The same Jesus, who told that He is the light of this world, tells us also that we are the light of this world. Instead of compulson, evangelism should call for to reach the rotten areas of the society and to recreate it. In our social life and in the circumstances where ever we are, God intend from all of our life is that people around us may see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven.


History reveals that the Marthoma Church was involved and worked in the ecumenical organizations from the very incipient stages itself. During 1948, when the World Council of Churches was convened first time in Amsterdam, Late Thomas Mar Athanasios had attended that meeting. During 1957, when the regional conference of Asia, now known as the 'Christian Conference of Asia' convened first time in Indonesia, Late Alexander Marthoma Metropolitan had attended that meeting. From that time onwards, Marthoma Church stands in the main stream of the world wide ecumenical enterprise. While I am standing here, let me disclose some of the newly originated movement during this year in the arena of ecumenism. One hundred and nineteen Churches represent the 'Christian Conference of Asia' from nineteen countries in Asian continent. From this year onwards the Roman Catholic Church Bishop Conference of the Asian Zone was amalgamated and configured a new consortium and appointed two presidents. One of the president is a Cardinal from the Roman Catholic Church and another my self, while I was presiding over the Church Conference of Asia. This new consortium will be introduced in the conference to be held in Indonesia. I solicit for your support and earnest prayers in this regard.

The second point I would like to say is that, in the past few years, even though the ecumenical relations are growing up, at the same time, the dividing and separating ideas are also being brought up in the Churches. It is a need of this era that we should develop an enthusiasm to overcome all these ideas of separatism and up-bring the spirit of ecumenism. The experience of hardships in the nineteenth century had seeded the thoughts of ecumenism to be originated in the twentieth century. Many like-minded visionaries joined together and expressed their willingness to work together, and it paved the way for an ecumenical movement among various Churches of differing ideologies. With the concept of 'accept which are acceptable and respect which are unacceptable', the ecumenism could go forward to progress in its own way. However, during the course of time after the Second World War period, with the advent of the above two organizations a noticeable progress was seen in the spirit of ecumenism and this fact is being well proclaimed in the history of ecumenism.

Ecumenical vision is not an entity involved of only the Christian believers. It is a noticeable fact that vision of ecumenism is now spread out to be a model of various religious believers and even people of various conflicting ideas. During this time the Latin American theologian, while reading the verse Psalms 145:9, he stood stead fast in that verse. For a moment he went deep in his thought in the meaning of the verse. The verse tells "The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee." When his thoughts were shaken with these words, he said; if the God is good to all, and we enjoy his benevolence from him, we also should be good to his entire creation and we are being indebted to do so. How magnificent the vision of the ecumenism had gone up?

With these vision reached to its acme, we see the adverse forces also are growing up in the universe during this age. God is good not only for the humans or for the Christians or for a particular group, but for his entire creation. Not only that, as the Psalmist exclaimed of it, how magnificent is the goodness of our God, who created us in this universe, made it inhabitable and is being well preserved? So a great vision of the circumstances had emerged into the ideology of ecumenism.

Let us look to our this age. In our state of Kerala, the rivers are getting dried off, the natural beauties are lost, the economical growth is stagnated, and employment opportunities are worsened and the scenario is being staged to be unbearable even for a nominal living. Even Kerala face dearth of drinking water and it became very severe. One year before, I went to the village Chirapunchi in Orissa. In our primary school lessons we studied that the Chriapunchi is the place, which get the heaviest rainfall in the world. When I went to Assam I found that the place became of severe scarcity of drinking water. Everywhere in the world, we see that man is trying to exploit the nature in an unscientific manner and perturb this beautiful nature, which God had created, to a perversion leading to an intolerable atmosphere. We had reached to a scenario in which we are not able to drink even water. In every field of life we see the things, which are defiled by the selfish motives of man.

With these circumstances we have to keep in our mind that as God is good to his all creation, we are also indebted to be good and merciful to the entire co-creation of God. In our spiritual being, we should keep this ardent thought of being good to all. Day to day we breathe out poison to the atmosphere. The vehicles, which we travel, are emitting the poisonous gas to the atmosphere. Even in this sand bed, unlike in the past, I noticed people filtering their nostril with hand in order to inhale good air. When we exhale the poison, the trees absorb that poison and create oxygen to sustain our life in this earth. The unscientific process of destroyal of the forest and hoarding of the natural resources, chop off the natural orders which our good God created for preserving this earth.

