man's gift to God come from the fruit of his labor.

3.

Oil moistened flour represents the presence of God.

4.

A portion of the grain offering belongs to the priest: Exodus 29:27; Numbers 15:19-21.


ISAIAH 40:27-31

1.

God is faithful.

2.

Wait for God rather than depend upon human strength.

3.

God delivers: gives power to the weak, increases strngth.


PSALM 46 (Martin Luther's Psalm)

1.

VV.1-3: God is our refuge and strength so that we don't have to fear.

2.

VV.4-7: The constant flow of the gracious blessings of God, i.e.., river (Psalm 36:8), and the presence of the holy place of the tabernacle, etc., assure us that God is our refuge.

3.

VV. 8-11: By making wars cease resulting in peace (Micha 4:1-13), God proves that He is our refuge.

4.

Eternal God is our refuge: Deuteronomy 33:27.

5.

Six cities given to Levites to escape: Joshua 20:2, 7-8.

1.

Kadesh in Galilee (Holiness)

2.

Shechem in Ephraim

3.

Hebron in Judah

4.

Bezer in the wilderness

5.

Ramoth in Gilead

6.

Golan in Mannassah.

6. What are these cities to us?: REFUGE:

1.

R: Rejoice (Psalm 118:24); Repent (Matthew 3:2); Redeem: Galatians 4:5

2.

E: Edify one another: 1 Thessalonians 5:11

3.

F: Fellowship: 1 John 1:6

4.

U: Understand : Daniel 10:2

5.

G: Gather together: Mark 13:27

6.

E: Enjoy: 1 Timothy 6:17.

SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EXALTATION OF THE CROSS
(OCTOBER 20TH): LUKE 18:18-27

1.

In all first three Gospels, this incident is narrated: He is rich, young (Matthew 19:20), and ruler, but not satisfied ... he followed the rules, but not enough. Some attend services, fast, etc., bot don't do any good to others. They forget the grace of God (Ephesians 8:9); live in sin (James 4:17). Depart from evil and do good: Psalm 34:14.

2.

Approached God: When disatisfied, go to Him: "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).. the sweetrest verse in the Bible.

3.

Called Jesus, "Good Teacher" - a kind of flattery! Jesus reminded that all goodness must come from God: Matthew 19:16-17.

4.

Jesus points out the importance of following commandments: Don'ts ..... and honor.

5.

Lack one thing: What is that for each one of us?

6.

Give to the poor:

A.

Show compassion and concern for others : Give ourselves, time, talent, and treasure.

B.

Concern of ourselves: Explore, expect, and expand: Bible reading, prayer, fasting.

C.

Self-denial: Christ on the cross - self is transformed. Insecurity must be replaced with faith; realize the acts of God and the facts of life.

7.

Main obstacle is wealth: all three Gospels point out this.

8.

Solve the problems by following Jesus: Confession and absolution.

9.

Impossible with men are possible with God. Many things are impossible for men: History (wars and destructions); News: suicide, border disputes, shootings and killings; Personal experiences: family life, tests, job interviews. But nothing is impossible to God: converted the illiterate to be His Apostles, fed the needy, raised the dead, healed the sick, resurrected, and so on. Our cooperation need to make it possible: prayer, confession, communion.

10.

Eternal life is God's gift: Eternity, not quantity, but quality. Only God is eternal. Life with God is eternal life. There is no sin: fulness of goodness. God is light (1 John 1:5); God is love (1 John 4:8); fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Commandments are the guidelines to acquire eternity. Do's and dont's. Deny self and submit to God; share wealth; deny personal desires and aspirations and follow. Jesus did the father's will (John 6:38).


MATTHEW 19:13-15

1.

The disciples thought Jesus had more important things to do rather than entertain the children: Mark 10:13; Luke 18:15.

2.

Humility and simple faith of children: characteristics necessary for enetering God's kingdom: 1 Corinthians 14:20; 1 Peter 2:2.

3.

Do not neglect children.

4.

Jesus laid His hands upon the children.


ACTS 21:27-40

1.

The Jews stirred up the crowd against Paul.

2.

They seized Paul and arrested in the temple.

3.

The commander intervened.

4.

Paul spoke to them in Hebrew.


1 CORINTHIANS 5:6-13 The first few chapters of this epistle deal with

1.

Factionism within the Church

2.

Man living in incest,

3.

Greed that leads to sue each other in the public courts, and

4.

Marriage and Virginity (Chapter 7).

Here the emphasis are:

1.

Like a little leaven (Hosea 7:4; Matthew 16:6, 12; Galatians 5:9; 2 Timothy 2:17) makes the whole lump of dough rise, any sin corrupts the world.

2.

We have to get rid of all malice and wickedness and to live in sinceriety and truth.

3.

Do not have association with immoral people.

4.

God only judges those outside the Church.

5.

We must not have evil within us and to keep our Church "holy and without blemish" (Ephesians 5:27).


GENESIS 42:28-36

1.

Joseph restored their money.

2.

They reported to their father.

3.

Jacob's bereavement over his sons: v. 36.


PSALM 84

1.

The longing soul for the living God.

2.

The desire to reside permanently in God's presence

3.

Seeking God who gives strength is always worth the effort.

4.

A door keeper - a worshipper - in the house of God gives full satisfaction.

5.

Like sun, God provides light, heat, energy and protection. The righteous gets all kinds of grace from God.

ISAIAH 43:16-25

1.

God showed His power in Exodus 4:9; 14:16, 21-22.

2.

God delivers in new ways.

3.

Do not burden God with our sins.

4.

God blots out sins; those who transgress will suffer.

SEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EXALTATION OF THE CROSS
(OCTOBER 27TH): MATTHEW 5:21-26

1.

Not only the act of murder is forbidden, but the angry spirit itself is wrong. God judges the hidden crimes: 1 John 3:15; James 2:20; 3:6. Sinful thoughts lead to murder: Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17. When angry, no digestion or sleep. Calm down. Do not hurt others even with words. When Jesus got angry over the fig tree or at the temple, no revenge there; no fight. Our character is important than our actions. When character is better, we do our best. Anger, ridicule, irritation... all make us uncomfortable.

2.

We have to reconcile with our neighbors before we go to worship God: Job 42:8; 1 Timothy 2:8; 1 Peter 3:7; Proverbs 25:8; Luke 12:58-59. Get right with God. If division, try to come together immediately: Ephesians 4:26. Repent and confess. Have clear conscience and good feeling; nip at the bud; curb at the beginning. Reconciliation is the key: 2 Corinthians 5:19.

a.

Reconciliation of those who are shattered internally;

b.

Reconciliation of those who are estranged each other;

c.

Reconciliation of all to God. We have to forgive the sins of others and be forgiven: The Lord's Prayer.

3.

SERVE:

A.

Christ emptied Himself taking the form of a servant: Philippines 2:7.

B.

Son of Man came to serve: Mark 10:42-45.

C.

Christ washed the feet: John 13:13-15

D.

Suffering Servant: Isaiah 53

E.

Enabling Ministry: Help to come to themselves for reconciliation with God. He inspires hope (look); He inspires confidence (trust); He awakens (desire and faith).


LUKE 12:13-21

1.

The oldest brother gets a double portion of a family inheritance along with the responsibility to the welfare of the mother and unmarried sister. Younger heirs receive single portion: Genesis 25:29-34.

2.

Have concern for right attitude rather than about money.

3.

The rich man is only concerned about him: Six "I" s and four "MY's"; no "OURS" or "THINE's".

4.

The person who trusts in wealth makes a foolish investment. He thinks that: Wealth is for hoarding (v.18); for personal pleasure (v.19); wealth can satisfy the deeper needs of human life (vv.20-21).

5.

Such people are "not rich toward God": 1 Timothy 6:18-19; James 2:5; 5:1-5.


LUKE 12:49-59

1.

Jesus' death would force people to choose for or against Him and thus kindle the fire (conflict between good and evil) of division between those who follow Him and those who do not. ... faithful and unfaithful families ... so diifferences of opinion...trials and tribulations to all followers.

2.

Jesus' death is His baptism. Believers will suffer persecution; unbelievers, the fire of judgment.

3.

We should realize the time of His coming through the signs we see, watch, and experience.

4.

We should choose what is right: Proverbs 25:8; Psalm 32:6; Isaiah 55:6. Give more importance to spirituality.


1 PETER 2:15-17

1.

Do good and make quite those who refuse to understand and accept the Gospel.

2.

The believer is free from sin and free to live according to love (Matthew 22:37-40) by making His will our will: Luke 22:42.

3.

Honor all; have concern for the welfare of all people; love everyone; give ultimate loyalty to God and respect civil authorities.


1 CORINTHIANS 6:9-11

1.

Those who do not have right relationship with God which comes by God's grace through faith will not inherit the kingdom of God.

2.

Those who are listed have to forsake sin and confess for inheritance.

3.

Jesus redeemed several of them by the Holy Spirit: washed, sanctified and justified: cf. Revelation 1:5.


EXODUS 12:43-51

1.

The foreigners are ineligible to eat the passover.

2.

The sojourners and the hired servants are also ineligible.

3.

Only the circumcised are eligible.

4.

All followed the Lord's commandment.


JOB 23:1-7

1.

Job expresses his imagination to find God, rather than respond to his friends: Eliphaz, Bildad Zophar.

2.

Job's confidence to present a good case.

3.

Job is bitter because of his suffering and the false accusations of his friends.

4.

Job is confident to find justice as God is righteous: Psalm 97:2.

5.

Job's goal is to restore his communion with God.

6.

God has compassion for all who seek Him sincerely: Psalm 103:13-14.

7.

God would deliver the upright person for ever after hearing his case.


ISAIAH 52:1-15

1.

Prerpare for the salvation.

2.

Redeem from sin freely: 55:1-2

3.

If we remain in sin without corrections, we blaspheme God.

4.

The messengers bring good news that the Lord has based his holy arm for that warning in progression: "Listen" (51:1), "Awake" (51:17; 52:1); and "Depart" (52:11).

5.

Through the Suffering Servant, the Lord delivers the whole world from sins.

SERIES 12 (LOL VOL:2 ISSUE:16 NOVEMBER 1-30,2002)

SANCTIFICATION/CONSECRATION SUNDAY (KOODOSH ETHO): NOVEMBER 3RD.

GENERAL:

1.

New Beginning: CHURCH Calendar begins today: the First Sunday of the Liturgical Year (Falls on the Last Sunday of October or the First Sunday of November). Hanuka of Jews.

2.

Misuse and Abuse: Antiochus Epipanus defiled Jerusalem temple. Judah Maccabee recaptured, consecrated and dedicated. Nehemiah came from Babylon, built the walls of Jerusalem in 52 days and returned. When he came back, found the temple unholy...instead of incense in the cells, found things of Thobiah, non-Jew who lead the opposition to rebuild. Power and authority misused. So sanctification needed.

3.

God's Qualities: God is holy (Holy art, Thou O, God). God is immortal (Holy art Thou, Immortal). Holiness leads to immortality. God created man in His own image with reasoning (to know what is good or evil) and will power.

4.

God sanctifies the Church. Church is the extension of the Incarnation. So it is holy. Church is also of the redeemed society...sinners' group. So it is unholy. Thus sanctification needed. Sanctification is essential to see and to be with the holy God (Exodus 29:44-45).

5.

Holy and Unholy: Tabernacle was very beautiful inwardly (Exodus 26:1ff), but the covering was of ram skins (26:14). Even though we are holy, we are unholy too.

6.

Sanctification and dedication of individuals and families. Should know who Jesus is. Not of intelligence, knowledge, or wisdom, but of personal experience. We have to love our Lord (John 21:15-22). We have to understand personally who He is (Matthew 16:13-23; Mark 8:27-33).

7.

Sanctification: To set apart from the ordinary to make holy as sacred...to radiate, emanate, illuminate or transform. It is renewal and purification. The temple of God is holy. We are the temples. We must be the indwelling place of God...the state of holiness given through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It happens after justification. It is a process. It happens through personal faith and submission to the will of God. No more sinning (1 John 3:6). Sin is subdued through Incarnation. Only those with oil in the vessels will be selected. Church is holy. Holy Spirit works in it. God works in holy hearts. We have to eradicate all the evil and unrighteous thoughts and actvities from our hearts (Ephesians 5:26-27). We have to wash away all the dirt and dust. "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean" (Psalms 51:7). We attain blessedness through baptism to grow with holiness in Him. We have to continue that. Church has the responsibility to attract the world to Almighty God. Spiritual enlightenment is needed to attain this. We should be purified day by day. The first step to sanctification is confession that Jesus is Lord and God and also of our sins. Jesus praised Peter at the first confession; but he was scolded for the second. When the dirt is removed from something, it becomes clean. We pray and sanctify for spirituality. We are created with love. We become sinners due to our selfishness. When our sins are forgiven through repentance and confession, we are cleansed and sanctified (Ephesians 4:24). The love and unity in Trinity is sanctity (John 17:21). We have to try to be perfect (Matthew 5:48). The result is heavenly bliss and happiness (Psalm 32:1). Do the will of God (John 4:34). Rejoice at the success of others. Sanctification of the members of the Church: (Ephesians 5:25-27). The goal of Incarnation and Crucifixion was for the sanctification of the Church: John 17:19-20. Sanctification is based on the heart: Matthew 5:8; 12:34; 15:18-20. Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7; Luke 6:45. Serve Him (Deuteronomy 11:13) and obey Him (13:14) wholeheartedly. No peace for the wicked (Isaiah 48:22). Humble before God (James 4:8). Man was created in God's image. God is love. We should be liberated from sin and be in love in everything. Then we enjoy forgiveness (Psalm 32:1-5) and be happy (Galatians 5:22). Positional sanctification: cleansed of past sins (1 Corinthians 6:11) and become a "new creation" in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) Progressive sanctification: Being made holy by the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 7:1). Become holy day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16) Permanent sanctification: Becoming holy in all aspects of life (1 Peter 1:15-16) by making all effort (Hebrews 12:14). We have to work out our salvation (Philippians 2: 12-13) by loving righteousness and hating wickedness (Hebrews 1:9). Renew the mind (Romans 12:2) and have "holy and godly conduct" (2 Peter 3:11). It is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). Cleansed everythinmg (Nehemiah 13:30).

8.

Prepare the Church for the Incarnation. It is the beginning of the preparations for the birth of Jesus Christ. Here on, all Scripture readings touch on the same topic. Sanctification is necessary at the beginning. We sanctify the church and the house before we start using them. This day all members enter into the new year with sanctification for the preparation of the birth of Jesus Christ into our hearts...: sanctification through the Holy God (none is holy, except the one Holy Father, the one Holy Son, and the one Holy Spirit), through tears of repentance, confession and holy communion. All were sanctified before receiving the Ten Commandments.

9.

No intermarriages

10.

First fruits to help.


ST. MATTHEW 16:13-23: ST. PETER'S CONFESSION OF FAITH
1.

Peter (Greek): Stone or Rock (Cephas is Aramaic)

2.

The question was asked at Caeceria Philippi, geographically and historically a notable place.

3.

Jesus is the Savior: Peter proclaimed during their meeting that Jesus is the Savior (Daniel in his dream saw as Son of God: 7:13)

4.

Jesus was rejoiced to know that at least some knew that He is Messiah.

5.

What do we think of Jesus Christ? Jesus enquired how ordinary people consider Him. God knows everything and doesn't need anybody's testimony (John 2:25). But God likes to know our views and impressions. What others think of us? Neighbors, friends. What our own people think of us? wife/husband, children, parents, brothers, sister, in-laws?

6.

Incomplete information: Do not know the facts: Some think as John the Baptist, His fore-runner; others, Elijah (Malachi 4:5: fiery prophet), or Jeremiah (1:10; Maccabees 15:14). Incomplete information leads to inconsistency.

7.

Make use of the opportunity: The disciples got a chance to testify who Jesus is. We should make use of the opportunity to witness and preach the Lord.

8.

No individual greatness: Peter's declaration of faith came from God. The declaration of faith is the foundation of the Church.

9.

Jesus is the Rock: Pointing upon Himself, Jesus said that the Church will be built; also that of the faith Peter proclaimed. Church is not based on any human being. Jesus is the corner stone; Prophets and Apostles are foundation stones; faithful are the building stones (1 Corithians 3:16; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6). The Lord is the builder (Zechariah 6:11-13; Isaiah 44:28) and the Church is built on the faith of the Apostles.

10.

The Builder: Jesus is the builder so that the powers of evil will not be able to step on it.

11.

Forgiveness of sins given to the Church: The key to forgive sin helps enter to the kingdom of God.

12.

To all disciples: Keys for the kingdom of heaven were given to all disciples after the resurrection (Luke 22:14-30; John 20:21-23; Matthew 28:19-20; Ephesians 4:8)

13.

God is the authority: Only God can give this authority to enter into the kingdom.

14.

The Keys: The truths of the Gospel, the keys, are given to St. Peter as well as to all the disciples.

15.

Need Faith: We have to have faith to testify ours (1 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Peter 2:5)

16.

Rock/Stumbling Stone: When Peter confessed Jesus as Christ, he was a rock; when he encouraged Jesus to avoid suffering, he became a stumbling block.

17.

Troubles and oppositions: There will be troubles and oppositions for the spreading of the Gospel, but will triumph at the end (2 Corinthians 4:9; 6:9; Revelations 12:14). Face such troubles courageously.

18.

Tell only at the right time: To prepare for the kingdom of God, asked not to tell until His resurrection. Preaching only after.


ST. MARK 8:27-33: ST. PETER'S CONFESSION OF JESUS AS CHRIST
1.

Search Around: Search around to see who or what we are.

2.

Find out from close Relatives who we are.

3.

Affirm our faith: "You are the Christ": St. Peter declared

4.

Wait till the time come: Jesus refused to tell any one (1:44; 5:43; 7:36; 8:26, 30) until the right time (9:9). Only at His Trial, Jesus claimed to be the Christ (14:62).

5.

Face the consequences: Jesus rebuked Peter. We will be too, if we "are not mindful of the things of God."


ST. JOHN 21: 15-19: SIMON PETER COMMISSIONED
1.

Breakfast with the risen Lord: The first meal of the first day of the week shall be the Lord's meal, Holy Communion. If Sunday is a fun day, week days shall be weak days.

2.

Jesus' third appearance: In the second, Thomas was convinced and here Peter was commissioned.

3.

Sincere and serious conversation: After the meal, spent some time together for a serious business. Not joking or making funs: pious and sincere.

4.

Jesus healed his disciple's wounds: Peter was ashamed of denying Jesus. In the garden, Peter struck the ear of the servant. Thereafter he followed Jesus, but denied Jesus three times. Jesus looked at him (Luke 22:61) to signify that He still loved him. Peter repented. "Love is the positive side of penitence, while sorrow is the negative." (Remorse or atrition is self-love. Contrition is love of God).

5.

"Do you love me more than these?" The game we play with children using hand signals: "How much do you love me? This much" and finally asking: "Do you love Jesus this much?"
a.

More than fishing (Mark 1:16-17.

b.

More than these people (Mark 14:25-35): All human beings or more than other disciples (Mark 14:27-31)

c.

Pierced into the heart of Peter

d.

Same question toward us: Do we love Him?

6.

Peter says that he does: Can we say with the same sinceriety?

7.

Feed the lamb: Importance of training and entertaining our children.

8.

Questioning 2nd time: Affirmative answer: "I love you"

9.

Tend my sheep: "Shepherd my people" (Matthew 2:6). "All the flock" (Acts 20:28). Lord is the great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20. Astrayed sheep to return (1 Peter 2:25). Shepherd the flock of God (1 Peter 5:2,4). Sheep of the pasture: Psalms 79:13; Sheep in the midst of wolves: Matthew 10:16; Lost sheep: Matthew 15:24. Divide sheep and goats: sheep on the right hand: Matthew 25:32-33. Scattered sheep: Matthew 26:31.

10.

Asked third time: Peter was grieved for asking again and again.

11.

Why repetition?: To make sure; to strengthen the faith and love.

12.

Complete submission and dedication: Lord, you know all things: You know all of my activities, dealings and everything. Jesus knows everyone and every-thing (John 2:24; 16:30).

13.

Feed my sheep (goat): Not only children and women, but also men.

14.

Where are our lambs, sheep and goats? Do we feed and tender them properly?

15.

Reinstated: Earlier Peter said: Even though they all fall away, I will not" (Mark 14:29). Then he denied Jesus three times (Luke 22:54-62). Jesus foretold this (Luke 22:34). Here Peter was reinstated.

16.

When young: Walk anywhere we want (Sometimes, we should not go anywhere we want). Moses to lead Israel, St. Thomas to India, St. Paul for all his works. Christ gives us the courage to go.

17.

When old: Others direct us. Have to depend upon some one else.

18.

Suffering helps for goodness: Peter was warned about suffering and persecution.

19.

Glorify death: Peter did.

20.

Keep His word: If we love Him, we have to keep His word: John 14:23. God loves everyone. No discrimination.

21.

Follow Him: When Peter was reinstated, called to follow Him.

22.

What do we love most? Money? (the root of all evil). Health? still get sick. Food? Diet; Clothes? For selfishness and prestige? When we have everything, forget God. Happened to Solomon that led to immoral life.

23.

Love Jesus: Calvary and His love towards us. God blesses us daily. Live our best. Children follow the footsteps of parents. God want us to follow His will and be saved. Went out to look for the lost sheep. Also said to lay one's life for the sheep. We have to attract people to save by preaching the Gospel (Mark 16:16) and by teaching Christ's precepts (Matthew 28:20). We are ordained to and appointed to lead in faith, in Christ's knowledge, and to grow to the fulness of Christ (Ephesians 4:12-13). The responsibility of the Church lies in individuals, families and parishes.


1 PETER 2: 1-12: WE BELONG TO GOD

1.

Lay aside all our bad traits and habits

2.

Grow in God's grace

3.

The foundation stone of the Church, the spiritual house, is Jesus. We are the stones built upon Him.

4.

We are a chosen generation, royal priesthood, holy nation and His special people (Exodus 19:5-6)

5.

We should be model. Others should glorify God by seeing our good works.


1 CORINTHIANS 3:16-17; 6:15-20: FLEE FROM IMMORALITY

1.

Be careful: We are the temple of God: The Church

2.

Think and act according to God's will: John 17:22-23

3.

Flee away from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:9-11): Homosexuals could repent and come to grace (Matthew 11:23-24). It would be easy for them to come to judgement than any others (Revelations 20:11-12). We have to hate sin and love sinners who repent (Matthew 5:44-46; John 13:34-35). We have to forgive the trespasses of others (Matthew 6:14-15). We also need forgiveness (Romans 6:23). Some willingly and willfully choose this sinful life-style. Some are victims. Unhappy and broken marriages and dyfunctional family life are the root causes. They still have hope in the kingdom of God.

4.

We are bought with a price: Death of Christ on the cross.

5.

Have complete surrender: Romans 12:1-2


EXODUS 33:7-11; 40:17-38: GOD'S GLORY

1.

Moses prayed to God for His presence and God talked to him as a friend.

2.

All the people worshipped God.

3.

Young Joshua stayed at the tabernacle

4.

The tabernacle was completed as God commanded.

5.

They experienced God's presence in their activities.


ISAIAH 6:1-8: ISAIAH'S VISION AND CALL 1. Isaiah saw God in a vision: John 12:41; Revelations 4:2-3; 20:11. Isaiah was desperate and disappointed. King Uziah died. Went to temple in search of God to lay down all his sorrows before Him. Repented and confessed. Forgiveness and challenge. Do we get such experiences through our worship services? 2. Isaiah saw angels praising the Lord God: We see the glory of Jesus when we begin our prayer. Jesus is God, holy, mighty and immortal crucified for us. We declare this faith. We realize our sinfulness and like Isaiah, we pray: "Lord, have mercy upon us". Need complete dedication, submission and commitment. 3. Isaiah felt that he is unclean. We have to realize our sins and transgressions. 4. Holy Communion: The live coal touched his lips to take away the iniquity and to purge the sin. 5. Trinitarian: "US": The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. 6. Who will go for Him? Big challenge! Big call! "I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." (John 4:35). Thousands of people have been evangelized throuhout the past twenty centuries all over the world. There are hundreds of villages still in India to reach the good news of the Gospel. 7. Send me; here I am: Are we ready? NOTE: HALLOWEEN: Eve of Hallow (sanctify): "Hallowed be Thy Name" (from the Lord's prayer). From the 4th century onwards, all the dead (ghosts) were allowed to visit...thus HALLOWEEN on the 31st evening of October... the tradition goes on. November 1st is ALL SAINTS' DAY...so the eve of the sanctification day.
ST. GREGORIOS DAY (PARUMALA THIRUMENY): (NOVEMBER 2)
1. FIVE KINDS OF PEOPLE:
1.

Progressive Accomadationists: Seek peace and harmony in the community; economic prosperity and co-operation (Jesse Jackson)

2.

Prophetic Radicals: Fight for social justice; see God as a liberator and judge (Martin Luther King)

3.

Redemptive Rationalists: Separate themselves from society (Louis Farrakhan). Consider themselves independent and superior to the political structure. Weeknight meetings and personal salvation (Pentecostal)

4.

Prosperity Positivists: To acquire material goods: Health, wealth and success; eat, drink and be merry.

5.

Idealstic Models: St. Gregorios of Parumala. Gregorios: Vigilant (One who is awake). Yes, His Grace is still awake and contineously praying for us, even though the only decalred patron saint of our Church in India passed away in 1902. "The greatest man has shortest life." Jesus: 33 1/2 years; John the baptist was beheaded very young; St. Stephen was stoned to death very young; St. Basil at 49 and St. Gregorios of Parumala at 54. Born in 1848. Mother died very early. Older sister Mariam took care. At the age of 10, in 1858, ordained as deacon. Studied Syriac and hymns for 7 years with uncle Geevarghese Malpan who died of small pox. Young deacon also became ill and was on the verge of death when saw virgin Mother St. Mary in a vision saying that he won't die, but asked to dedicate his life to God (small pox led to dedicated life). After cure, continued education at Pampakuda Seminary. In 1866, at the age of 18, Pulikottil Mar Dionysius Metropolitan ordained as a priest, and at 19, to Cor Episcopa. At 24, in 1872, became Remban and stayed at Vettickal Dayara. In 1876, at the age of 28, became Metropolitan, the youngest and so got the name "Kochu Thirumeni". Metropolitan of Niranam Diocese and lived at Parumala. After 26 years of dedicated works in the Church, including 3 months of Holy Land visist in 1895, passed away in 1902 at the age of 54 and was buried at Parumala which has become a shrine and sanctuary for thousands of pilgrims for intercessions and blessings.

1.

Saint: "Many are called, few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14) to sainthood. Was a living force. Tender in heart ... helped the needy. Humble in words and deeds. Very truthful...told the truth in the case against him. Several were cured even in life time. Sanctity of life. Special personal preparation to celeberate Holy Qurbana; readiness to suffer for doing good (1 Peter 3:17). Mixed feelings of spirituality, enlightenment and sanctity. Declared saint in 1947. Received permanent place in the hearts of millions.

2.

Walked with God: "Can two walk together unless they are agreed?" (Amos 3:3). Walked not before or after, but with Abraham and Enoch (Genesis 5:22). Close relationship.

3.

Talked with God: Prayerful life. Communion and communication with God. All the canonical prayers at due time...even on the death bed. Daily prayers, meditation and fasting and daily routines very accurate. "MUTTINMEL NILKUNNA CHATHURUTHY"... some one called in teasing. If we miss bed coffee, headache. If Thirumeny missed prayer, irritation. Man of prayer. Prayer is the one that brings truth, religious faith, honesty and respect among the people. "Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever" (Daniel 12:3).

4.

Worked with God: Loved God and man. Forgiveness, kindness, eagerness to do the right thing always, discipline. Faith preserver, philanthropic, administrator (Niranam, Thumpamon, Quilon Dioceses), prophet and good shepherd. Complete dedication and submission to God. Looked after the sick and the destitutes. Prayed and removed epidemic diseases like small pox. Healed the sick. Ascetic charity, humility and poverty.

5.

Educator: MGM High School, Thiruvalla. Great students like late Baselius Geevarghese Catholicos, Vattasseril Dionysius Metropolitan, Konattu Mathen Malpan, Mattackal Alexander Malpan. Education for the low caste.

6.

Missionary: 100 or so people became Christians at Chengannoor. In 1889, Alvaris Metropolitan to Goa and Ceylon. In 1892, Mar Thimotheos was consecrated at Ceylon and sent to America. "Commander of the Crown of Thorns". In 1895, Jerusalem Tour for three months with a party of 7 others in the group.

7.

Creative Writer/Man of Letters: Travalogue: The brief and charming description of a three month visit of Jerusalem and the adjacent places of importance: Jesus' birth, ministry, crucifixion, burial, and ascension (Jerusalem Yathra Vivaranam). 50 pastoral epistles, articles and private letters; writings on education, moral integrity, social welfare' justice to the down-trodden, prayers, etc.

8.

Orator: Original thinker and theologian

9.

Peace Maker: In parihes through love, kindness, and Godfearing. With opposing groups through hearty conversations.

10.

Few Recorded experiences: (1) Chathannoor Alexander Muthalali and his wife were cured (2) Mallappally V.T. Abraham was healed from small pox and a son was born to him (3) Son born and escaped from tragic illness in Australia (4) Kottuthala Thoma Ashan (instuctor) became Opadeshi (Preacher) (5) Teasing girl became a laughing stock and was cured by Thirumeny (6) Ayyampally temple procession stopped the percussions at the front of Ayyampally church through the mediation of Thirumeny at the death of a participant (7) P.P. Paulose of Thengelil was cured from artheritis (8) Chirathalackal C.V. Mathai, Kaviyoor found his lost copper pot through the intercession of the saint.

11.

Documentary: The video tape produced on the life and works of the saint gives sme insight of St. Gregorios of Parumala.

12.

Parumala Seminary: In 1872, Korula Mathen of Arikupurathu, gave a small portion of land as a gift to Pulikottil Joseph Mar Dionysius Metropolitan who built a small building there to train the deacons. In 1876, Parumala Thirumeny built a church there and became His Grace's residence and later became Thirumeny's resting place in 1902. Yuyakim Mar Ivanios is also buried there in 1925. Several ordinations, consecrations, conferences, elevations, three Malankara Associations (1878, 1992 and 2002) and hundreds of baptisms and weddings conducted there. Also now there is a 72 room retreat house, 2 dorms, a big hall, 27 housing unit and a hospital adjacent to the seminary. The church has been enlarged with modern architecture format and is one of the biggest church buildings in our Church.


JAMES 5:13-18: THE PRAYER OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN HAS A POWERFUL EFFECT (5:16)
1.

Nick name: St. James had a nick name: Camel Knees: Spent too much time in prayer on knees (Monks, carpet layers: Their knees)

2. Life without prayer is empty: Like a car with an empty gas tank. Prayer mentioned seven times from 5:13-18. Men of prayers like Parumala Thirumeny.

3. 4 specific and practical situations:

a.

When afflicted (in trouble, suffering), pray: Afflicted in mind, spirit, discouragement...no promise of relief, but promises strength.

b.

When sick...pray... call the elder (clergy)...anoint with oil.

c.

When corrupted by sin: when violate the commandments and disciplines. .. when claiming rights without rites or paying dues without doing.

d.

When specific needs occur: Effective like medicine. Elijah prayed.

Prayer is to be contineous, not for emergencies only. Prayer is not for the perfect, but for the imperfect....Have some quiet times every day before the Almighty.
4. Two Groups: (1) People who keep waiting (2) People for whom kept waiting.
DEDICATION SUNDAY (HOODOS ETHO): NOVEMBER 10TH

1.

Dedication after sanctification: Dedication: Christ in us (1 Corinthians 3:16) Building becomes church only after sanctification and dedication. Sacrifice of incense after sin offering. We are of God. We shall be dedicated to Him so that we will be increased, like the five loaves and two fish and still had left over. When we are filled with love, dedication becomes real. Jesus loved us and lived for us (2 Cori. 5:14-15). Do everything for His glorification (1 Cori. 4:10). In the Eucharist service, we must immerse in it, dedicate and submit.

2.

Dedication and renewal: King Solomon built the Jerusalem temple, but was destroyed and rebuilt several times. Earlier Ezra and Nehemiah took the leadership. In B.C. 170, Antiochus Epiphanus, the Syrian leader, again defeated the Jews and defiled Jerusalem temple. Judah Maccabee regained, rebuilt and rededicated it. They found just enough oil to keep the lamp lit for one day, but it burned for eight days. Jews celebrate this even now:: HANUKKAH, the festival of lights, with songs, games, candle lights, gifts, and delicious foods. Church is God's temple (John 2:19-21; Ephesians 2:22; 1 Peter 2:45) and all faithful are temples of God (1 Cori. 3:16; 6:19). A decorated and beautifully painted and structured building doesn't mean that it is the house of God. Contineous worship and communion with God make it God's temple. Mary Magdaline, Mother Teressa, Father Damian, Parumala Thirumeny, all dedicated their lives to God. Do His will (John 4:34; 5:30; 8:50; 14:10; 17:4). In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus (Colossians 3:17) and for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). The love of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14) should compel us for our complete dedication.

3.

"Suitcase Parishes": We have such parishes; but still hold full parish status.

4.

Among Critics: Jesus was not in the midst of His supporters, but among His critics who denied Him. They came prepared to question Jesus. They found fault at Him.

5.

Divine Authority: They questioned Jesus' authority. What authority? - of God - not of wealth (widow's offering), but of complete dedication: Authority to serve, not just to rule like Jews. We have to commit before the divine authority, not of the worldly power.

6.

Aptitude/Attitude/Altitude: One's attitude, not aptitude determines his/hers altitude (height of something measured in relation to a reference level: above the earth's surface (sreshtatha).

7.

Listen carefully: Relationship of sheep and the shepherd; listen carefully and follow.


ST. JOHN 10:22-38: HAVE FAITH

1.

Tricky question: Jesus was asked whether He is Christ to "catch" Him. If Jesus says that He is Christ, He could be labelled as a rebel against the Roman Governor; if not, to say that He is tricking the people.

2.

Nothing Particular: Jesus did not claim anything particular. Jews were just the opposite. Only to Samaritan woman, Jesus revealed that He is Christ (John 4:26).

3.

Accept Him: Jews did not accept the words or works of Jesus. They did not change even though they realized that Jesus was Messiah.

4.

Recognize Jesus: Recognize Him by His sound and knowledge and follow. Good shepherd go after even one lost sheep.

5.

Watch and Believe: Jesus and the Father are One. "A tree is known by its fruits."

6.

Do Good Things: Jews tried to stone Jesus. Why throw at people who do good things? We have to humble ourselves on this day and seek goodness: Psalms 4:6.

7.

Be Mild: Throw roses, not rock: Eph. 4:25-32 (Lion : "Who is the King?' Rabbit: "Ofcourse, you are" Monkey: "Certainly, you are the king" Elephant: Caught the lion at its trunk and threw him to the ground. Lion got back and said: "If you don't know the answer, you don't have to be rough, be nice).

8.

Examine Oneself: Jesus told the Jews to stone the woman who was caught in adultery by one who is without sin (John 8:7). Stick in the eyes, but see speck in others' (Matthew 7:1-5).

9.

Dedication during winter: Cold season. Warm up needed.

ST. LUKE 19:47-20:8: AUTHORITY CHALLENGED

1.

Jesus taught daily in the temple

2.

There were great opposition

3.

People listened to Jesus enthusiastically: Lk. 21:38

4.

Jesus' authority challenged

5.

Jesus answered with a question


ST. MARK 12: 41-44: POOR WIDOW GAVE ALL THAT SHE HAD

1.

The widow had little, but she gave all what she had

2.

God expects us to have this kind of attitude

3.

Jesus gave all of His for us.


ACTS 7: 44-53: CHRIST ESTABLISHED GOD'S TEMPLE

1.

Stephen's defense

2.

God does not dwell in the temple: 1 Kings 8:27; Acts 17:24

3.

Believers are God's temple: 1 Corinthians 6:19

4.

Obeying the Law is very important.


HEBREWS 9:1-14; PURGE THE CONSCIENCE

1.

The Old Testament Day of Atonement Sacrifices (Leveticus 6) could not cleanse the conscience.

2.

Christ's offerings of Himself purges the conscience and gained entrance into the heavenly sanctuary.


EXODUS 33: 7-11: MOSES, THE MEDIATOR

1.

Moses pitched in...to meet God

2.

Everyone went to see Moses with hope and expectation

3.

The Lord spoke to Moses face to face

4.

Joshua was a faithful servant


1 KINGS 8: 22-40; 1 CHRONICLES 29:1 FF; SOLOMON'S DEDICATION PRAYER

1.

Everyone donated gold, silver and lots of things to build the temple (1 Chr. 29:1-5)

2.

Everyone offered willingly: 1 Chr. 29:6-9

3.

They were all rejoiced: 29:9

4.

David praised the Lord: 29:10ff

5.

We give God only what comes from Him: 29:14

a.

"For whom and through Him and to Him are all things" (Romans 11:36)

b.

"You would have no power over me, if it were not given to you from above" : John 19:11

c.

Give us this day our daily bread: Lord's Prayer. Kingdom, power and glory are of God's

d.

"God has given me, and taken from me: Job

e.

God loves a cheerful giver

6.

Solomon stood before the altar and prayed

7.

He praised the God and thanked

8.

Called for forgiveness (1 Kings 8:27-30)

9.