With a proper understanding of these facts, let the blessed ecumenical thoughts influence for the necessary changes and corrections in our life and I sincerely wish for the same. At this point, I would like to share some thoughts with you referring to Gospel according to St.Mathew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." During His sermon on the mount, after reminding us who we are in this world, Jesus had given this advice to us. Jesus told that we are the salt of the earth. Jesus told that we are the light of this world. The same Jesus, who told that He is the light of this world, tells us also that we are the light of this world. Let all of us reexamine our self with sincerity. Do this light is there in our self, in the personal life, in our family life, in our society life?

We are the salt of earth. What is this salt? Salt goes deep into the points where things are rotten, eliminate the cause for decaying and preserve it to be intact so that it becomes usable. We all are aware of this fact. All our housemothers know the trick that if the fish is bit decayed, she applies salt to it. The rotten item is converted to good and usable. God is intending this about us. God is intending this with the Christian Church. We have to reach to the rotten areas of the society and to recreate it. This is the work of evangelism. We should not forget these facts. Compulsion is not the way for evangelism. We are supposed to root out the cause, which leads for decaying and make it usable and with fragrance. It should penetrate deep into the substance. This is good work God counts. Do we have the will for this? Do we have the interest for this? Not only that, Salt make the item delicious and tasty. That is the procreation. That was why in all recipes we read that salt to be added as needed. Taste differs from person to person. It makes the tasteless food tasty. If it is added more it can cause blood pressure. Eventually it can lead to fatality.

Secondly it is told that we are the light of this world. Light removes darkness. The light makes us to see the things as it is. This is the media given by God to us. If we are trying to learn of things with out light, our understanding will be wrong or vague. It will be like the blind man who had gone to see the elephant. It may lead for differing concepts in us. So God gives us the light to see the things as it is in the true form. Today the persons, family and society are in need of this light. Everybody think of his or her own concepts as right. But when the Godly light fall on us we can see our self in the true nature. He also gives us the strength to be responsive to this true nature.

In addition to this, the light gives us the confidence. God indents of us to be the confidence of the world that lost its confidence. In early days there was a common hymn used in the VBS classes. In that hymn a small infant child is asking the stars in heaven 'Who has created you with the big light in you?' The star replies the child that 'He is same creator God who created me, created you too with a light in you.' That is what God intends of us. The God who created the sun and the stars to give light for the universe had created us with a light in us to get lightened in this earth. This light in us is to be kept on the pillar so that it will give light to others. In our church activities and in our official activities, can we give this light to others? Even many laymen could spread this light of evangelism in our country areas while they were doing their routine works for their living. The God who created the shining stars had put a light in our life also.

Jesus told that we are the seeds thrown to the field. The dried seed when it come in contact with moist earths it becomes a strengthy origin of life. There were two villages of farmers. The people in one village were habituated to remove the chaff from the paddy, but they do not dry the paddy adequately. The other villagers were habituated to dry the paddy adequately, but they do not remove the chaff from the paddy. If by chance these two villagers work together, instead of choosing to dry and remove the chaff, if they join for the adverse that the paddy is neither dried nor removed the chaff, what will be the aftermath of it!! When we dry the seed quite adequately it attains the strength to withstand the most severe climatic changes. Well-dried seed respond to the heat and cold. The dried seed respond to the darkness and light. As a result, the more we dry the seed the more it produces healthier plant and eventually a heavier crop. When it responds to the light and moisture, in day's time or even in few hours time, it emerges out as an active and energetic life of a plant. Why this seed is transfiguring? This transfiguration is vital for its transmutation to respond to the adverse circumstances to produce a healthier seed leading for a better crop.

If we look into our spiritual life, we experience the benevolence and providence of God through our adverse circumstances. In our social life and in the circumstances where ever we are, God intend from all of our life is that people around us may see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven. Let this light in our life shine in order to glorify the name of our Lord.