Several concerns: sacred oaths (vv. 31-32); military degfeat (33-34); drought (35-36); other natural catastrophies (37-40).

10.

God knows the hearts of all (8:39 cf. Psl.139:1-2)


ISAIAH 55: 1-13: GOD'S PROMISE OF SALVATION

1.

Salvation is offered to all which shall be received with great gratitude.

2.

Everyone shall be drawn to God through faith.

3.

Even the mountains and field share the joy of her salvation.

ANNUNCIATION TO ZECHARIAH: LUKE 1:1-25 (NOVEMBER 17TH)
1.

God's Promise: A son promised to Abraham (Genesis 18: 1-15) just like to Zechariah. (Like Elizabeth, Sarai: Genesis 11:30; Rachel: Genesis 29:31; and Hannah: 1 Samuel 1:1ff were barren, but had children later).

2.

Priestly family: Levites were priestly tribes. Aaron's family was assigned priestly functions. During David's time, priests were divided into 24 groups and assigned to perform services according to turns (1 Chronicle 24:1; 2 Chronicles 23:4; 2 Kings 11:7). Abijah was the eighth (1 Chronicles 24:10). Zachariahs was the oldest in the tribe. Elizabeth was of the daughters of Aaron. Thus John was from the priestly family in both sides. Aaron's wife was Elizabeth (Exodus 6:21). So also Zachariahs'. End of Old Testament priesthood.

3.

Have faith: History of Israel begins with Abraham and ends with Zechariah. No children till old, but sons because of their deep faith.

4.

Israel's priesthood begins through Elizabeth, wife of Aaron; here the birth of John the Baptist, forerunner of our Lord, through another Elizabeth, wife of Zechariah.

5.

A joint Service: People prayed outside when the priest was doing incense inside the sanctuary.

6.

Work together: Abraham and Melkizedek ; Moses and Aaron; David and Abyathar; Zerubabel and Jeshua and Christ and John the Baptist worked together.

7.

Prayers are answered. They did not have a child. Desparations and sorrow, but did not forsake God (2: 36-37). Even if we lead a good life, that doesn't mean that all our prayers will be answered. Still they didn't forsake God. Job's wife did: Job 2:9. "Blessed is the pure in heart." Good people also have to face problems. When we have problems, remember Zachariahs and Hannah. Years of prayers and waiting. Here the couples were "righteous and blameless." They were faithful (Genesis 11:30; 17:17). Finally Aaron's rod "sprouted and put forth buds" and "produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds" (Numbers 17:8). Children should be born through our prayers. The child became the forerunner. So waiting was blissful.

8.

God's message while serving: Felt His presence. God is a very help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). Recite Psalm 23, five times a day for seven days. Here God revealed His glory while in service: Censor (Exodus 30:7-8)

9.

Doubts and punishments: Zechariah should not have doubted, but did. So punished. Abraham had no doubts (Romans 4:20). God's message through Gabriel to Daniel (8) and Ezekiel (3:26) and became speechless. Here different situation. Did not believe. So became mute.

10.

Punishment helped for reflection: Lots of time for prayer and meditation throughout until the child's birth. Time for reflection about God's grace and concern (Psalm 119:7). When we have problems, meditate.

11.

Blessed with a son of greatness: Great in the sight of the Lord. What else parents need? Parents get excited when they see the achievements of their children. Blessed parents dedicate their God-given children and talents. John like Samson (Judges 7:13) - different and like Jeremiah (1:5) - spirit filled. Isaiah's dreams: 47: 1, 5. Like Elijah, John preached of repentance and faith. Became Lord's fore-runner.

12.

Children born as a result of prayer became great: Isaac, Jacob, Samuel, Samson, John the Baptist.

13.

Accept God's revelation: Priests and leaders should accept God's revelations.

14.

Filled with Holy Spirit: Parents lived with the fear of God. So their son became filled with Holy Spirit in her womb as told by the angel. He was a great Nazir. (Anointing with Holy Oil - confirmation - strengthens us).

15.

We may be helpless, but not hopeless.

16.

Praise and thank God for the blessings we receive. Elizabeth did.

MATTHEW 19: 3-12
1.

Divorce is unchristian: Genesis 1:27; 2:24, 41; Matthew 5:31-32.

2.

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 is a concession to human sinfulness.

3.

The celebate can be free of family responsibilities to give themselves to the work of God.


LUKE 10: 38-42: MARY AND MARTHA
1.

Martha welcomed Jesus but got busy with other things

2.

Mary sat at Jesus' feet and learned.

3.

The needs of the spirit are more important than the comfort of the body.


2 PETER 1:1-5
1.

God gives us power to live holy lives.

2.

We must grow with diligence by cultivating the characteristics of virtue, knowledge, self control, perseverence, kindness and love.

3.

Our lives should produce the fruits of holiness (Galatians 5:22-25)

4.

We must encourage others toward heaven.


EPHESIANS 5: 21-6:4: HUSBANDS, WIVES AND CHILDREN
1.

Spirit-filled Christians freely submit themselves to one another.

2.

Mutual submission is to be carried out between wives and husbands and between children and parents.

3.

Submission underlines love.

4.

We are all members of Christ's body

5.

The unity of husband and wife (Genesis 2:24) is similar to the unity of Christ and the Church.

6.

Instruct and correct children to serve the Lord rather than unreasonably severe.


GENESIS 2: 18-25; 17:15-22; 37:1-11

1.

Loneliness is not good.

2.

God made a living companion to Adam out of his rib.

3.

Adam and Eve became one flesh.

4.

Sarah became mother of the people of God (Abram became Abraham and Sarai became Sarah...status changed: Revelations 2:17).

5.

God blessed Abraham with a child: Isaac.

6.

Jacob's favoritism along with Joseph's report caused hatred.

7.

Joseph's dreams: The dreamer later became an interpreter of dreams (40:9-19; 41:25-32) and everyone bowed before him (43:26; 44:14).

8.

Brothers envied Joseph.

9.

Father kept the matter in mind. cf. Luke 2:19, 51: Mother of Jesus...Also Daniel 7:28


NUMBERS 8: 13-20 God chose Levites for full time MINISTRY
1 SAMUEL 1: 9-17

1.

Hannah prayed for a son

2.

Hannah did not get mad, but pleaded to Eli.

3.

Hannah was blessed by Eli as well as God.


RUTH 1: 11-18

1.

Naomi pleaded Orpah and Ruth, her daughters-in-laws to return to their mother's.

2.

Orpah returned with relutance.

3.

Ruth stayed with Naomi uttering that only death parts her from Naomi.


PSALMS 133: 1-3

1.

Importance of unity among people

2.

Oil used in the consecration of high priest: Exodus 29:7

3.

Mount Hermon: Site of unusually heavy dew, a great blessing.


ISAIAH 41:8-15 The Lord's servant need not fear. God will not abandon His servant, only strengthen.
ANNUNCIATION TO ST. MARY, MOTHER OF GOD (NOVEMBER 24TH)

LUKE 1: 26-38

1.

Twice a year: We observe the Annunciation twice a year, this time for the continuity of the events and then on March 25th to make nine months December 25th, i.e., Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity born from St. Mary. God sent Him down after sanctification (John 10:36), dedication , and then the annunciation to Zachariahs. Sanctification is needed for Mary, being the generation from Adam. That is why angel Gabriel was sent to her. Holy Spirit dwelt in her and she dedicated herself. We should also.

2.

Joseph was from David's and Mary of Aaron and Elizabeth's ancestry.

3.

Mary, the same name of the sister of Moses and Aaron (Miriam).

4.

Mary was a Galelian (from Nazareth) like Elijah, Elisha, Jonah and all prophets of the gentiles.

5.

Mary's sanctity, humility and patience: Her Godfearing and dedicated life from childhood prepared her for this selection and blessings to be the Mother of God. Her birth was like that of Isaac, Samson, John the Baptist - through God's revelation. Her humility made her to be called for the great position (1 Samuel 15:22 vs. Eve's disobedience). There are only very few references about Mary, only once outside the Gospels (Acts 1:14). She talked very rarely. Her silence. "Speech is silver, silence is golden." Follow God's commandments completely and whole-heartedly. St. Anne's Church at St. Stephen's gate (the place where St. Mary was born to Hanna and Yuyakim).

6.

She is "full of grace". Angel appeared when she was in prayer as Zachariahs was burning incense in the temple (Prarthippan Dhaivathin Munpil Mariam Ninnidum-nnaram....)

7.

Mary's Faith: Mary was selected and anointed. She accepted the challenge. When she was told that she will be conceived by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, she believed and asked no more questions.

8.

Vision made Zachariahs frightened - punished. Message made Mary excited...cleared doubts. Mary took a big "risk." Her complete submission. Zachariahs hesitated.

9.

Angel with the message: To Eve, a fallen angel (sin); To Mary, Arch angel (salvation); To Mary Magdaline, Angel (Good news of resurrection).

10.

Good news: Son of the Most High (Luke 1:32) to be born through her... a virgin. Messianic prophecy (2 samuel 7:2-12) fulfilled in St. Luke 1:31-33.

11.

Special Greetings: Abraham, Jacob, Joshua, Samson's parents, Isaiah, Zachariahs - all saw angels face to face, but no greetings to any one of them.

a.

To St. Mary: "Hail Mary, full of Grace" (1:30)

b.

To St. Paul: "My grace is sufficient for you"

12.

The name "Jesus" was chosen even before birth (Numbers 13:16: Joshua, conqueror of Canan / heaven; Ezra 3:8; 5:2: builder of the temple and the high priest). Jesus is the Savior.

13.

The works of the Holy Spirit for the Incarnation and thereafter.

14.

Jesus is the Son of God and St. Mary is the Mother of God.

15.

St. Mary is blessed with full of GRACE (1:28)... not immaculate conception...cf. Romans 5:20 ... where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. She had original sin The presence of God with her and the blessing of God upon her.

16.

Commit to His hands: "Here am I, Thy servant." Obedience, submission and dedication. We are just clay in the hands of the potter. Eve listened to the devil and sinned. Virgin Mary listened to the messanger to overcome that sin. By Christ we receive all Grace: Titus 3:3-5. God is always with us: Matthew 28:20.

17.

Nothing is impossible with God: Through Holy Spirit, Incarnation. We should be ready to do anything for our salvation...need our dedication, cooperation, and faith (Martha was told to do so (John 11:40). Do the will of God. Whatever we have is God's: 1 Corinthians 4:7; Acts 7:28). Submit everything before Him. Holy Spirit upon Mary as on Apostles to preach the Gospel.

18.

Participate: Mary suffered along with Jesus being near the cross, witnessing crucifixion. She was there even while the disciples ran away. She was with the Apostles who met to pray in order to strengthen in Holy Spirit before Ascension. Like St. Paul, we have to participate (Colossians 1:24).

19.

The woman's seed bruise the serpent's head (Genesis 3:15) and the fulfillment in Isaiah 7:14 (the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and shall call His name IMMANUEL) is completed by the Annunciation and therafter by the Incarnation.

LUKE 1:26-38

1.

Mary was "highly favored" in the eyes of God.

2.

The Lord was with her

3.

She is blessed among women

4.

"Do not be afraid"

5.

Her son will be great--Son of God

6.

Mary clarified by asking sincere questions

7.

The power of the Holy Spirit

8.

Everything is possible with God: Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17; Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Romans 4:21.

LUKE 1:30: DO NOT BE AFRAID:

A.

God to Abraham: Genesis 15:1 Angel to Mary: Luke 1:30 Angel to Joseph: Matthew 1:20 Christ: Luke 5:10; 12:32; 24:36-37; Matthew 14:27; 28: 10

B.

Do not be afraid of God: do not be afraid to say, "Father" - "Our Father" (Matthew 6:9). Do not be afraid of God who became man. He is the Messiah ("Matthew 16:16). Do not fear the truth about ourselves.

C.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: Psalms 111:10; Proverbs 1:7

D.

Fear the Lord and depart from evil: Proverbs 3:7

E.

"I will not be afraid": Psalms 3:6

F.

If we do evil, be afraid: Romans 13:4

ACTIVE ASPECT: " My Grace is sufficient"... to St. Mary and St. Paul RELATIVE ASPECT: The outcome of His Grace.
LUKE 8:16-21

1.

We have to reveal the light

2.

Those who truly obey will receive greater spiritual understanding and those who refuse will loose it.

3.

Even the close relatives couldn't meet Jesus if there is a big "crowd"

4.

Those who obey are the memmbers of God's family.

MARK 3:31-35

1.

Jesus' family came looking for Him

2.

A great multitude listened Jesus

3.

Whoever does the will of God becomes members of God's family.

1 JOHN 3:2-17

1.

We are children of God

2.

Sinning is disregarding God's will and law

3.

Christ, who has no sin, takes away our sins

4.

We have to repent our sins

5.

As God is righteous, we shall also be righteous

6.

Like Jesus, we must show our love in practical ways

7.

Evil people cannot love.


GALATIANS 4:1-7; HEBREWS 2:14-18

1.

A child is under the supervision of others

2.

By receiving the Holy Spirit, we are all sons and daughters of God who is our Father

3.

We have the full privileges of an heir

4.

Christ saves us from the guilt of sins and from the power of temptations.


GENESIS 28:10-22

1.

Jacob saw in his dreams angels ascending and descending.

2.

God gives Jacob personal promises of protection and care

3.

Jacob recognized God's presence

4.

Bethel: House of God

5.

Jacob's vow to give tithe


JUDGES 13:2-14

1.

Angel appeared to Manoah's wife and announced the birth of a son to a barren (Genesis 17:15-16; Luke 1:13)

2.

She was warned to keep away from unclean things

3.

Her son, Samson, shall be a Nazirite - consecrated to God with a vow: abstain from wine, do not cut hair or beard, no contact with dead bodies and eat no unclean foods (Numbers 6:1-8). Samson, Samuel and John, the Baptist were Nazirites. Parents made the vows. Paul took such a vow: Acts 18:18 cf. 21:23-24

4.

Manoah prayed for direction about the child and got it.


ZECHARIAH 2:10-13; 4:1-7; 8:3

1.

Jerusalem is summoned to exult in the Lord who dwells in the midst of His people

2.

All the people of the earth shall worship at the Jerusdalem temple after its reestablishment

3.

The Holy Spirit shall empower Zerubabel, the governor

4.

Jerusalem shall be the abode of the Lord God.

ISAIAH 63:15-64:5
The feeling of the lack of God's interference and request for His presence and blessings.
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SERIES 13 (LOL VOL:2 ISSUE:P1 DECEMBER 1-30,2002)

VISITATION OF ST. MARY TO ELIZABETH (DECEMBER 1ST)
LUKE 1:39-56

1.

Meeting of two devouted women with good intentions: service, help, communication, share, fellowship, not for gossip. Elizabeth is old, Mary is young; Elizabeth is priest's wife (prestegious), Mary is just an ordinary woman ; one is rich, the other is poor. Representatives of O.T. and N.T. The young woman's curiosity to see the old one in person.

2.

Mary from Nazareth, a city in Galilee, went with haste.(like the shepherds) in the hilly city of Judea; travelled from Galile to Judeah through hills and valleys...three day's journey. No communication systems (telephone). Hurried her visit to check the welfare of an old pregnant relative... not to check the furniture, curtains, or decorations.

3.

"Mercy and truth" have met together here (Psalm 85:10)

4.

The meeting took place at Hebron (Joshua 21:11) where the tribal fathers were burried ... Machpelah (Genesis 50:13). Jesus and John the Baptist started there life together here.

5.

Rejoice with those who are rejoiced. Elizabeth was barren, but she is going to have a child. "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep" (Romans 12:15).

6.

An example for the necessity of fellowship: Seeing each other and sharing.

7.

Cordial response.Welcomed Mary as "Mother of my Lord" (1:43)

8.

Helped in need (like wedding at Cana). Stayed three months. Happy about another's welfare and shared each other. Exchanged their divine experience. Mutual respect.

9.

Mary's presence thrilled Elizabeth and the baby. How about our presence? The babe leaped in Elizabeth's womb.

10.

Filled with Holy Spirit in the womb (1:45). The power of the Holy Spirit. Importance of child baptism. Objections to abortion.

11.

Their skindeep relationships: The connective tissue - Below the surface and the protective tissue - Outer surface.

12.

Mary is the blessed among women through the child from God. The direct message did not make her proud; but made her humble.

13.

MAGNIFICAT is praising God for blessing her. cf. Matthew 5:3-9. cf. 1 samuel 2:1-10; 1:46-47: Hebrews 3:18.

14.

Cordial conversdation: Enjoyed each other; praises, not goossip. An ideal conversation; not gossip, no gossip.

15.

God's mercy to those who fear Him, rather than the proud; to the lowly rather than the mighty; and to the hungry rather than the rich. God comes to help the poor and simple and not to the rich and powerful.

16.

Mary stayed there three months: to GUIDE each other: GUIDE G: Guidance U: Understand I: Influence D: Discuss E: Express


LUKE 8:1-3; 10:38-42

1.

Jesus' ministry expanded with women who supported the mission.

2.

Martha welcomed Jesus in her house but was distracted with much serving.

3.

Mary sat at Jesus' feet and listened to Him.

4.

The needs of the spirit are more important than the comfort of the body.


JOHN 20:1-18

1.

Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene

2.

She wept for Jesus and her care and concern.

3.

Mary is the first one who preached the risen Lord.


1 PETER 3:1-7

1.

Wives should accept the leadership of their husbands in the family by honoring each other.

2.

Wives should have neat outward appearance and must have beautiful hearts with kindness and cooperation.

3.

Husbands should respect their wives giving high priority to their well-beings.


1 TIMOTHY 2:9-15; 3:11-13

1.

Modesty of dress is appropriate to faithful women.

2.

God looks not outwardly, but inwardly: 1 Peter 3:3-4

3.

Women should learn and act in public befitting to the occasion: 1 Corinthians 11:4-5; 14:34-35; Romans 16:1-15.

4.

Wife has a special responsibility to properly rear her family and manage her home.

5.

Faith, love, and holiness with self-control are requirements for salvation.


GENESIS 1:24-31; 24:15-30

1.

The birds and beasts were formed from materials taken from the earth.

2.

"Let US make man" - plural: Trinity

3.

Man was made in God's image

4.

Man has dominion over all creation

5.

Only after the FLOOD, God allowed man to eat meat: Genesis: 9:23

6.

Rebekah treated Abraham's servant and his camels well which led to choose her for Isaac.


JUDGES 4:4-16 Deborah, a judge and prophetess and Barek defeated Sisera.
1 SAMUEL 25:1-35

1.

Mordecai and Jews mourned with fasting and weeping against the decree of King Ahasuerus, plotted by Haman.

2.

Mordecai persuaded queen Esther to act against the decree.


PROVERBS 14:1; 19:14; 31:10-31

1.

Wise woman builds her house, the foolish destroys

2.

Prudent wife has God's all blessings

3.

A man finds in a good woman security, abundance, and satisfaction

4.

She is trustworthy, industrious, resourceful, compassionate, prudent, and well-spoken.

5.

Stability, harmony, and fruitfulness are the results of a man and a woman living together in loving obedience to God.

BIRTH OF ST. JOHN, THE BAPTIST: DECEMBER 8TH
LUKE 1: 57-80

1.

Christ's fore-runner: Remember three times: in December, January 7th (Feast of Praises), and Augusr 29th (Beheading). From Levy tribe. Parents were from the priestly family. The last Old Testament prophet and the first Christian missionary.

2.

Born as the result of his parents' prayer and God's grace at their old age. Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist were born from ol parents. Wonderful blessings to Zachariahs and Elizabeth.

3.

God perfects us in holiness through suffering. Got enough time for prayer, meditation, and reflections during the period when Zachariahs was dumb.

4.

The neighbors rejoiced at the birth of the baby. How about our neighbours? What is our relationship with them?

5.

Circumcised on the 8th day (Luke 1:59 cf. Genesis 17:11-12) as was Jesus (Luke 2:21).

6.

Zachariahs' obedience in naming the child "John" recovered his speech. Many children make parents speechless because of their violent and immoral acts; here, John makes the parent to speak.

7.

Zachariahs praised the Lord upon the birth of his son. Those who don't participate in spiritual activities get involved after the birth of a child.

8.

Spent in the desert till the day of manifestation: No social life...no eating or drinking. Because he spoke the truth, not too many friends. In the desert, spring for Hagar; God for Moses; water for Elijah; God to Isaiah. We all have to pass through the desert.

9.

"What kind of a child will be this?": 1:66

a.

Bears good witness (God): 1:66 - Many will rejoice - Will be great in the sight of the Lord - Not a drunkard or drug addicted -Filled with the Holy Spirit even from the mother's womb -Will turn many to God - Fore-runner with the spirit of Elijah - Prepared the way to inherit heaven (Malachi 3:1; 4:5-6) -No one is greater than John the Baptist (Jesus): 11:11 Prophet of the highest: (Parents): 1:76-77

b.

One who shows God to others: As fore-runner, pointed out the deterioration of the society (Luke 3:1-20). Called them "brood of wipers" (7).

C.

One who questions immorality and unrighteousness. Questioned Herod Antipas which brought to his beheading (Matthew 14:3-12)

d.

One who clears the doubts: Sent disciples to Jesus confirm: Luke 7:19

e.

Embodiment of humility: Just a shadow of Christ. Ate locusts and wild honey. Conscious of His own imperfection. Preached that one who is coming is mightier whose sandal trap he is not worthy to stoop down and loose (Mark 1:6). He must increase (John 3:30). Prepared the way, preached peace and guided through wisdom.

f.

One who baptized Jesus: Matthew 3:13-17

g.

One who bears witness to Christ: John 1:19-36; 3:25-36. "The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world": 1:29

h.

One who is prophesied about: - Identified with Elijah: Matthew 11:13- 14; 17:12 - Will send Elijah before the coming of the Lord: Malachi 3:1;4:5 - The voice of crying in the wilderness prepares the way of the Lord: Isaiah 40:3-5

10.

Father excited: Zachariahs praised the Lord (1:68). He was blessed with the birth, filled with Holy Spirit and prophesied: the song is called "Benedictus": Blessed. He praised for the coming of Messiah and His salvation (vv. 68-75; 78-79) and for the role of His son in preparing the way for our Lord (vv.76-77)

11.

The child grew (Luke 2:40) and became strong in spirit.

12.

Lived as they believed: Like Jesus, John the baptist wandered in the desert, preached God and His kingdom, criticised the people for the wrong, and both died on account for what they lived. Also tempted like Christ (John 1:19f). Descendants of Aaron and David.

13.

Great intercessor: At the beginning of the Public Celebration of Holy Qurbana.

14.

The question?: John's baptism from heaven or from men?: Matthew 21:25; Luke 20:4

"HE MUST INCREASE, BUT I MUST DECREASE": JOHN 3:30 John the Baptist sowed a big storm in Galilee. He preached for repentance and preparation to receive Jesus. Many came to seek his advice (Luke 3:10-14). His disciples got jealous of Jesus. He handled the situation smoothly (John 3:22-30). He taught them:

1.

The one who comes after him is stronger than him. He knew who he was and who Christ was. He was proud of doing his work for God.

2.

One should not assume more than what he has been given by God. If anyone is greater than us, do not be jealous.

3.

Do our duty responsibly. Jesus was the bridegroom and John was His friend - forerunner for preparation. Friends of bridegroom has a big position in the Jewish tradition. He is the communicator. He does what ever is needed for the complete success of the wedding and after he is done disappears. John did it. Now it is our duty to show Christ to others.

a.

"He to perish, I to perish": Some people want others to perish along with them when desperate and disappointed (Killed fellow doctors, family and himself saying "Life is not worth living." John perished but his cause lived.

b.

He to perish, I to establish (Philippians 3:18-19): Earthly earnings and establishments

c.

He to increase, I to increase.

d.

He to increase, I to decrease: John the Baptist, St. Stephen, many fathers, martyrs.

4.

John was nameless; just a voice: His humility: John 1:20, 23; Luke 3:16.

5.

He was selfless: Luke 3:11

6.

He was fearless: preached against the immoralities of Herod.

The child grew and became strong in spirit: Luke 1:80; cf. 2:40; 2:52

1.

Physical growth: Handsome and good health; learned a trade; strong.

2.

Mental and intellectual growth: Learned from Scriptures, parents, nature and life; Jesus surpassed the wisdom of scribes, Sadduccees, and Pharisees. Everybody surprised at His wisdom (Luke 2:47; Matthew 13:54-55); learned sevral languages.

3.

Spiritual growth: This is true with Jesus: Luke 2:49; adviced with authority (Matthew 7:29); about the temple, Sabbath, etc: Matthew 21:16; 12:6; 5:17; Isaiah 56:17; Jeremiah 7:10; abot Scribes and others: Matthew 5:20; 6:5; 16:6, 11-12.

4.

Social growth: Lived for helping others; travelled to preach and teach; mingled with all people, rich and poor.


MARK 10:13-16; MATTHEW 18:1-5

1.

Children were brought to Jesus (Baptism)

2.

Jesus' touch has special appeal

3.

Disciples rebuked

4.

Jesus noted and wanted them to bring to bless

5.

Just as children receive the necessities from their parents, we receive blessings from God, the father

6.

Jesus set a child in the midst - children at the center

7.

Be humble: Humility is the foundation of greatness.


MATTHEW 11: 11-19

1.

John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus and fulfilled the role prophesised of Elijah (Malachi 4:5) so that he is the greatest.

2.

Unbelievers oppose God's kingdom

3.

Those who rejected John the Baptist and Jesus are spoiled children so that they don't deserve kingdom of God.


I JOHN 3:1-3

1.

We are all children of God

2.

We live with the assurance for the future.


EPHESIANS 6:1-4; COLOSSIANS 3:20-21

1.

Children have to obey their parents: Proverbs 6:20; 23:22; Colossians 3:20

2.

Parents should not be unreasonably severe with children, but shall instruct and correct them to serve the Lord.


GENESIS 21:1-21: BIRTH OF ISAAC

1.

As God's promise, Sarah bore a son for Abraham in their old age - Isaac.

2.

Isaac was circumcised when he was eight years old

3.

God made Sarah happy to laugh: Genesis 17:17; 18:12

4.

Abraham upon the persuasion of Sarah and the direction from God sent away Hagar and Ishmael

5.

Hagar wept over her son and God heard her voice

6.

God blessed Hagar and Ishmael.


EXODUS 2:1-10: BIRTH OF MOSES

1.

Moses was born, but his life was threatened as all Israelite male babies. Moses' act of deliverence was started as a helpless child as Jesus.

2.

Amram and Jochebed (6:20) were his parents. Moses' sister was Miriam : Numbers 26:59

3.

Like Noah (with his family), Moses found refuge in an ark.

4.

Moses: He who was drawn out

5.

God provides shelter to those who seek for Him.


I SAMUEL 1:20-28; 2:18-26: BIRTH OF SAMUEL

1.

God answers Hannah's prayer

2.

Hannah dedicated her son to God's service, keeping her vow: Psalm 22:25

3.

Samuel grew in stature: in favor with God and men: Luke 2:52

4.

Eli's sons grew in evil dealings and wickedness. So they were punished: 1 samuel 6:9-10; Hebrews 10:26-31


PSALMS 127:1-5

1.

If God is ignored, efforts to develop a family or community will be fruitless.

2.

Apart from God, even hard work will not pay

3.

Children are a gift from God


ISAIAH 62:1-12

1.

God redeems and sanctifies His people

2.

God blesses those who serve Him

3.

God guarantees strength to those who are righteous

4.

God makes the journey easy for those who truly wants to come to Him.

REVELATION TO ST. JOSEPH: DECEMBER 15TH
MATTHEW 1:18-25

1.

"You shall call His name" (1:21): Revelation to Joseph about the birth of jesus Christ; ""You have a name that you are alive, that you are dead" (Revelation 3:1): St. John writing to the Church in Sardis. You are a paralyte, sick; our people in all places and venues, but something is missing; perplexed like Joseph; need some insight and help.

2.

A devout man: Joseph was son of Jacob and husband of Mary (Matthew 1:16). He was a descendant of Abraham and David, 75th generation from Adam (Luke 3:23-38). He was a carpenter, originally from Bethlehem and lived in Nazareth. James, Joseph, Jude and Simon were his sons from his first wife. Joseph was a just man like Job. His simplicity, sinceriety, purity and open heart rebelled his thoughts and feelings - an embodiment of patience and self-control. Not angry against Mary. Joseph was unaware of what was going on as Mary did not reveal her divine revelation to any one. Joseph planned to divorce her in secret . cf. Deuteronomy 22:23-24; 24:1. Not happy about other's misery. Gossip? Wanted to put her away privately. Didn't want to humiliate Mary. No escapism or hatred but only concern. Covered her from stoning (Deuteronomy 22:24). Most people try to cover their own weaknesses and publicize other people's problems. The public "make it or break it."

3.

Are we giving the kind of importance to Joseph, Jesus' "father" (2:48) as he deserves? God opened a new way to Joseph when all were closed. God saves us from trials, troubles and tribulations. Joseph's mental agony. The responsibility of a betrothed man (Deuteronomy 20:7) cluttered in his brain. Suspicion could lead to family breakdown. God's intervention in times of problems. Revealed the reality of God's conception: Jesus: The Lord is our savior. God came in Jesus to deliver us from sins. Thus the prophecy (Isaiah 7:14) was fulfilled. As in the past (Hebrews 1:1), the Lord revealed the special circumstances in a vision. cf. Matthew 2:12, 19; the birth of Samson through angel.

4.

Revelation to Joseph four times: Matthew 1:20; 2:13; 2:19; 2:22..

5.

The call: "Joseph, son of David" (Matthew 1:20): The rod from the stem of Jesse: (Isaiah 11:1)

6.

First record of the work of the Holy Spirit in New Testament times. To Zachariahs and Mary (later to the shepherds), angel appeared. Here just a dream...may be his thoughts of the days. His tentative thoughts submitted before God. He believed the dream fully. The dream of Martin Luther King: "I have a dream" Children's Christmas dreams: "The third day of Christmas daddy sent three golden rings, two diamond necklaces, and a pot full of silver coins." D R E A M S D: Didactic Learning R: Reflections E: Experience A: Accountability M: Modelling S: Spiritual Power

7.

This dream revolutionized the family life of Joseph. Acted upon God's direction (cf. Abraham) as instructed by the angel in the vision, the dream elevated and strengthened his relationship with Mary.

8.

Broad minded Joseph: Extend our activities to various fields (Psalm 139); Enlarge path not to slip (2 samuel 22:37); Extend the field (mission field); Extend giving habits.

9.

Did not decide in haste. "Be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (James 1:19).

10.

Solve the situation in private: Matthew 18:15.

11.

Joseph was a devoted husband. Took Mary to Bethlehem, his difficulty to find a place for birth, his departure to Egypt with the mother and the child, return (travelled altogether about 500 miles), trip to Jerusalem with the child at the age of 12 (Luke 2:41-52). Silent worker. Only very few appearances. Died before crucifixion, as mother was entrusted with John, the disciple.

12.

Commitment is important for a successful family (like Joseph). Commitment: Not with any one else/No cheating; Time together: "What do you want?" - No car, money, but would like to do things together. Appreciation: Hugging, encouraging, communic-ation Coping with crisis: Unemployment, family problems (Professor: wife left, brother had cancer, children in drugs - changed the pattern of life)

13.

Joseph was righteous and virteous: took the child and mother to the temple for dedication and worship; took to Egypt for protection.

14.

Spiritual wellness: Honesty, responsibility, charity, and tolerance; Church, confession, communion.

15.

Heavenly vision (Acts 26:19): Revealed religion: "Man's extremity is God's opportunity." God became man. Our goal is to reach Christ.

16.

Many have no revelations or dreams about the future: Judas, Ananias and Saphira. So many still alive.

17.

Where there is no vision, there the people perish: Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah - all had visions.

18.

God calls in vision: Saul was called and became Paul through vision; Elijah's experiences.

19.

Response: St. paul fought good fight.


JOHN 6:30-46

1.

Manna gave only temporary physical strength. The true bread from heaven would give eternal life.

2.

Jesus is the bread of life (First of Jesus' seven "I am"s. Jesus fully satisfies the deepest need of the human heart.

3.

Jesus came to do the will of the Father. jesus doesn't reject anyone who comes to Him. God doesn't want anyone to be lost. Those who believe in Jesus get everlasting life.

4.

Because the Jews knew the family of Jesus, they complained that His claim of a heavenly origin was incredible.

5.

God brings people to Jesus. The road to salvation is open to all.


1 PETER 2:11-17

1.

Nonbelievers shall glorify God by observing our good works.

2.

Disobedience to God. Established social institutions dishonor Christ.

3.

The purpose of the government is to punish evil doers and encourage good.

4.

The believers shall live in love: Matthew 22:37-40

5.

Make His will our will: Luke 22:42


GALATIANS 1:11-24

1.

Paul received the Gospel directly from God by revelation

2.

Paul changed completely from persecutor to Christian advocate

3.

When Paul was called to preach among the Gentiles, he readily accepted it

4.

He spent time in Arabia after the conversion

5.

The Churches in Judea praised God on account of Paul and thus recognized the truth of his image.


GENESIS 13:1-11

1.

Abraham became rich, but did not forget to call on God

2.

Strife between the herdsmen of Abraham and Lot

3.

Abraham's solution: Letting Lot to choose whatever he wants

4.

Lot chose the better part: Greed determined choice.


ISAIAH 1:2-9

1.

God's call to repentance

2.

Israel rebelled against God: ox knows its owner and donkey its master, but Israel forgot God

3.

Because of this, spiritual sickness and desolation.

SUNDAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS: DECEMBER 22ND
LUKE 3:23-38; MATTHEW 1:1-18

1.

Lord is our dwelling place in all generations (Psalm 90:1-2; Acts 3:25)

2.

Remember our ancestors: Sunday of remembering the generations - geneology of Mary in Luke and that of Joseph in Matthew (1:1-17). Luke starts from Joseph and ends with Adam, thus 56 persons in 77 generations from Jesus back to Adam. Matthew starts with Abraham and ends with Joseph. Joseph as Adam's son and Adam as God's son . From Abraham to David 14, from David to Babylonian exile 14, and from exile to Christ 14 generations are remembered thua 42 persons representing 42 generations from Abraham to Jesus. Researching the roots to prove that Jesus is an actual Jew and their promised Messiah thus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy (Isaiah 11:1-2). Christ rules over David's throne for ever. cf. Luke 1:32-33. God's covenant and His grace to Abraham: Luke 1:54, 73 All the families shall be blessed: Genesis 12:3 Woman's seed bruise the serpent:Genesis 3:15-16 We are God's children: 1 John 5:2; 3:1 We have to do His will: Matthew 12:50 Call Him Father: Matthew 6:9 Faithful are sons of God: Romans 4:13; John 1:13. By faith Abraham became heir All generations will be blessed: Acts 3:25. From the beginning he was elected for our salvation: Ephesians 1:4-6. Remember our ancestors. Offer divine liturgy for the departed and pray for the reposed souls.

3.

This also emphasizes that salvation is for the whole world.

4.

Jesus is part of that chain - from Adam to the present. Emperors, kings, prophets, good and bad people all in that group.

5.

Heriditory rites to preserve: 1 Kings 21:3: Ahab and Naboth. Here altogether 42 (14x3) generations.

6.

Traced Aaron's history for priesthood. If no continuation, ousted from priesthood (Ezra 2:62)

7.

Royal heritage: Jesus is from the seed of David: St. Peter (Acts 2:29-36; St. paul (Romans 1:3; 2 Timothy 2:8), multitude (Matthew 12:23), Caananite woman (Matthew 15:22), blind man (Matthew 20:30-31), Palm Sunday (Matthew 21:9). St. Matthew depicts the royal heritage of Jesus, whole St. Luke points out Jesus' general humanity tied with divinity. Bothe narrations deal with the historical continuity.

8.

Importance of women in the Church: five women are mentioned: Tamar (Genesis 38), Rahab (Joshua 2:1-7; Hebrews 11:33), Ruth (1:14), Bath Sheba (2 Samuel 11:3,27), Mary. Today's liberation movement? In Christ, there is no difference between male or female: Galatians 3:28.

9.

Sinners have a place in the Church: Wife of Uriah (Matthew 1:6; 2 Samuel 11:3,27; Bath Sheba) ; Tamar, the adulterous (Genesis 38). Jesus came to save sinners: 1 Timothy 1:15. 10 There is no barrier between Jews and Gentiles; male and female; saints and sinners.

11.

In Matthew generation begins from Abraham, in Mark from Public Ministry, in Luke from Adam, and in John from eternity.

12.

God's care for us in all ages: Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

13.

God intervened in unusual ways to bring salvation: gentile women: Rahab (Hebrews 11:3: (prostitute); Joshua 2:1-7 (gentile) ; Ruth 1:4: (gentile.)

14.

The generations began with God and ended in God. The first stage began with God and ended with Joseph in Egypt thus men lost his image; the second is rising of David to kingship; in the third lost heritage and became slaves in Babylon in disarray (Psalms 137:1); and in the fourth liberation from slavery and regeneration in Christ (Hebrews 2:14). Christ stands in the center of generations: A.D. and B.C.

15.

The holy family sprouted from the best of the past.

16.

Jesus was born of Mary through Holy Spirit.

17.

Three kinds of people: Those who Make things happen Those who WATCH things happen Those who ASk, what happened? Are you really a MEMBER?

18.