[Presidential Speech delivered during the Ecumenical Meeting of Maramon Convention 2003 (Original in Malayalam)]

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Lord Jesus Christ is the only one who could remove our loads of life or share our burdens with us. He comforts us and give the peace, which surpasses all human understanding. The Lord’s many invitation are open to all of us. Those who accept are blessed and will enjoy abundant life here and hereafter.

“My Father has given me all things. Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light”. (Matthew 11:28-30)

What an invitation from our Lord and Saviour to anybody and everybody who has burdens of life which could be of any type: sin, physical and emotional sickness, curses, intellectual problems religious loads laid on people by the so-called gurus and leaders, traditions and rituals, political, racial and social stigmas, and the list goes on and on. Lord Jesus Christ is the only one who could remove our loads of life or share our burdens with us as the two animals share the burden under an Indian yoke. He will comfort us and give the peace, which surpasses all human understanding. He also is inviting us to take his yoke, which is easy, and carry his load that will be light because He is gentle and humble. Our Lord is the God who became Man and therefore He knows and understands completely, is capable of dealing and solving all our problems and pains from the burdens of our lives. Let us go to him and completely surrender ourselves in his hands. He is mighty and compassionate, His care and love are eternal and continuous. Help that comes from a man is very limited, as the light that comes from a firefly is so limited as compared to that comes from all the stars and suns.

There are few other direct and unconditional invitations of our Lord as recorded in the gospels. “Who is thirsty should come to me and drink”(John 7:37-39). Here is an invitation for all of us who are thirsty for spiritual and eternal life of water, so that He could give the free gift of Holy Spirit, the third person of the blessed Trinity who is pleased to dwell within us. Only the believers in Jesus Christ (Son of God) could receive this greatest gift from Heaven. On the day of Pentecost the Spirit of the Lord was freely and visibly poured out to all believers assembled in the upper room and since then every Christian believer is entitled to have the indwelling and fellowship of the Holy Ghost. True believers are the most blessed people on earth and heaven.

There is another remarkable and sensitive invitation to the little children. When the disciples scolded the people who brought their children to be blessed and prayed over by the Master, the Lord was angry and told the disciples “ Let the children come to me and do not stop them”(Mark 10:13-16). The Lord has a very special and tender heart for the children He also said that only who have the child-like nature could enter into the Kingdom of God. What an honor and love for all the children of the world He bestowed!

When our Lord started his public ministry, He gave an invitation to some very simple and ordinary folks such as fishermen and tax collectors, to become his disciples for building the foundations of Kingdom of God on earth. “Come with me, and I will teach you to catch men”(Mark 1:17; Matthew 4:12-22). In addition to the high call for ministry, He also set the conditions for discipleship clearly and boldly. “Whoever does not carry his own cross and follow after me cannot be my disciple”(Luke 14:25-33).

Through the parable of the ‘Great Feast’, we can see another invitation of the Lord for the feast in heaven, refusal and acceptance of the expected guests. The Lord’s invitation is open to all of us. It is our choice to accept it or not. Those who accept are blessed and will enjoy abundant life here and hereafter.

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Jesus emphasized that the spiritual approach to peace-making is radically different from the worldly approach. The radical business of spirituality is to awaken and empower in human nature a thirst for peace and an aversion to war. Jesus is the Prince of Peace.The way of Jesus is the way of giving, rather than of taking: of generosity, rather than of greed.

Jesus emphasized that the spiritual approach to peace-making is radically different from the worldly approach. In the latter instance, preaching peace and waging war are alike driven by vested interests. On account of this, the boundary between peace and war remains perpetually fluid. Wars in history, as St. Augustine warns us in The City of God, are waged mostly in the name of peace.

Biblical realism roots war in the two-fold realities of human nature. First, the ruling elite, driven by the will to power and greed, insists on the dogma that there is no alternative to war. Second, the taste for cruelty is innate in human nature. As social anthropologists point out, a secret admiration for crime is inherent in human nature. If this were not so, for example, so many hard core criminals and history sheeters would not have trespassed into the sanctuary of Indian politics with the help of popular vote.