Going after just pleasure is not enough. Technological revolution: radios, televisions, computers, air conditions not for pleasure but for necessity. a. Pressure: Jobs, too much responsibilities, lack of time, problems b. Leisure: Sundays have become sindays;: pornographies and immoral ties with vacation, holidays, parties, sports, etc. c. Treasure: Going after worldly wealth. People forget that our citizenship is in heaven. Solomon prayed for prudence and intelligence. Mother Theresa's slogan was: "ALL FOR JESUS." d. Examine the role of sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers. How about our public role?, job and responsibilities. A survey among Orthodox Youth in the United States shows the importance of ethnic identity over religiosity. The Church has been primarily the promoter of cultural heritage - ethnic identity (opportunity for interaction with fellow country men and women) rather than the director of spiritual growth for the witness of the Lord. Both are necessary. Let us think our life and role for the achievement of the goal during this time when we are getting ready to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


JOHN 1:1-8

1.

Jesus Christ existed in the beginning. He was with God; He was indeed God.

2.

All of creation came into being through Him (Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16-17).

3.

Christ's life constituted light. This light still shines and has never been overcome by darkness.

4.

John the Baptist bear witnesses to Christ that all through Him might believe.

5.

His own people did not accept Christ

6.

Those who believed Him became true children of God.

7.

The divine Christ became a man and dwelt temporarily with us.

8.

We all receive grace from Jesus Christ who is greater than Moses.


ACTS 3:16-26: PETER EXPLAINS THE HEALING

1.

The faith in Jesus makes us strong: John 11:40

2.

Repentance helps to blot out sins


ROMANS 4:13-25; GALATIANS 4:18-20

1.

God's promise to Abraham to give many descendants (Genesis 15:5-6) and to bless the world through him (Genesis 12:3; 22:18) was based on faith in God.

2.

Salvation by faith applies both to Abraham and to us.

3.

Christ shall form in us.


GENESIS 46:8-27

1.

"Do not fear" (V 3): Also to Abrahm (15:1) and Isaac (26:24).

2.

Genealogy for 400 years in Egypt: 70 people went to Egypt with Jacob (3:1-43).


1 KINGS 9:3-7

1.

God appeared to Solomon the second time after hearing his prayer.

2.

God consecrated the house Solomon built.

3.

God's promise of a perpetual Davidic line, if Solomon keeps all the commandments and walks with Him.


ISAIAH 7:14-15; 11:1-9

1.

The prophecy of virgin bearing a son: Jesus

2.

The sign shows that God is with Ahaz, whether Ahaz wants God or not.

3.

A shoot from David will be the ideal king who will rule with real discernment growing out of His righteousness.

4.

God's spirit will rest upon Him and the remnant of Israel will be gathered. It is the Messiah's kingdom.

CHRISTMAS (THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD): DECEMBER 25TH

1.

WHAT IS CHRISTMAS? This question was asked to some Christians. The answers are worthwhile to ponder. - Santa Clause / St. Nicholas brings fruits and gifts to good children. - Red Nosed reindeer - Caroling: Spreading the message / talk to others about the birth of Jesus - Vacation: Coming and going Christmas Tree: Branches: Light; Ornaments: people; star and light: Jesus Christ - Sitting infront of a decorated tree and eating candy taken from the socks. - Fireworks: To see His face within that light - Parties, gifts and cakes - Cards (How many reads the messages in them?) - Giving and receiving - Decorating and illumining - Worshipping and praising - Buying and selling: Sale pitch up of the days feels the pulse of the coming: Thrill, frill, and skill - Eating, drinking and gift giving - Loving and making friends. -Light: The dawn visits us. Those in the dark sees the light. God sent a man (John 1:6) with the LIGHT of His love, which we call Jesus Christ. We have to prepare the way within us .... by eradicating ignorance and unrighteousness. Christmas is an anniversary of faith and a celebration of spirit. It is the time when people's hearts ring like bells. It is the spirit and philosophy: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." It is the time when people do something mutually for others. It is a time of happiness and joy when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the manger. Jesus is the reason of the season. We "wake up, look up, and lift up our hearts to receive the LIGHT OF CHRIST into every corner of our lives." A Jewish daughter was chosen to be an angel in a Christmas play in her school. She asked her father whether she could. Understanding her dilema, he said: "Honey, be their angel." That is the spirit of Christmas.

2.

AT CHRISTMAS, we should have Christ's heart, will and way (CHRISTUMANAS). Christmas (Latin) is Christ + Mass: The Eucharist at the birth of Christ. On the nativity night, three masses (Qurbana) were celebrated - Midnight (Birth from the Father Almighty), at Dawn (Birth from virgin Mary), and in the Morning (birth in the heart of the Faithful). Christmas celebration started only in the 4th century - in 376 at Antioch, in 430 at Egypt, and in 549 at Jerusalem. If we don't observe the festivity properly, Christmas may become Christ mess or Christ myth.

A.

Like John the Baptist, we have to prepare the way to accept Christ ... no sin, no fear, no despair ... but hope and faith.

B.

See Jesus: Though the birth of Jesus was announced, only the shepherds and the wisemen were able to see Jesus, not Herod, the king or Phrisees or sadducees.

C.

(1) Message to common people: Shepherds (2) Message in the night: Jesus, the light to eradicate darkness (several things in the night: exodus, David's Psalms, St. Paul's and Silas in the prison and the epistles, and so on). (3) Wise men through stars, shepherds through the praises of the angels, Herod through wisemen, Jews through Scriptures the BIRTH was known.

D.

Glorify God: "Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, and good will toward men" (Luke 2:14). "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork" (Psalm 19:1) Follow His commandments and get rewards - receive positive answers. Angels' Announcements: Luke 2:10: - Jesus brings good news: no more fear - Jesus brings joy: Because it lasts. Pleasure is temporary; happiness depends on circumstances. But nobody can taken it away (John 16:22). It gives an internal peace (Acts 5:40-41) Jesus' joy is available to all. It is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Angelic hymn is part of our every day vigil for a good morning and most people know it by heart second to Lord's prayer. a. Glory to God in the highest: The process of saving the human kind from sin. So the angels praising the Lord. One of the angels informed this to Mary nine months ago. Now they are seeing the miracle. This is like a king condecending to his subjects. Therefore it is to be glorified. After His resurrection, the saints glorified Him (Revelation 5:9-10) b. Peace on the Earth: After enmity, reconciliation makes us very happy. Here unity with God. God brings peace down to the earth... between people of all kinds. He is the Lord of peace (Isaiah 9:6-7). c. Good will to men: "Light of light, very God of very God" born in the manger. "God is with us" (Immanuel). Fellowship with Him (2 Peter 1:4). The altar is House of Bread (Bethlehem). The fiery angels see Him upon the altar as Bread and Wine. The bread came down from heaven (John 6:56-59). We have life in Him (1 John 5:12). He has to born in us. ANGELS PLAY A BIG PART: To Mary, Gabriel appeared with the annuciation: Luke 1:28 Angel cleared Joseph's doubts: Matthew 1:20 Appeared to the shephers: Luke 2:8-13 After birth, twice for safety: Matthew 2:19-23 Also later: After temptation: Matthew 4:11 At Gethsamanae: Luke 22:13 Rolled the rock: Matthew 28:2 Ascension: Acts 1:9-11 "After God had Adam made ....Angels wond'ring gazed," ......(Holy Qurbana) (Also see: Daniel 10:1-21; Hebrews 1:14 and chapter 25 of OUR CHURCH)

E.

Be Humble: like St. Mary: "Let it be to me according to your mind" (Luke 1:38). She is graceful, highly favored before God, and blessed among men (Luke 1:28).

F.

The shining stars: a. They made the wise men to look for Him: Matthew 2:1-2. They pointed out that Jesus Christ is God Himself and shall be worshipped by all, b. Herod's interest is also upon the stars, but different: Matthew 2:7-8 c. Stars moved before them (Matthew 2:9). We have also something go before us as a sign (When afflicted we learn His statutes: Psalm 119:71) Faith star in us (Rockfeller had abdomen pain...vision about persecuting slaves, Helped them and got relieved) d. Happy of achieving the goal (Matthew 2:10-11). That is Christmas joy.

G.

Worship Him like the wisemen and also see Mother Mary with Jesus (Matthew 2:11). He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father (John 5:23).

H.

How do we get ready: Shepherds and wisemen hastily went to see with the eagerness to see the Blessed Baby; the attitude of Herod and the Jews were different. Wise emn did know the route and sought help; stars and later revelation guided: we will too.

I.

Herod was troubled at the news thinking that there may be a challenge to his position. He had no respect of personality: " The respect of personality is the theme of Christianity."; "Great men exist in order to make great men and greater to greatest." There was no truth in his words and actions; Judah's kiss.

J.

Give Him presents (Matthew 2:11). Where our heart is there our treasure is also. Gift shall make happy

..

. some-thing new that reflects care and concern (Gift exchange for the host family given to a poor in the harlem). Should give with a merry heart. "The gift without the giver is bare." When people celebrate birthdays they expect gifts. "What I want is my two front teeth", said a youth. Wisemen presented gifts to Jesus. Does Jesus expect gifts? Yes, us, our submission and dedication. What does Christmas cost us? For decorations and illuminations; for parties and getogethers; for cards and gifts. For God - His only Begotten Son: Gift of Salvation and Gift of Love - the Gift of the Son of God. No cost Christmas: Mend the differences; visit, call, write, volunteer; show concerns for the last, lost and the least; be loving, caring and living.

K.

Three wise men (magi): Matthew 2:11: They came from the East (2:1) and presented gold to infant Jesus in the manger in Bethlehem by Melkiah of Persia, representing the kingship of Jesus; myrrh (perfumed burial spice) by Kasper of India, representing Godhood / prophethood; and frankencense (bark /dried sap of a certain tree) by Belthaz-zar of Arabia, representing Jesus' manhood (death) / priesthood. Some claim that these wise men were descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth, sons of Noah. According to a Russian Orthodox tradition, there was a fourth one, Arthaban or Koredan who brought three pieces of gold to present to baby Jesus, but could not arrive on time. The relics of these wise men were brought from Constantinople in the 5th century to Milan in Italy, and later in 1162 to Colone Cathedral in Germany; they are commemorated on the 23rd of July as the patron saints of travellers.

L.

Should not return to Herod: They departed another way as divinely warned; we also get some warnings. King is asking to go his way, Almighty God is telling to go another way; they followed God's.

M.

Stars brought them to Jesus; To return only a message: they know the way.

N.

Joseph's journey to Bethlehem (80 miles from Bethlehem), Mary's tiresome trip, shepherd's enlightening experiences, wisemen's search for the truth, Herod's excitement, martyrdom of children, baby's birth in the manger with the swaddling clothes - all have excruciating, far reaching results on the Christmas day. Bethlehem is house of bread. Jesus (bread of life) was born there. Wise men saw the star of the king of Israel, born as a king of the Jews is over there. Jehoah is the only king for the Jews (Isaiah 33:22). Herod, after checking the Scriptures, realized this fact. He said he will also worship Him, but did not, got a chance to do so. Jesus shall be found only among the poor and the persecuted, not at high places. We shall see Jesus with our own eyes amongst us. Those who were near did not recognize His birth, only those who were far away did. It was good news for the poor and the sick, but terrifying to the ruler.

3.

Acknowledge and accept the Son of God: A child was born in an obscure village. Millions of babies are born every year. But the "Babe of Bethlehem" is different. He is the "Alpha and Omega" - the First and the Last - that which was, that which is, that which is to come (Revelation 1:8) Jesus is the only person ever born with God's genes (John 1:14). Named Him Jesus, means Savior (not Stone, Banks, Peach, Harper, Bill, Wise, Guy, West, North, Sword, Black, White, Hand, Sick. Wall, Wood, Price, Head, Fox, Bird, etc). He was born with TLC: Tender Loving Care; not with Toys, Lossanges, Candy/Computer

4.

GOOD NEWS: "For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a savior who is Christ the Lord" (Matthew 2:11). We hear good news and bad news every day: - Hijacking and kidnapping -Plane accidents, earthquakes, voilcanoes, cyclones, hurricanes - Famines and pestilences - - Racial tensions in Middle East, Ireland, India -Recession, inflation, pollution, family breakdown - Crime, violence, fire, theft, sickness. But "grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17) Moses: He will be a prophet mighty in word and deed: Deuteronomy 18:18 Jeremiah: He will execute justice and righteousness in the Land: Jeremiah 23:5 Isaiah: "For unto us a child is born; unto us a child is given; His name shall be called wonderful, counselor, mighty God, Everlasting, Father, Prince of peace .... Immanuel which interpreted is God with us": 9:6. He would be a "suffering Savior" as well as a "reigning king." He is "Immanuel." i.e., God with us (Isaiah 7:14) Samaritan woman: "I know Messiah is coming. When He arrives, He will teach us all things" (John 4:25) He was born in a manger. He grew up in another village--Bethlehem, Nazareth, Egypt. Learned carpentry (like paul, tent-making). He had no money for offerings ---turtle doves or pigeons instead of a lamb (Luke 2:24 cf. Leveticus 12:8). Had to ask Peter to catch a fish and get the money from its mouth to pay tax. Never wrote a book -- wrote nothing, except with fingers in the dust (John 8:6-7), but most books are written about Jesus (About Shakespeare - 5200 books; Napoleon - 2825; Gandhi - 500; John Kennedy - 400; Robert Kennedy - 50; Jesus Christ - 9375 books and many more all over the world (Library of Congress has 1,20000 books, poems, other documents in stock about Jesus and 1000 publications on Mahatma Gandhi. Jesus never owned a house or driven a car, sinners and publicans were his friends (Matthew 12:9); never visited a city, nor travelled more than 200 miles; Preached against unrighteousness (Matthew 5:20; 16:6, 11-12); proclaimed liberty to the captives, blind, and oppressed (Luke 4:1819); preached the kingdom of God (Matthew 4:23; 9:37); friends betrayed, denied and ran away during crisis; birth in the manger and death on the cross; funeral in a borrowed sepelcher; and rejected by His own people (Jews). How about we? Do we recognize Him and give due place in our hearts, when we celebrate His birthday?

5.

The Message of Christmas:

A.

It is the first festival in the Christian calendar. Prophets and messangers communicated before; now God Himself comes around to be with us and to communicate. Lighting the fire during the procession service reminds us of that great happy occasion 2000 years ago and also of the light the shepherds saw at the birth. Fire is for purification. Jesus was born to eradicate the sin thereby to sanctify the world. The fire light reminds us of Jesus: "I am the light of the world." We have to reflect upon the stars, the wisemen, the angels, the shepherds, the presents, and so on to enjoy the indepth beauty of Christmas.

B.

Peace on earth: Not piece or peas. Angels proclaimed peace. In the Holy Qurbana, peace is proclaimed several times. We have to glorify God and please Him to have PEACE.

C.

Fear not, don't be afraid: To Zachariah: Luke 1:13 ) Have To Joseph: Matthew 1:20 ) No To St. Mary: Luke 1:29 ) Fear To the Shepherds: Luke 2:10)

D.

Mary, the Mother, said of Incarnation: To exalt the lowly (Luke 1;51-53 cf. Psalms 68:6) to feed the hungry, and to attack the devil.. To scatter the enemy: Luke 1:51 cf. Psalm 68:1 (Herod, Pharisees, Saducees, temple leaders, etc,)

E.

Be merry and happy: The proclamation to the shepherds: Luke 2:10-11. Festivals, celebrations, good wishes, cards, gifts, etc. The current time without peace, happiness and joy. Keep away from sins and darkness and embrace the divine, heavenly light of Christ (Matthew 1:21) who saves the world from sin.

F.

Jesus came to show us the way to God, to set before us an example to follow, and to procure for us the forgiveness of sin as our Savior. "Those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing" (Psalm 34:10).

G.

Give: God so loved the world that He GAVE .... (John 3:16). God gave His only son with love. If we love, we give. Extend our helping hand to the needy. Four kinds of giving: (1) For pity (2) For salvation (3) For name and fame (rich people) (4) Gods' love: Real Christians. Jesus gave with compassion (Matthew 9:35-36). Jesus' strength overflowed when the woman touched His garment. Give love, joy, peace, kindness, etc. (Galatians 5:22)

H.

God forgives our sins. Jesus forgave even on the cross. We too forgive, especially during this time of the year. 7 or 70 times.

I.

Love: God is love. Meditate on the Love chapter (1 Corinthians 13). The world is thirsting for love. The story of the two brothers: one married and the other single. Sleepless nights for both thinking about each other. Took grains and stored in the other's storage each night to help. One night both met in the thick of the night and learned what they had been doing. News spread. A church was built at that spot.

5.

J.

Share and care: Concern for the last, for the lost and the least. People with well furnished suits and decorated apartments sleep on the floor for not daunting their possessions. Poor man requested his rich man neighbor for help but he got mad, Couldn't sleep for both that night. Wife persuaded the rich man to help and did. Both wept at the church out of happiness. "Send portions to those whom nothing is prepared" (Nehemiah 8:10).

K.

Sacrifice: Jesus forfeited His divine position and came down on the earth and sacrificed Himself for the whole world. That is Christmas.

L.

Believe that Jesus Christ is the solution for all human problems. Trust Him and have faith in Him. "People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered: Love them anyway! If you do good, people will accuse of selfish interior motives: Do good anyway! If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies: Succeed anyway! The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow: Do good anyway! Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable: Be honest and frank anyway! The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest people with the smallest minds: Think big anyway! People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs: Fight for some underdogs anyway! What you spend building may be destroyed overnight: Build anyway! People really need help but may attack you if you help them: Help people anyway! Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth: Give the world the best you've got anyway!"

M.

Make peace: Peace on earth at His birth. Blessed are those who make peace.

N.

Obedience: Obeyed parents. At Gethsamanae, "Not my desire, but yours." Obedient till His death on the cross.

O.

God is with us: Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14). God could have done this saving of humanity in another way, but wanted to do this by being among us and by like us. Akbar, India's emperor, once asked his shrewd and smart prime minister and chief counsel Birbal, why God sent His own son to be crucified in saving the humanity and gave him two days for an appropriate answer. The next day while they were sailing in a boat, Birbal threw Akbar's son into the water. Without waiting, in a haste, Akbar jumped into the water and saved his own son from drowning. Birbal explained then this is why God sent His own son to save the world ... God loves us that much.

(NOTE: Afro-Americans share a feeling of togetherness with seven principles during their favorite holiday, KWANZA: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith).

6.

A new heaven and a new earth (Revelations 21:1; Isaiah 66:22): "Day spring from on high has visited us": Luke 1:78 Stars in the heavens a sign God in swadling clothes on the earth in the manger is a wonder Melodious heavenly music in the sky God with the human beings on the earth A complete change to the whole universe The immortal God lives in the Church Joseph with his righteousness, Mary out of her humility, wisemen with gifts, shepherds with their sincerity, and angels with melodious praises made the manger and the situation immemorable. God's life flows through the sacraments in the Church Dry bones getting alive: Ezekiel 37 The leaves of the trees will not wither and their fruit will not fail: Ezekiel 47:12 Abundant life: John 10:10 Walking with newness of life: Romans 6:4 Service in the newness of spirit: Romans 7:6 Inward man is renewed: 2 Corinthians 4:16 Put on the new man: Colossians 3:10 Rod from the stem of Jesse: 1 Samuel 11:1-9 Glory of the Lord in the reformed world: Isaiah 60:1-22; Revelation 21:1-8

7.

Christ to born in us: No room in the inn; the Savior doesn't want to be born in the palace, born in the manger. Simplicity and humility; could He born in our hearts and minds? Good will when the love of God poured in our hearts: Romans 5:5 Live for God: Romans 14:8 Christ to form in us: Galatians 4:19 He gave peace and good will to the poor: 2 Corinthians 8:9 Jesus became poor for us to become rich. Look at Him to be radiant (Psalms 34:5); when we look through the mirror of God's word, we transform more and more fully into His image through the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18; John 16:12-15). Alexander Pope: Even if the infant Jesus is born in Bethlehem thousand and thousand times, if He does not born in my heart, what is the use? Napoleon felt the most happiest and peaceful time in his life when he received the holy communion at the first time.

8.

Born in Bethlehem: Micah 5:2 cf. Luke 2:4: House of bread. cf. "I am the bread of life"

9.

IMMANUEL: MATTHEW 1:23: 1. Names have special meanings: Elijah: Jehoah is my God; Immanuel: God is with us. 2. God is with us all the time 3. A power behind us: Love of God: "Our Father" 4. The mystery of relationship with God: God is holy. We are sinners. God hates sin, but loves sinners. That is why He sent His only begotten son to save us. 5. God revealed by Himself: We have to reveal this to the Gentiles. At His second coming, the completion. A monk and his disciple went out, travelled all day long and returned in the evening. "We didn't preach," the disciple lamented. "Our travel among the people itself is revealing of our Lord," replied the monk. If we live a good life, that is the real ministry.

10.

Jesus, King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2): Jews expected the coming of the Messiah, but did not recognize Him because of their selfishness and pride. The illiterate shepherds watched His birth and praised the Mother and Child wrapped in swaddling cloth...common people. Pure in heart see God (Matthew 5:8). Those in holiness only see God (Hebrews 12:14). - Presented to Him gifts of gold, myrh, and frankincense (royal) - Before Pilate: Mark 15:2; Luke 23:2; John 19:20 - Thief: Luke 23:42

11.

Star guided the wise men. Who is our guide? Scriptures, friends, Church, God, or someone/something else?

12.

The one born this day in Bethlehem is a replica of prophet Joshua (entered into caanan) and priest Joshua (reorganised the order of service along with Zerubabel after the rebuilding of the Jerusalem temple).

13.

The spirit of christmas is music: Carolling.

14.

The serenity of Christmas is the presence of the Holy Child with the Mother.

13.

The power of Christmas is the blessing of "Jesus" (Matthew 1:21) who is "Immanuel" (1:23), "King" (2:2); and "Christ." (2:4).

15.

Christmas is an assembly of multitudes: the Infant Child, the youthful Mary and certain shepherds, and the aged and matured Joseph and some of the shepherds and wise men. Let us have concern for each of these categories on this wonderful day: young, adults and the old.

Therefore REJOICE today for the: 1. Unchanging characteristics of the Almighty God; 2. The glorious works of Jesus Christ; 3. The sanctifying activities of the Holy Spirit; and 4. The endless blessings of the Almighty God. May we have the Spirit of Christmas which is PEACE The Gladness of Christmas which is HOPE The Heart of Christmas which is LOVE, and The Gift of Christmas which is Christ.


LUKE 2:1-14; MATTHEW 2:1-12

1.

The decree of Roman emperor Caesar Augustus brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem where Jesus was born as the prophet foretold (Micah 5:2)

2.

Jesus was born in a manger - born in humble circumstances - came to meet the need of the least important people.

3.

Not admitted in the hospital ... journey on the donkey ... concern for the deprived.

4.

The birth of the lamb that bears the sins of the race was first witnessed by the shepherds. Was a prophet like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15). God became man to make man God.

5.

The angels announced the birth to the shepherds and praised God. We can see divinity in each and every job. Shepherds received the message.

6.

Kings were terrorised, the deprived were cheered, shepherds ran around, wise men arrived: change to all of them.

7.

The shepherds went with haste and found the Baby.

8.

Those who heard the news marvelled, Mary pondered, and the shepherds glorified and praised the God. We shall share the joy of Christmas to others. The carolings and greetings of the season should not leave us.

9.

Like the wise men, knowledge and intellect all shall lead to God.

10.

Is God with us? Those who are pure in heart see God. God should be with us and with our friends (Matthew 25:40). God made man and he sinned.

11.

They recognized the birth of Jesus as they are: Wisemen through the stars, shepherds through the praises of the angels, Herod through wisemen, Jews by scriptures. How about us? How do we spread the news?

12.

When the shepherds and the wisemen came with haste to see, Herod and the Jews became enemies. When gentile wisemen accepted Jesus as the king of Jews, Herod and the Jewish leaders rejected Him. Herod was troubled fearing that the new king would replace him. So he tried to destroy Him.

13.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem (house of bread), five miles south of Jerusalem, the home town of David, Israel's greatest king (1 Samuel 16, 1, 19).

14.

The wisemen found the Baby with the mother and worshipped Him with gifts.

15.

The wisemen departed another way as warned in a dream (Matthew 2:12). To come, they had stars to guide; to return, just a message now they know the way: "I am the way ... ". - God gives direction how to proceed. - Follow God's direction; not the worldly instruc-tions. - Wickedness doesn't work; wisemen went another way. - Sinners go back as saints; bruised ones return with relief, mourners return in happiness.

16.

The wise men bowed down and gave the gifts. We too should bow down.

17.

Parents - Joseph and Mary - had no rest: Went to Egypt.

18.

He who came to preach the Gospel to the poor Himself became poor.

19.

Parental love: Mary and Joseph travelled 500 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem to Egypt and return; took on the 8th day for circumcision; 12th year to the temple. Mother went all the way to the cross and also at ascension. Contribute love and continue to live.

20.

Responsible children: Train their hearts. Jesus went with His parents to Nazareth and was subject to them (Luke 2:51). Learned everything by the age of 12. Acted responsibly. Helped the needy and the sick.


MATHEW 11:25-30: CHRIST INVITES ALL TO COME

1.

God does not reveal the truth about salvation to the worldly wise

2.

God reveals Himself to us only through the Son

3.

Jesus offers this knowledge of God to all who will believe

4.

Jesus gives rest to those who are heavy laden (John 6:35-37)

5.

God's plan to help us cope with life. His yoke is light (1 John 5:3)


1 JOHN 1:1-10

1.

God revealed Himself through Jesus Christ and established fellowship with us: His disciples heard, saw and touched Him.

2.

God is light: John 3:19-20

3.

We should lead a holy life to have fellowship with God. 4, Our relationship with others shall reflect our experience with God.

5.

We have to confess our sins to have fellowship with God

6.

If one claims that he is not a sinner, that person refuses to accept Christ.


GALATIANS 3:23-4:7

1.

The Law locked up the sinners until Christ came

2.

When one believes in Jesus Christ, his relationship with God and with others change

3.

In Christ, there is no distinction of race, color, or sex

4.

Like a child who is under the relationship of others, every one was under bondage until Christ came

5.

Christ came to redeem us from sin

6.

We are all children of God - His sons and daughters (through Jesus Christ)


HEBREWS 1:1-12 THE SON IS GOD'S SUPREME REVELATION

1.

God spoke at various times and in so many ways

2.

In time of fulfilment, God spoke through one person, Jesus Christ, His own Son.

3.

We are all His spiritual heirs

4.

Angels are ministering spirits, but Jesus is the eternal Son, our perfect Savior

5.

We have to submit ourselves to Christ's righteous rule by obedience

6.

Jesus is Lord, the eternal unchanging Creator.


GENESIS 21:1-8 GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISE TO SARAH

1.

Isaac was born to sarah in Abraham's old age - 100

2.

Abraham made a great feast on the day when Isaac was weaned.


MICAH 5:1-4 MESSIANIC PROPHECY

1.

The ideal king: Judah's hope for the future - would originate from Bethlehem.

2.

Hezekiah, the king in Jerusalem, was helpless under the invasion of the Assyrian king Sennacherib

3.

Israel will be delivered from her enemies.


ISAIAH 9:1-7

1.

God will send the Messiah, even though there was lack of trust among the people

2.

God's anointed king shall light the benightened nation 3, He will bring lasting peace: wonderful, counselor and Mighty God. a. Jesus' birth was wonderful: Micha prophesied He will be born in Bethlehem. Born of virgin, star at birth, affected three worlds: Heaven (angels); Earth (shepherds and wisemen - the highest and the lowest); Hell: The devil was agitated and persuaded to the king to kill. b. Jesus' life was wonderful: No fault in Him (Pilate). No sin. Never said or did or thought anything evil c. Jesus' message was wonderful: The sermon on the mount' message of hope for all eternity. Comfort in Him (Matthew 11:28); All have sinned (Romans 3:23); Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Nobody never spoke like Jesus. d. Jesus' love is wonderul: John 3:16. His love extends from eternity to eternity. It includes all races, tongues, and peoples in the world. It reaches down to the deepest sinners and lifts him up toward heaven. e. His death was wonderful: he died for us f. His resurrection was wonderful g. His ministry was wonderful h. He prepares a wonderful home for us.

MASSACRE OF CHILDREN: DECEMBER 26TH
MATTHEW 2:15-17

1.

Children were the first martyrs.

2.

God preserved Jesus from destruction as Moses was saved.

3.

God also saved the Israelites by bringing them out of Egypt.

4.

Many were slaughtered during the Babylonian invasion, but God saved them.


MARK 6:1-6

1.

First the leaders rejected Jesus (3:1-6)

2.

Now His own people rejected Jesus - foreshadow of the cross

3.

No honor in one's own place or among own people.


ACTS 7:11-29

1.

Stephen defends by citing Israel's history

2.

God exalted Joseph and he became a Savior - a possible parallel to Jesus

3.

God is in control all the time - then and now

4.

Moses was saved and became another Savior. He forsook luxury and privilege and identified himself with the oppressed (Hebrews 11:24-26; Philippians 2:5-7)

5.

Moses' authority was challenged; Jesus was also rejected.

6.

Moses was in isolation for 40 years before his public ministry; Jesus was fasting for 40 days before His.


EXODUS 1:1-22

1.

Jacob and his descendants died, but their increased abundantly and multiplied and grew exceedingly.

2.

Pharaoh enslaved the Israelites to reduce their threats.

3.

Pharaoh also made arrangements to kill the males at birth or to cast into the river.


JETREMIAH 31:15-20

1.

Rachel wept from her grave (Genesis 35:16-20) for her sons Joseph and Benjamin in exile. cf. Herod slaughtered the innocent children at Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16-18)

2.

Tears will change to joy

3.

Israel repented

4.

The Lord has everlasting love and mercy for His people.


ISAIAH 60:8-14

1.

The disposed shall return

2.

The oppressors and suppressors shall turn around

3.

God's wrath is temporary, but His favor is eternal.

PRAISES OF ST. MARY:DECEMBER 27TH
LUKE 11:15-20

1.

Choose wisely: We have to choose whether we are with Him or against Him

2.

Prepare thoroughly: Once we are delivered by Jesus, we must be filled with His Holy Spirit and busy with His work. Otherwise we will end up worse off than before

3.

Recognize: A woman recognized and complimented Jesu and His mother

4.

Do His will: We have to do the work of God than only to feel good and talk about it (Matthew 7:21)

5.

Jesus' death and resurrection would be their only sign to believe in Him - As Jonah was delivered from the belly of the fish, Jesus would be raised from the death (Matthew 12:39-40)

6.

Thrill seekers go after wisdom: Queen of Sheba (1 Kings 10:1-10; Matthew 12:41-42) came to hear the wisdom of Solomon

7.

Jesus is greater than Solomon and Jonah.


LUKE 8:16-21

1.

Spread the word: The Gospel is compared to light and it is our responsibility to let it be seen.

2.

Reveal the truth: Though during Jesus' time the Gospel was misunderstood, after His resurrection, its meaning would be revealed through His disciples.

3.

Follow thoroughly: Those who truly obey will receive greater spiritual undertanding and grow in spiritual lives. Those who refuse the Gospel will lose even whatever they have.

4.

Do His will: When we hear and do the will of God (obey) we become members of God's family.

5.

Do not rush: Jesus' parents waited outside patiently

6.

Jesus showed Mother Mary to the crowd

7.

Jesus taught and preached to the big crowd.

(NOTE: Sunday morning prayer (Sleeba) starts with remembering the fasting and meditation of St. Mary; Public Celebration (Holy Qurbana) begins with remembering St. Mary; and the Intercessory Hymns begin with praising St. mary (See the royal daughter stand....)
ACTS 7:30-43: STEPHEN'S DEFENSE

1.

Prepare and be ready: Jesus was in isolation for 40 days before His Public Ministry. Moses was in isolation for 40 years before His public activities.

2.

God calls us to be His agents of deliverence.

3.

Rejection before acceptance: Like Jesus, Moses was rejected first but became the deliverer.

4.

Accept the consequence: God will abandon us if the light of the Gospel is rejected.


ROMANS 1:1-10: ST. PAUL'S MINISTRY OF THE GOSPEL

1.

The basis of Paul's apostleship and mission is Jesus Christ.

2.

After the resurrection, Jesus' power was made known trhough the coming and ministry of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:36).

3.

Because God is holy, His people must be morally holy (1 Peter 1:15-16)

4.

We have to experience God's grace to have His peace with us.

5.

Paul was very eager to visit the Romans for mutual Christian encouragement.

6.

Paul prayed for them continually.


EXODUS 3:1-10

1.

Moses was a responsible son-in-law to Jethro

2.

Moses was called in a vision.

3.

The bush was burned, but not consumed; like St. Mary's pregnancy of Jesus.

4.

God called Moses in repetition for special attention (V.4) like Abraham (Genesis 23:11), Samuel (1 samuel 3:10), and Saul (Acts 9:4).

5.

God's presence makes place sacred; dirty sandals profane the holy ground.

6.

God sees, hears, and knows the sorrows of His people.

7.

God's mission is reaching people through people.


EZEKIEL 44:1-12

1.

We have to preserve the sanctity of the temple

2.

That which has been used by God is no longer ordinary.

3.

Like Ezekiel, we have to fall on our face before Almighty God.

4.

The rebellious and the unworthy have no place in God's sanctuary.

5.

Those who lead to idolatory and unfaithfulness should have only other works of the temple, not to lead the worship.

FIRST SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS: DECEMBER 26TH
MATTHEW 2:9-15; 19-23

1.

Wise men - religious and spiritually enlightened - from the East came to see and worship the infant Baby...their desire and excitement to meet Jesus. We should have also the same.

2.

God through the star guided them to come and go.

3.

Only in St. Mathew: Star from Jacob: Numbers 24:17; Baby born in Bethlehem was king (Micah 5:1-3).

4.

a. Wise men looking for Jesus ended at the palace ending their effort fruitless...arrived at the wrong place. Do not look for higher places to see Jesus. b. Forgot the king and went after Jesus again. Look up and start the search when we loose Him. c. When they found Jesus, rejoiced with exceed-ingly great joy in attaining the goal. When we meet Jesus, forget all troubles and hardships. d. They fell down, worshipped, and presented gifts. Gifts to Jesus was fulfillment of prophecy (Psalms 72:10; Isaiah 60:6). Gold represents kingship; Myrrh, prophethood; incense, priesthood. Jesus was king, prophet, and priest - three in one. We are also through baptism (1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 20:6). King: Provider and keeper Prophet: Teacher and preacher Priest: Mediator

5.

Herod wanted to destroy the child: 2:16-18. Do we have that revengeful attitude?

6.

Herod's power did not subdue Jesus. God's power is great (2 Kings 6:16). God preserved Jesus from destruction as Moses.

7.

Joseph and Mary (parents) provided security to infant Jesus. Prince to prevail peace and righteousness (Isaiah 9:67). We also have obligation to keep and maintain peace, order, and justice. God's children are peacemakers (Matthew 5:9).

8.

They were warned and returned another way. (Three revelations: one to wise men and three to Joseph). Do not go back to the old ways of life after we meet Him. Iscariot did, Saul did not and became Paul and travelled in a different way.

9.

Joseph was warned in a dream to escape to Egypt. Pay heed to such warnings.

10.

Avoid enmity, hate, and confrontation. They went to Egypt.

11.

Had to go to the "slave country" ... born in the manger, and childhood in exile. We have to suffer to be rewarded in the kingdom (Matthew 5:10-12).

12.

Be courageous. Mary's and Joseph's responses ... their courage and mutual dependency.

13.

Joseph brought back Jesus and Mother to Israel and settled in Nazareth.


MATTHEW 10:16-23

1.

We should be wise, but should not be self-seeking, and should be innocent of evil actions.

2.

Persecution could come from any direction - from political rulers or from unbelieving family members.

3.

Persecution is an opportunity to witness Christ.

4.

God's spirit helps us in times of crisis.

5.

We have to hold fast to faith till the end.

6.

Persecution only helps to spread the Gospel rapidly.


JOHN 15:18-21

1.

Expect persecution: Those who hate and reject Jesus, reject us also.

2.

Rejoice in following Jesus

3.

Love of world doesn't last

4.

Know God and Jesus for lasting results.


ACTS 16:6-10: THE MACEDONIAN CALL

1.

Holy Spirit forbids

2.

The Vision to come over and help


1 CORINTHIANS 10:1-13: DO NOT YIELD TO TEMPTATION

1.

Do not reject the blessings of God for the delights of sins

2.

The events of the cloud (Numbers 9:15-23; Exodus 14:19-24) and the sea marked a turning point for the Israelitess.

3.

The Israelites were baptized into Moses committed to his authority and leadership; Christian baptism marks a break with the former life of sin to begin a new life of holiness under the leadership of Jesus.

4.

The manna and the water given to the Israelites were the foreshadows of the Lord's supper.

5.

God is the spiritual rock (Deuteronomy 32:3-4)

6.

They were scattered because of disobedience and punishment

7.

Idolatory and immorality (Numbers 25:1) were their sins

8.

We should not tempt Jesus

9.

God is faithful during our temptations.


GENESIS 37:13-28

1.

Jacob (Israel) sent his son Joseph to his brothers feeding the flock

2.

The bothers conspired against Joseph

3.

They cast him into a pit

4.

They sold him and was taken to Egypt.


ZECHARIAH 8:3-8

1.

The restoration of Jerusalem... Jerusalem would again be safe for the very old and the very young.

2.

God would restore Jerusalem by bringing back His people.