The radical business of spirituality is to awaken and empower in human nature a thirst for peace and an aversion to war, as in the case of Emperor Ashoka. Theoretically, democracy is the most conducive environment for peace. Democracy empowers the people to demand peace and enjoy its fruits. But war-mongering can become endemic in a depraved democratic culture that electorally rewards hate and violence. The road to peace is truly simple: make peace politically profitable and war-mongering politically costly. The foremost requirement for peace on the sub-continent is a constructive collaboration between democracy and spirituality. Religion is rarely democratic; spirituality is necessarily democratic. Religion and politics are hierarchical. In a hierarchical vision, peace and war are games that only the leaders can play. The people have very little to do with it. Spirituality, as Jesus envisaged it, is a people’s movement. The spiritual task in creating a culture of peace is preparing the people for peace. In respect of the Indo-Pak imbroglio, we have been conditioned for war and hate over the decades. The peoples of India and Pakistan now need to be de-conditioned vis-à-vis war and re-conditioned for peace. Without this, extending the hand of peace seems an impulsive gesture. Tilting at the windmill of peace, in the patented Quixotic fashion, may be good histrionics, but bad statesmanship.

The Gospel portrays Jesus as the Prince of Peace. Explaining this Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (St. John 14:6). Implied in this is the biblical formula for peace. The way of Jesus is the way of giving, rather than of taking: of generosity, rather than of greed. He came to set the benchmark for giving, which is the quintessential spiritual instinct. Wars stem, despite President Bush’s pontifications about his altruistic intentions in respect of Iraq, from covetousness, implicit or explicit. In the re-orientation that spirituality brings about, the lust to grab is replaced with the longing to give, which is the dynamics of peace, as is well-recognized in Hindu philosophy also.

Secondly, as the Prince of Peace Jesus claims to be the truth. Here Jesus is not referring to any religious dogma. He is, instead, insisting on the pre-condition for truth. Truth can be seen only through the eyes of love. The alternative is to see through the eyes of hate and invent lies. Seen thus, every neighbour is a potential enemy. In the eyes of love, though, every enemy is a friend in waiting. It is because human being have been poor custodians of the culture of love that in history neighbours have been, mostly, enemies. Two countries living in good neighbourly relationship is an exception, rather than the rule. For the hand of peace that Vajpayee has extended to Pakistan to look authentic, it is imperative to shift from the current climate of propagandist poisoning of people’s minds to a willingness to know and speak the truth about each other.

Thirdly, as the Prince of Peace Jesus claims to be “the life”. The practical implication of this claim is that for peace to be pursued in right earnest, the nations concerned must accept an orientation to life rather than to death. Modern culture, as Erich Fromm argues convincingly, is necrophilic, or death-oriented. War is the foremost symptom of this death-orientation. Enjoying quality life rather than getting blown to smithereens in the battlefield should be deemed our achievement. The foremost fruit of life-orientation is an uncompromising commitment to human welfare. The positive correlation between development and the preference for peace is a proven fact of history. Whether it be wars, communal riots, cold waves, famines, or droughts, the victims are always the same: the poor people. And this is nowhere near our conscience because we have no value for the life of the poor. This unspiritual outlook is a formidable stumbling block to peace. It is all right to pay lip-service to the bravery of our jawans and to remember routinely those slain in battle. But the day we honestly believe that the life of a jawan and that of a Prime Minister have equal worth, which is the spiritual truth, peace will flow like a river of benediction through the sub-continent.

Jesus’ identity as the Prince of Peace is inseparable form his crucifixion. The cross points to the price of peace and the willingness to pay it oneself. War-mongers, on the other hand, force others to pay the price for their covetousness. Moral courage is the essence of the Cross. Any breakthrough in Indo-Pak détente will depend almost wholly on Vajpayee’s moral courage to pursue peace at all costs. Ironically it takes greater courage, at the level of leadership, to pursue peace than to wage war. This is the challenge that Vajpayee has to come to terms with; the sooner, the better.

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Modern man is much interested in pleasures and hence the enjoyment derived out of human relationship are deteriorating. The Christians are supposed to greet, grant and share the peace with one another. Peace is the offer and promise of the blessed resurrection and is the net result of staying with God.