SERIES 14 (LOL VOL:1 ISSUE:P2 JANUARY 2003)
NEW YEAR, CIRCUMCISION; ST. BASIL, ST. GREGORIOS (January 1st, 2003)

1.

Calendar year, Financial year, Business Year, Academic Year, Church Year, etc.

2.

January from Januarius: Two faced...one frontward and one backward with eyes. We have to look both ways at the beginning of the year for reflections and decision makings.. look back on the accomplishments of the past and set goals for the future ... self-fulfilment, self-realization, self-satisfaction, self-actualization, self-sacrifice, self-discipline, for giving, caring and compassion.

3.

Will New Year be happier, healthier, safer, better, peaceful, productive than the previous year? Need to change own personal life style? Need commitments? Need to follow God's way in a better way? All the rules and regulations are in the Holy Bible and Church Teachings. New Year for new hope, new courage, new purpose, new life with allegiance, direction, commitment and sacrifice.

4.

"There is no God" (Psalms 14:1) for the fools. "Taste and see that God is good" (Psalms 34:8). Jesus is the leader of our faith and fulfiller (Hebrews 12:1). We have to commit us before Him. He opened a door before us (Revelations 3:8) . .. Is this door to darkness or light ... to garden or open street? We have to open with faith, love and hope. A child in its mother's hands or bosom doesn't feel the jerkings or joltings of the jeep ride on an uneven and rough road as those under His mighty and everlasting hands.

5.

Go forward (Exodus 14:5) ... Moses told and they did. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). Be of one mind (1 Peter 3:8).

6.

Press toward the goal (Philippians 3:14). See the new light in the New year. Jesus Christ is the light: "I am the light of the world." Be a new creration in Him Love like Jesus (John 13:34-35).

7.

Praise Him and thank Him Psalms 103:1-2. Put new wine into new wineskins: Matthew 9:17 Purge out the old leaven to be a new lump: 1 Cor. 5:7-8 All things to become new as a new creation: 2 Cori.5:17 Walk in the spirit: Galatians 5:16 Run forward: Philippians 3:14

8.

New year Resolutions: Examine the past and plan the future. Breaking the resolutions is easier than making them. God's ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isa. 55:8-9)

1.

Maintain a reasonable sense of values: love, kindness, compassion, etc.

2.

Maintain good health: No junk food, drugs, immoral life

3.

Will be cheerful and helpful

4.

Will listen more and talk less (Action than words)

5.

Be careful in giving advice: Wise don't need it and fools won't heed it.

6.

Be tender with the young, compassionate with the ages, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and wrong.

7.

Try for good achievements, not to earn too much money as money doesn't equate with success. Energy and talents to be used for accomplishments.

8.

Read Holy Bible every day

9.

Pray every day

10.

Think whether living in sin.


GENESIS 12:1-9: ABRAM'S OBEDIENCE

1.

Abram was asked to get out of UR renouncing his country, family, and his father's house: a test of his faith.

2.

Abram was promised that he will become a great nation.

3.

Abram built an altar to the Lord .. his first deed in Bethel.


DEUTERONOMY 10:12-11:1

1.

Obedience, an expression of grateful love

2.

God, Lord of Lords, shows no partiality ... administers justice for the fatherless and the widow and loves the stranger.

3.

Fear the Lord and serve Him by keeping His commandments. "Therefore" repeated five times to stress the idea.


EZEKIEL 18:21-24

1.

If a wicked person repents, God forgives him

2.

If a righteous man turns away and commits sins, he will be punished.


1 JOHN 9:4-7

1.

The world may hate us, but do not worry (John 15:18; 17:14)

2.

We have to love others

3.

Hatred is closely connected to murder: Matthew 5:21-22

4.

We must show our love in practical ways; as Jesus did, in deed and in truth.


ROMANS 2:28-3:8

1.

Circumcision of the heart cleansed from sin by the spirit of God is important.

2.

Even if we are unfaithful, God is always faithful.


LUKE 13:6-9: PARABLE OF THE FIG TREE

1.

Repentance is necessary

2.

There is a limit to God's patience towards those who do not repent.


JOHN 9:4-7

1.

Christ did His work; we have to do our work while we have the opportunity

2.

Christ is the light of the world: John 1:5, 9; 3:19; 8:12; 12:35, 46

3.

The blind man received his sight from Jesus, the One sent by God

4.

He believed, obeyed, and was blessed: Nehemiah 3:15; Isaiah 8:6; Luke 13:4; John 9:11; 2 Kings 5:14


JOHN 15:5-19; LUKE 2:21

1.

Failure to depend on Christ brings loss of spiritual life

2.

We should not ask outside the will of God to abide in Him.

3.

We have to bear spiritual fruits

4.

We have to keep His commandments to abide in His love ...for our joy may be full (15:11); love one another (1 John 3:27; 4:7); love in deed and truth (1 John 3:18). Then will be loved (John 14:23).

5.

If we obey Christ's words, we receive His joy.

6.

Christ showed His love toward us by laying down His life for us. We have to follow His footsteps in this regard.

7.

Christ chose us by dying for our salvation. We have to choose Him by obedience.

8.

We have only to rejoice if evil people reject us because of our love to Christ.

9.

Jesus was presented to the Lord for a life of service (Luke 2:21).

SECOND SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS: JANUARY 5th, 2003 LUKE 2:40-52

1.

Jesus, like John (1:80), grew up in full stature: in spirit, wisdom and grace (In many physical growth, not spiritual or intellectual).

2.

Worshipping Family: Jesus' parents, Joseph and Mary, as usual, went with Jesus for the Passover, one of the three festivals (Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacle: Exodus 23:14-17; Leveticus 23:4ff; Deuteronomy 16:16) required to be attended. Parents' responsibility for the proper growth and development of the children -- spiritual and physical.

3.

This is the only reference to an occurence in Jesus' late childhood.

4.

Mother also went. Those days, not compulsory for women, but Mary went. Cf. Elkana's wife Hanna (1 Samuel 1:7; 2:19).

5.

Teach our children: By 12 th year, Jesus learned the laws and teachings of the religion. Importance of early childhood training and education, especially Sunday School (12 the year is very important for dedication in the church and to parents).

6.

Parents returned without Jesus. Jesus lingured behind, but His parents didn't know. How about we and our children?

7.

Should not loose Jesus in the festivities. Jesus was lost in the crowd. When too busy, that happens to us also...in talks, walks, dealings, etc.

8.

If Jesus is not with us, not with other relatives or friends, They thought Jesus was in the crowd, friends and relatives. Make sure to be with us, not with somebody else. If an Achen or Thirumeny in the family doesn't mean that every one else in the family is religious.

9.

Had to spend three days to find Jesus. Search if we loose Him until find.

10.

Parents realized the folly. Go back to the same Church. Repentance needed.

11.

All who heard Him were astonished at His knowledge and understanding. Good model. cf. Luke 18-19; Isaiah 49:8; 61:1-2; Matthew 11:15; 12:18; John 3:34. a. Preach to the poor: God has to work through us. Holy Spirit to work within us like at Jerusalem Synod (Acts 15:28). Peter was asked whether he loves more and authorized to tend the sheep (John 21:15) ... should have concern for the last, lost and least. That is one of the responsibilities of a congregation. b. Freedom to the captives: Sin makes a person captive. We have to work free people from sin, for repentance and conversion. "Man's iniquity to man makes countless thousands to mourn." Search for the house of God (Matthew 6:33). Also prison ministry. c. Sight to the blind: Not only external, but internal eyes Jesus lightens. d. Comfort to the persecuted: So many burdens. Jesus solve problems. Fish in the deep (Luke 5:4).

12.

Jesus was in the house of His Father and in His business

13.

Jesus lived subjected to His parents - totally obedient and respectful.

14.

Mother kept everything in her heart.

15.

Jesus increased in wisdom and stature: Isaiah 11:2-3; Colossians 2:2-3; 1 Samuel 2:26; Proverbs 3:1-4

16.

Many ascended from time into eternity and Jesus descended from the eternal into time through His love for mankind.


GENESIS 37:1-11

1.

Jacob lived in the strange land of Canaan

2.

Joseph's brothers hated him because their father loved him more than all of them.

3.

They hated him even more when he interpreted his dream, having dominion over them.

4.

His father kept the matter in mind: wondered about the significance of the dream.


1 SAMUEL 2:18-21

1.

Young Samuel ministered before the Lord.

2.

His parents offered yearly sacrifice and gave him a little robe each time.

3.

Eli the priest blessed them.

4.

God blessed Hannah with five more children.

5.

Samuel grew before the Lord.


ISAIAH 26:1-12

1.

Trust in God and peace and joy will come from Him if we depend upon Him.

2.

People repent only when they experience God's judgments ... the nations turn to God when He punishes the oppressors and brings deliverence.

3.

God's grace doesn't always bring the wicked to repentance.


1 JOHN 3:21-24

1.

Our hearts shall be pure

2.

Keep His commandments and be blessed.

3.

We must believe in Jesus Christ

4.

We must love each other

5.

Holy Spirit shall abide in us for true spirituality.


HEBREWS 11:23-31

1.

Faith overcomes fear. God gives strength to face the suffering caused by faith. Moses' story.

2.

Parents' affection to their beautiful children.

3.

Moses chose to identify the sufferings of his own people.

4.

Moses "looked to the reward" which is through Christ.

5.

Moses' achievements were through his faith -- passover and passing through the Red Sea.

6.

Jericho's fall (Joshua 6:20) was through faith.

7.

Rahab's faith (Joshua 2:9; 6:23; James 2:23) saved her.


JOHN 1:35-42 (See 2nd Sunday after Epiphany)

1.

John the Baptist was also a teacher who had disciples.

2.

Jesus is the lamb of God (vv.29,35) and the Passover Lamb (Exodus 12:1-13) whose blood protected the people from death.

3.

John's utterance persuaded his two disciples to follow Jesus.

4.

Jesus responded by asking them, "What do you seek?"

5.

They wanted to know where he stays so that they can be with Him.

6.

"Come and see" ... Jesu's' invitation

7.

Andrew's personal evangelism 9first evangelist) - his own brother, Simon Peter

8.

Jesus changed Simon's name to Cephas = Peter = Rock


JOHN 1:43-51 (Also 2nd Sunday after Epiphany)

1.

Philip obeyed Jesus' command and followed Him

2.

Philip spread the good news to Nathaniel

3.

"Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" - the low regard (Matthew 2:19-23; John 7:41-4, 52)

4.

Nathaniel has no deceit --Jesus saw his heart

5.

Nathaniel would see heaven open and the angels ascending and descending (Genesis 28:10-17).

EPIPHANY/THEOPHANY (FEAST OF LIGHTS):JANUARY 6TH LUKE 3:7-22

NOTE: For the Orthodox Churches, Epiphany is the anniversary of the baptism of Jesus Christ in the river Jordan where as in the western Church, it commemorates principally the revelation to the Gentiles of Jesus Christ as the Savior, as portrayed by the coming of the Three wise men (Matthew 2:1-12). The eve of Epiphany is called Twelfth Night (January 6th) and it is only appropriate to conduct this service in the night just after the evening prayer).

1.

Jesus' sonship was revealed this day: "You are my beloved Son, in you I am well pleased" (3:22). We also receive Sonship through baptism. Father, Son and the Holy Spirit (Holy Trinity) appeared here.

2.

John preached the need of repentance or the consequence will be:"..... every tree which does not bear god fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire" (3:9).

3.

"What shall we do then?": The relinquishing question from the three groups: People, tax collectors, and the soldiers.

4.

Have generosity, honesty, gentleness, and contentment

5.

John baptized with water and told that the One coming after him will baptize with Holy Spirit.

6.

His "sandal strip" he is "not worthy to loose" (3:16): John's humility

7.

John was imprisoned because of his preachings ... for pointing out the atrocities and immoralities of Herod

8.

Christ's baptism with the Holy Spirit cleanses us from sin as fire cleanses physical impurity

9.

Jesus was baptized in the river Jordan through which Joshua guided the Israelites to the Promised Land

10.

Baptism - spiritual Jordan - through which faithful enter into heavenly Jordan. Elijah passed through this river. Naiman took a bath here and healed from leprosy. People who take bath in the spiritual river (baptism) heal from sin.

11.

Jordan's two tributaries pass through the land. Jews and gentiles have equal part in Christ.

12.

In the Epiphany Service, water is River Jordan, covering with Sussaffa is Old Testament Times, bottle and Cross represent Christ, removing Susaffa is end of New Testament and beginning of New Testament, and water pouring in to the baptism font is Jesus' baptism.

13.

By baptism, Jesus was anointed for His Public Ministry (4:17-19).

14.

We should shine through the light of our Lord (1 John 1:5; Matthew 5:14-15; 13:43; John 8:12; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Peter 2:9-10).


GENESIS 24:10-20

1.

Abraham instructs his oldest servant to find a wife for his son Isaac from his own country and family.

2.

The servant was very faithful to do his job.

3.

Rebekah, the dutiful and beautiful, was chosen.

4.

Rebekah's willingness to serve the servants as well as the camels.


NUMBERS 20:1-11

1.

Death and burrial of Miriam in Kadesh

2.

Complaints of people to Moses and Aaron for not having water or food.

3.

Moses and Aaron knelt before God who blessed them by giving power thus brought water out of the rock striking with the rod.


EZEKIEL 47:1-12

1.

God's plan of salvation is like a river flowing from the threshold of the temple, increasing in volume and bringing healing and prosperity to everything it touches : Genesis 2:10; Revelation 22:1

2.

The water that flows heals: Baptism

3.

The trees are fruitful and the fruits are for food and medicine - the Tree of Life (Revelation 22:2): Holy Eucharist.


ISAIAH 12:1-6

1.

God comforts: encourages, strengthens and defends :40:1; John 14:6

2.

God is our salvation and strength: we have to trust Him.

3.

We have to call upon Him and declare the true nature of God to the world.


ACTS 8:35-40;

1.

Philip preached to the eunuch quoting Isaiah 52:13-53:12 thus presenting Jesus Christ who suffered humiliation being consequences of the sins of others. The eunuch declared his faith and Philip baptized him.

3.

Here personal evangelism (vv.26-38); earlier mass evangelism (vv.5-6).


ACTS 19:1-7

1.

John's baptism was of repentance

2.

Paul baptized in the name of Jesus

3.

The Holy Spirit brought purity and power to the baptized: at Pentecost (2:1-4); on Samaritans (8:14-17); on Gentiles at Cornelius' house (10:44-45; 11"15-17) and now in Ephesus (19:6).


HEBREWS 10:15-25

1.

Holy Spirit witnesses to deliverence from sin.

2.

Christ's sacrifice delivers us from the power and the guilt of sin: Jeremiah 31:33-34. No other sacrifice is needed.

3.

Through Jesus Christ, our Living Lord, we have given the boldness to enter His presence.

4.

Christ is the High Priest and we are members of the house of God.

5.

We should approach God with full assurance.. with a heart that is sincere and with a faith that trusts Christ's provision to cleanse us from outward sinful action and an inward sinful tendancy.

6.

God is faithful. We should be too to receive eternal life.

7.

We should encourage and help each other.


TITUS 2:11-3:9

1.

Salvation is offered to all people as a gift of God through Jesus Christ.

2.

We have to renounce worldly desires and to live in holiness.

3.

The second coming of Christ is the blessed hope of the Church and the believers: 1 Peter 1:3-5

4.

Never be intimidated to speak the truth.

5.

We must follow rules and get involved in community works.

6.

Do not speak evil of others even if they speak against us: Romans 12:17-21; 1 Peter 2:21-23

7.

Remember our past faults and mistakes.

8.

Be humble. Show courteous consideration at all times under all circumstances.

9.

Be gentle and help others.

10.

We are all cleansed and renewed through baptism and Holy Spirit.

11.

We are all heirs of that eternal life.

12.

Do good works, the fruit of our salvation.

13.

Avoid disputes and divisions as they are unprofitable and useless.

14.

Jesus at the judgment time selects the righteous .

15.

John baptized Jesus to fulfill all righteousness.

16.

Twofold revelation: vision and voice

17.

The descent of the Spirit was dovelike: Gentle

18.

All three persons of the Holy Trinity are pictured here: Psalms 27: Messiah and Isaiah 42:1: Suffering Servant.

ST. JOHN, THE BAPTIST:(JANUARY 7)

1.

The first and only birth day celebration in the Bible ended in sorrow.

2.

Herod's conscience pricked him (Fidel castro of Cuba stood all the time with the Pope's visit)

3.

John the Baptist: Voice from the wilderness. He to increase, I to decrease. Prepared the way... straightened the crooked...the spirit of Elijah. Spoke against the monarchy and so executed. Even now, those who speak truth and right are persecuted.

4.

King: Wife's persuasion; afraid of the people who listened to the prophet; enjoyed the dance .... unusual promise, request, decision, and promise.

5.

Mother: Her recommendation ... immoral life...dishearte-ned persuasion.

6.

daughter: Helpless child.


GENESIS 4:1-5

1.

God blessed Adam and Eve with Cain and Abel.

2.

God respected Abel's offering than his brother Cain because Abel offered a better sacrifice: Hebrews 11:4 cf. 1 John 3:12.

3.

Cain got angry and murdered his own brother: Matthew 23:35; Luke 11:51; Jude 11.

4.

Cain lied to God. Adam and Eve admitted (3:12-13). One sin leads to another: John 8:44; 1 Corinthians 8:11-13.

5.

We have to be accountable for our siblings... not just keepers.

6.

Abel was punished; became a fugitive.

7.

Sin's punishment is very great. So Christ came.


JEREMIAH 37:11-21

1.

Jeremiah was falsely taken as a traitor and imprisoned.

2.

The prophet questioned his unjust imprisonment.

3.

Zedekiah, the king listened to the prophet.


ISAIAH 40:3-8; 41:8-13

1.

Encouragement through the God's promise of the Messiah.

2.

The enemies are worldly people.


1 PETER 3:12-17

1.

The sinners feel guilty when they see our exemplary conduct.

2.

We have to honor the social institutions like the home and the state.

3.

We have to make our will His will: Luke 22:42.

4.

We have to love every one and honor civil rules but give ultimate loyalty to God.


ROMANS 8:35-39

1.

Nothing will separate us from the love Christ has for us: psalms 44:22.

2.

God's love for us is fully revealed through Jesus Christ: John 16:33; 1 Corinthians 15:57; 2 Corinthians 2:14; 1 John 5:4.


LUKE 3:1-14; 19-20

1.

John the Baptist received revelation from God as did Isaiah (38:4) and Jeremiah (18:1) and other prophets.

2.

Isaiah's prophecy (40:3-5) fulfilled in John's ministry: Levelled the hills and valleys to make a smooth road for the coming of Christ.

3.

Neither ancestry nor church membership are sufficient for salvation.

4.

Repent and change

5.

Be generous, honest, gentle, and content (Answers to the three groups).

6.