In the present day world, people of different walks of life across the globe alike, are carrying heavy loads of tensions in their minds and hence they could not enjoy Peace in their lives. Almost all people are feeling a sort of suffocation or a sort of empty space in their minds and they wait for something to fill the heavy vacuum in their minds. Modern man is much interested in pleasures and enjoyment of the achievements of the science and technology. As the new and most modern models of consumer products are reaching the market daily, the modern man runs after them, thinking that they would provide more convenience, facilities, and the saving of time. In the consumer age time management is a key factor to govern the day-to-day lives of average men. In fact time is not enough for many now -a- days. We could see many people in their busy engagements and a few seldom gets time to attend the daily needs as they are to be done. Now all people are busy and hence the relationship among the members of a family as well as in between the families are deteriorating. This is a great disaster. As a matter of fact the family prayer and the worship at home through which one could have a communion with God, gets postponed for no specific reason. The cunning Satan who is always after the mankind to trap them, never advise the children of God not to pray, but advises one and all to postpone it for the time being. Usually Satan becomes the ultimate winner. If one postpones it, he or she could not do it on the same day and hence he or she gets derailed from the main stream of activities spiritual nourishment.

In such a situation, our Lord’s promise, “I leave my peace, I give you” St. John 14:27, becomes quite significant. When the blessed incarnation of our Lord took place we heard “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” St. Luke 2: 14. After the blessed resurrection of our Lord, whenever appeared to the disciples, the first word from our Lord was “Peace be unto you”. (St. Luke 24:36, St. John 20:19) The Christians are supposed to greet, grant and share the peace with one another. Peace is the offer and promise of the blessed resurrection. The Christians as a whole are supposed to be the power generators to shine themselves as well as to provide light and brightness to others who are in darkness. We should not forget that we obliged to take light from our Lord Jesus, the Sun of Justice, love and peace. And we must reflect the light we gain and stock in us like the moon, so that we could provide light to others who are in darkness. If one is in complete darkness, he or she would not have faith, hope, trust or even love. When he or she would get light, he or she could enjoy peace happiness and other blessings from God Almighty. Peace is the net result of staying with God. If we are not united with God, how we could enjoy the real peace? Whenever we realize that we are away from God, we find time to rush Back to Him. The sacramental life style of the Episcopal Churches would enable the faithful of the entire churches to enjoy the real peace in the real sense.

Our Lord established the Holy Sacraments as the visible symbols of the invisible graces of God. Holy Qurbana is considered as the crown of all sacraments, as the partaking of the Holy Qurbana is a must for the completion of all other sacraments. Through the acceptance of the Holy Qurbana, one gets abided with Christ, our Lord. In the Holy Qurbana, we hear the celebrant granting peace by saying “Peace be unto you”. (He serves the peace from the submitted mysteries, which turn as the flesh and blood of our savior Lord Jesus Christ) The congregation retorts “Peace be unto thee too”.

LLet us try to learn more about peace by considering the importance of the five alphabets in the term ‘Peace’. Let us start with the fist letter ‘P’ which stands for penitence and patience. Each day a faithful must assess his or her spiritual stand to see whether he is close to Lord or far away from Lord God. If one finds that he/she is far away from God, let the faithful try to come back to the Lord. Holy confession is the only way to get forgiveness for our sins. The Holy Church teaches that a faithful must confess his/her sins once in 40 days. In the Malayalam hymn we sing “Vanneeduvin, Jesupaadam chernneeduvin, Paapathe vittodeeduvin” meaning, ‘make haste to reach the feet of Jesus, run away from the sin’. How we could define sin? As God is love (I John 4:16), all our acts, thoughts and talks without real love is sin. In addition to disregard towards the poor, suffering and downtrodden, all our deeds, words and thoughts without the real love, against our fellowmen are also sins. We must regret and repent for our sins and that is what is meant by penitence, which is the first part of Holy Confession. This must be a daily practice in our lives. Let us seek forgiveness for our sins. The good Lord will grant us forgiveness in plenty. If one is having patience to others, he or she could enjoy peace. We must try to avoid anger, hatred and haste nature in our everyday lives to enjoy the peace. And we must try to reproduce the fruits of the Holy Spirit in us.