John publicly rebuked Herod.


MARK 6:14-29

1.

Some thought of Jesus as Elijah (Malachi 4:5), others as the prophet (Deuteronomy 18:5).

2.

Herodia wanted to destroy John, but Herod protected him

3.

Unrealistic promise of Herod to his daughter.

4.

Herod was extremely sorry for what he hid.

ST. STEPHEN, THE MARTYR: (JANUARY 8)


DEUTERONOMY 34:7-12

1.

Moses died at the age of 120 and people mourned for 30 days.

2.

Joshua became his successor.

3.

Moses was the greatest.


ISAIAH 37:8-20

1.

When threatened by the enemy, prayer to God is in order (vv. 15ff)

2.

God answers the prayers (21ff).


ACTS 7:51-8:2

1.

Stephen defends his stand by pointing out that that his persecutors murdered the prophets and so they are sinners.

2.

Stephen was stoned to death because he told the truth.

3.

Stephen prayed for them. Cf. Matthew 5:44; Luke 23:34.

4.

Devotees lamented over the death.

5.

Saul (Paul) witnessed this martyrdom and contined the persecution.


MARK 12:1-12

1.

The prophets God sent were martyred.

2.

They killed His only Son who was sent..

3.

There rejections result in judgement.

4.

Jesus became the cornerstone: Psalms 118:22-23.


JOHN 8:34-59

1.

Jesus could free sinners

2.

Those who reject Jesus could not be the children of God.

3.

To prove that one is the descendant of his ancestors, he has to follow his forefather's footsteps.

4.

Lack of love (v.42), refusal to listen (v.43), and evil desires (v.44) are bad omens.

5.

See the truth rather than rebuke: vv.48-51

6.

If we follow Jesus, we will have eternal life.

7.

Fault finders find excuses: vv.52-53.

8.

Know our father, our God Almighty: vv.54-59


MATTHEW 23:34-39

1.

Martyrdom may be the end result of many of His followers.

2.

Abel was the first martyr (Genesis 4:8) and Zechariah, the last one in Old Testament: 2 Chronicles 24:20-21.

3.

God protects and keeps His children like a hen keeps her chicks under her wings.

4.

The destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 by the Roman army under Titus was interpreted as the punishment of the Pharisees for their crimes.

5.

Those who follow Him are blessed.

FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY: JANUARY 12 MATTHEW 4:12-22

1.

John's ministry ends and Jesus' starts after baptism and temptation . .. preached against immorality and sin ... pointed out the flaws and to change the attitudes: St. paul (Acts 17:30), St. Peter (2 Peter 3:9), John the Baptist (Matthew 3:6). The Church has to continue the same kind of ministry.

2.

Jesus fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy: 8:9; 9:1-2).

3.

Jesus is the light of the world. People in the dark saw the light of eternity at the Public Ministry of Christ. Those who heard Him turned from darkness to light. God's salvation is provided to them.

4.

Jesus 's first preaching ... preached to repent ... to change one's life, to turn away from sin to God and also not to repeat the mistakes (2 Corinthians 7:8-10) --- prodigal son, Mary Magdaline, Zaaccheus, Peter, thief ---, to lead pure life and good works ... to change habits .... should have God's works: 1 Corinthians 15:10; Romans 14:8 ... with Holy Spirit: John 10:8; Acts 2:36). A habit is a learned pattern of acting - a way of behaving that has become routine. We are creatures of habit. When we develop bad habits, we have to change. We have to reinforce good habits and discourage bad ones. a. Admit we have a bad habit b. Evaluate why we are doing it - childhood conditioning, subconscious desires, rational or irrational fears, peer pressure, bad influence ( Ephesians 2:2). c. Realize that there is a way to break the bad habit. There is a struggle to do it (Romans 7:19-20). We have to work hard. d. Need conviction: convince that it is worth it. If there is a will, there is a way. e. Change immediately, not graduaaly. Stop the negative habit immediately. Don't go after the temptation. f. Help others to break the habit. We need God's help for a happy, productive, outgoing change of human nature. We have to live God's ay which gives us strength: Philippians 4:13.

5.

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand because Christ is here. It is the heavenly experience: Romans 14:17.

6.

Jesus called the first Apostles ... called Simon Peter and Andrew to leave the old sinful way of life. Also called James and John .... all fishermen were called by name..

7.

God selected Jacob, Moses, David, etc., in the Old Testament to lead. Christ selected fishermen and ordinary people. Went from Nazareth to Galilee to select the disciples from the Gentiles: 1 Corinthians 1:28-29.

8.

They left their belongings - boat and net - and followed Him without questioning, not expecting any reward. Not possible for every one.

9.

The disciples called were masters of their trade ... fishermen, tax collector, tent builder, etc. Church grows through the works of such faithfuls. Rich or poor, illiterate or learned, employer or employee, all are parts of one body, Jesus Christ. Shouldn't be any kind of tug of war. Should have mutual respect: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27.

10.

Patience, perseverence, and hard work needed to do the work: 1 Corinthians 2:2; John 1:38.


GENESIS 25:19-34

1.

Isaac pleaded for children and God granted his plea.

2.

We could inquire of the Lord when we do not understand: v.22.

3.

God's people are always subject to His interventions: 1 Corinthians 1:20-21.

4.

Esau and Jacob were born when Isaac was sixty years old.

5.

Isaac loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

6.

Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the stew he cooked.


2 KINGS 5:1-14 Naaman was an honorable man, but a leper:

a.

Victory to the country because of Naaman:(5:1):Through us, blessings to others, not headache.

b.

The Lord gave victory (5:1); success in our life not because of our merit, but because of God's mercy.

c.

Naaman became a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master (5:1): not gave him any high position or any special reward: Do not expect too much or an immediate reward.

e.

Naaman was a mighty man (5:1): No use of those who don't do anything. Some people just talk, but no action.

f.

He was a leper (5:1): Many are like this: From an honorable family, but hits his wife; educated, but smoker and alcoholic; married, but immoral life; church goer, but do not receive communion; spiritual worker, but no family prayer at home. What is our leprosy?

g.

No treatment for leprosy in those days: Not sought God's help. Reconcile with others? Stop gossipping? Stop utter lies? Pride, jealous, etc. to stop? Need self-examination. Need treatment when see color changes in the skin: Repentance, fasting, prayer. In 1989, "Washington for Jesus" ... President Reagon apologized for all the errors and mistakes in the past; white man and black man forgave each other: cf.

1.

Chronicle 21:8 (David); 2 Chronicles 7:12-14 (Solomon); Psalm 131:2; 84:5-7. Miriam became a lepor because of her sin (Numbers 12:10); Uzziah, a lepor, all his life (2 Chronicles 26:9-21). The days of the mourning shall be ended (Isaiah 60:20).

2.

The mission of the waitress: her master to seek the help of the prophet, Elisha. Because of a little slave girl, Naaman was cured.

3.

When he heard of the prophet, Naaman went (with silver and gold)

4.

Elisha told Naaman to go and wash in Jordan seven times

5.

Hesistently (had doubts) Naaman did and was cleaned

6.

Jordan is foreshadow of Jesus Christ: When took bath, he was cured.

7.

Naaman who came with gold returned cured with two male-loads of earth.

8.

The importance of the earth that touched the footsteps of a holy man.


ISAIAH 49:8-13

1.

The return from Babylon is an image of a much deeper and greater return:cf. 11:1-12; 35:3-10; 61:4-7; 63:10-12

2.

The people return because of the Servant.


ACTS 2:37-47

1.

Repent and be baptized (Mark 1:4) in the name of Jesus Christ and receive the Holy Spirit: John 17:20; Acts 11:16-17

2.

3000 people received Jesus Christ

3.

The fivefold results of conversion: steadfastness, doctrine, fellowship, eating together and prayers

4.

Wonders and signs reinforced their teaching: Mark 16:17; Hebrews 2:4

5.

Stewardship: Sharing of goods for the benefit of the less fortunate

6.

In Christ, everybody together, not in isolation

7.

This leads to have favor with all the people.


EPHESIANS 1:3-14

1.

Holiness (v.4)

2.

Adoption (5-6)

3.

Redemption (7-8)

4.

Knowledge of His will (9-10)

5.

Eternal inheritance (11-14)


MARK 1:14-34

1.

John the Baptist who prepared for Jesus' Ministry was imprisoned

2.

Jesus continued the preaching about repentance and belief

3.

Jesus called disciples Simon and Andrew while they were working

4.

Jesus spoke with authority and they immediately followed Him

5.

James and John also followed Him immediately leaving their occupation and family

6.

Jesus demonstrated His divine power in word (v.21) and deed (vv.22-28) by healing a man with unclean spirit and also Simon's mother -in-law (1 Corinthians 9:5), and several others who were sick and demon possessed.

7.

Jesus doesn't want them to spread the news then (1:34,44; 5:43; 7:36; 8:26), only after He had risen from the dead (8:30; 9:9). He did not want to believe in Him based upon demonic testimony. Only at trial, Jesus claimed He is Christ (14:62).


JOHN 1:18-28

1.

Only Jesus Christ had seen God the Father

2.

John the Baptist declared that he is not Christ, nor Elijah (Malachi 4:5) or the prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18)

3.

John is a herald preparing the Way for the Lord's coming: Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1

4.

John's humility: Not worthy to loose the sandal strip of Jesus.

SECOND SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY: JANUARY 19 JOHN 1:26-51

1.

John baptized with water (v.26) and Jesus with the Holy Spirit (v.33)

2.

Humility of John: Not worthy to loose His sandral strap

3.

Jesus, the Lamb of God, vv.29, 35) offered an atonement for sin (Leveticus 4:27-35) and the passover lamb (Exodus 12:1-13)

4.

John's mission was to reveal Jesus Christ

5.

The manifestation assured John that the one he had baptized was indeed the Son of God.

6.

Jesus invites John's disciples to come and see (1:39). Following is very important: Following Him (1 Corinthians 11:1) is imitating Him - glorify God (John 17:4), obey Him (John 8:50), do His will (John 5:30), sacrifice (Mark 10:46), prayer and submission (Matthew 26:39). Later Philip (from Bethsaida) told Nathaniel to come and see (1:46)... catching human beings.... spread the news.

7.

Andrew brought his brother Simon to Jesus: personal evangelism

8.

Jesus saw in Simon a rocklike character which made him the spokeman and leader.

9.

Philip perceived that Jesus indeed is the Christ as attested by Moses and the prophets and followed Him ... shows how to deal with doubtors.

10.

Galileans were held in low regard (Matthew 2:19-23) so that they wonder whether any good come out of Nazareth (1:45): prejudgment.

11.

Philip preached about Jesus to Nathaniel and invited him to come and see Jesus (to get acquainted). Like Philip, we must be guide and help to others in seeing Jesus and solving problems.

12.

Nathaniel was a man without deceit (Jesus: No guile /deceit in Nathaniel; No other greater person than John; Peter is the rock to build His Church). Nathaniel used to sit under the fig tree (learning place for the Jews) in reading and meditating (Psalms 1:6). Philip told Him that he saw Jesus of Nazareth, a small town not famous. There was no mention that Jesus will be coming from there. That is why he asked whether any good will be coming from there. Philip told him to come and see. Without any doubt, Nathaniel followed Philip to see the savior (Hebrews 2:3-4). Therefore he was able to meet Him and accept Him. We have to sanctify Him in our heart to see Jesus (1 Peter 3:14). Jesus is the word of Life (1 John 1:1). Disciples saw Jesus through their own eyes and tested Him to be good. The wisemen also did the same. Herod could not see the infant Jesus. He murdered the infants. Those who see Jesus wholeheartedly can see the angels going up and down through the opened doors of heavens. Nathaniel was meditating the events that Jacob saw in his vision (Genesis 28:10-17 cf. Luke 2:9, 13; Acts 1:10; 7:55-56). Jesus is the ladder to go to heaven. We should have such blessings. Jacob was not straightforward before became Israel (Genesis 27:35-36). When God callled, Adam and Eve had covered themselves because of their lost situation (Genesis 3:8-19). Jesus called common people with external and internal beauty. Be like infants ((1 Peter 2:1), not of the tricks of the world (Romans 12:1-2). Complete change to Simon and Nathaniel by going to Jesus.

13.

Nathaniel corrected himself and accepted Jesus as teacher, king of Israel, and Son of God, like Peter. When he met Jesus, goodness came to him. Christ must live in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17). God looks the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). We should see God and experience who He is. Should not have sin or transgression (Psalms 32:2). Here Nathaniel later became Bartholomew, a disciple.

14.

He who believes and acknowledges Jesus as the Son of God will see greater things.

15.

Jesus' look and the invitation to come made the difference. cf. Luke 22:61. "Jesus looked Peter." In the garden Peter struck the ear of the servant; after that he followed Jesus (courage); denied three times (selfishness); human action, not divine; liked praises; no self-knowledge (warning during Last Supper and at Gethsamanae). Jesus still loved him by His look; no anger or enemity.

16.

They spread whatever they saw and heard.

17.

"We saw Him", "come and see'....Is there anything to see?

18.

Magnifying, personal and spiritual inputs in each person who saw Jesus.


LEVETICUS 22:26-33

1.

God accepts free will offering

2.

God is our Lord: We shall keep His commandments.


PROVERBS 9:1-9

1.

Wisdom brings maturity

2.

The appeal of the good woman: Her house is well bult and will not fall: Matthew 7:24-27

3.

The wise man accepts correction and grows wiser; the scoffer doesn't.


ISAIAH 55:1-8

1.

God fulfills our needs if we approach Him with gratitude: Matthew 11:28

2.

We have to seek and call Him with our needs.


1 PETER 3:7-15

1.

Husbands should understand their wives, respect them, and give priority to their well-being.

2.

We should be of one mind, should have sympathy for others, love, tenderhearted, and kind

3.

When we return good for evil, we receive blessings (3: 10-12; Psalms 34:12-16).

4.

It is better to do the right thing even if we have to suffer.

5.

We should give our testimony with humility toward others and with reverence toward God.


HEBREWS 1:1-2:4

1.

The full revelation of God in the Son completes the partial Old Testament revelations.

2.

Sin and death are now under Christ Jesus.

3.

Jesus is Son (vv. 2, 5, 6), the divine heir and ruler (2, 8), through whom God created the world (2, 10-12). He is exalted to the right hand of God (3, 9, 13).

4.

Angels are only ministerial spirits (vv. 4-14), but Jesus is the eternal Son who became man, suffered and was exalted.

5.

We must obey Jesus Christ with whom salvation came and miraculously confirmed by God through gifts of the Holy Spirit.

THIRD SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY: JANUARY 26 JOHN 3:1-12

1.

Nichodemos only in St. John's Gospel.

2.

Here to seek the kingdom of God, later as a defendant (John 7:51), and then at the burial: John 19:38.

3.

Nicodemus was a leader. But he was a coward. That is why he came in the night to see Jesus.

4.

.He has great concern to know how to inherit the kingdom of God.

5.

Those who desire and seek truth shall be properly rewarded (cf. James 1:5). Go to Jesus to be rewarded. Do not stay away.

6.

Sinceriety of Nicodemus... came in the night. But Jesus turned light into him (Zaacheus climbed on a tree to see Jesus: concealed identity). Iscariot, became a disciple, but did not believe.

7.

Jesus respected his desire and concern.

8.

Transformation of the heart by the Holy Spirit. Regener-ation (Romans 8:15-17) through water and spirit - baptism - (Galatians 6:15; Titus 3:5; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 John 3:9) is needed. Christ to form in us (Galatians 4:19); then a new person (Ephesians 4:19). Jesus showed this through His own baptism Water cleanses. Holy Spirit purifies. Holy Spirit signifies purification and life. To renew and strengthen through prayer and holy communion (John 15:5). Crucify self (Luke 9:23; Romans 6:12-14) to inherit Christ's character.

9.

By baptism all become new: Romans 6:33; Colossians 2:12; Galatians 3:27; Titus 3:6. Complete change from the old state of affairs. Repentance and spiritual birth.

7.

Watch and see the day to day life of born again Christians. Any change?

8.

As a person and a teacher, Nicodemus couldn't understand the truth of birth from above. Those who couldn't understand the earthly affairs do have difficulties to acknowledge heavenly experiences. We have to understand God's love and plan of salvation.

9.

"Amen, Amen" (truly, truly/most asuredly) 25 times in St. John and 50 times in the other three Gospels.

10.

Preach what we know and witness what has been seen:. Study faith and Bible to do so. Share and witness. Do the will of God.


2 KINGS 2:19-22

1.

Elisha had done great things (8:4) -Healed the bad water

2.

Youth who mocked the prophet were mauled by bears.


JOEL 2:21-32

1.

God blessed the land in coming back to life after the locust plague.

2.

God is in our midst (v.27) to deliver us.

3.

God's promise of the universe outporing of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled in the New Testament (Acts 2:16, 39).

4.

Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.


JEREMIAH 31:1-12

1.

Just as the Lord led Israel into the wilderness, protecting them from the sword of the Egyptian enemies, so His loving kindness will support His people.

2.

Join a song of praise with a prayer to save.

3.

God restores because He loves with the love of a parent: Hosea 11:1-2.


ACTS 17:16-34

1.

Paul witnessed Jesus where ever he went.

2.

The encounters brought Paul to explain his new doctrine.

3.

By taking a text from an Athenian altar (v. 23: "TO THE UNKNOWN GOD"), Paul presented his own God who created the world.

4.

God, the creator made verything and every body alike in the urge to seek the Lord through repentence and service.

5.

Several listened to Paul and believed in Jesus.


1 CORINTHIANS 3:16-4:5

1.

The whole body of believers together made up the temple of God.

2.

The Church is holy. God punishes those who defiles His Church with divisions and contention.

3.

Christians should not boast in the foolishness of human wisdom, but glory in what God has done for them.

4.

We are all in Christ and so we are secure.

5.

God judges each one of us, not we each other.


JOHN 3: 22- 4:3

1.

John the Baptist and Jesus ministered in the same area of Judea: 22-24.

2.

John clarified to John's disciples that Jesus is superior to him: vv. 27-30

3.

"He must increase, but I must decrease" (v. 30): Isaiah 9:7

4.

Like the best man brings the bride to the bridegroom, John brought the people of Isreal to Jesus.

5.

Jesus came from heaven with fulness of spirit from God and has been giving to His followers as God's gift (Acts 1:4,5).

6.

Faith in Christ brings everlasting life, but disbelief brings the wrath of God.

7.

Jesus' activity increased and added more members to the fold.


JOHN 5: 31- 47 1. Three witnesses point out the testimony about Jesus: a. John the Baptist (vv.33- 35): was according to truth b. Jesus' own words (v. 36): His works revealed His diety c. The Scriptures (v. 39), especially the writings of Moses (45-47) cf. Deuteronomy 18:15, 18; John 1:45; Acts 26:22.

2. The Jewish leaders rejected the One who came in the Father's name.

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