The next alphabet ‘E’ stands to educate us. One of the missions during Our Lord’s blessed public mission was to educate the faithful. We must educate ourselves from the Holy Scriptures, teachings of the Church Fathers, traditions as well as the day-to-day leaders of the Holy Church. This sort of education is to be carried out daily without any age specifications. All of us, irrespective of age, must study the words of God. We should not forget that the Holy Spirit is the provider of all sorts of wisdom. So we must long for the renewal of the Holy Spirit in us, every now and often. “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalms 119: 105) In fact in normal cases we have the habit of reading the Holy Bible but usually we are least bothered to learn from the Holy book we must create a radical change for this nature. Next alphabet ‘A’ stands for abstinence. First of all we must make up our minds to believe firmly that our Lord knows all our needs. If such a faith is strong there, the usual sort of worry, fear and anxiety will not exist to ruin our peace and comfort. We should not satisfy ourselves by singing “Ente Aavasyangal ellam arinjidunna ettam adutha sahayakan thaan” meaning ‘He is the closest helper, who knows all my needs’.

When we sing a hymn, let us be confident of the message of the hymn. Let us try to abstain from our desires for the excessive and unlimited worldly pleasures and enjoyments. Let us hope in the cross of our Lord, which would strengthen us in sacrificing our worldly desires, The next alphabet ‘C’ stands for Christ centered. We must adjust our lives as Christ centered rather than self centered. Modern Christians, irrespective of denominations or nationalities are taking the ‘C’ for convenience. We all are self centered. In fact this sort of thinking and action is the most important draw back of the entire Christendom. The next and final alphabet is ‘E’ which, stands for eternity. All Christian faithful must believe that we are not citizens of this world, where as we have a right of citizenship in the kingdom of God, which is eternal. Our Lord says if you partake my flesh and blood, you will have eternal life. (St. John 6: 47) Our hope and desire must be in the citizenship of eternity.

The Lenten seasonal prayers caution us “One who gathers good name rather than gold and silver is really blessed. Even though the world moves away, the good name will never move away. One who earns the good name with genuine interest is really blessed. He /she will be honored in this world and he would inherit the heaven“

So also, “if gold and silver had ability to talk, they would have talked to the ones who might acquire them ‘don’t approach us. You have stolen us from the orphans, destitute, widows and from the fields of the innocent poor. When death would take you to the hell, you all will suffer. We will remain in this world. The judgment and the burning fire are waiting you people”.

We must try and long to secure the savings in eternity. “Your rich men weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you, your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh, as it was fire. You have heaped treasure together for the last days.” St. James 5: 1-3

Are we not greedy in accumulating wealth as gold and ornaments, palatial buildings etc? Is it right for a true Christian to concentrate on personal savings of gold and multi storied buildings, forgetting our Christian responsibilities? Let us try to implement a change in our attitude towards earnings and the ways of earnings. No one should feel that I am saying these things against earning wealth. There are so many rich people in the Holy Scriptures and history, who were so close and dear to God. Let us also try to be noble like our fathers of the yesteryears, who were so beloved of God, while being rich.

In short if one could do penitence for his/her wrong doings and educate himself or herself with the Holy Scriptures and teachings of the Holy Church, and abstain from extreme, unlimited and excessive worldly desires, he or she would have peace. Like wise all have to lead a Christ centered life rather than self-centered one, and must long for eternity. If so we could enjoy the real peace.

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If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. Religion is for practicing, not for preaching, not without realizing that practicing is the best form of preaching. Receiving salvation by participating with Christ's Body is because it is chaste and pure in all celestial dimensions. The aim of our life is to sublimate the imbedded stain-bearing passions of the flesh.

Man is a conglomeration of both flesh and spirit intertwined together in a subtle but harmonious formula. The visible one is mortal, the other one immortal (2.Cor.4: 18). The peripheral one is bound to acclimatize itself in its transitional seasons that trigger it to the mortal finality while the inner one transforms itself for a life beyond an astral plane by skimming through the crudities of a transient life binding with mortal frame. This evanescent nature of life of the flesh is epitomized in one short sentence. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world (1.Jn.2: 16).

If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. Religion is for practicing, not for preaching (Jas.3: 1), not without realizing that practicing is the best form of preaching (Mt.5: 14-16). Despite knowing this fact well, many claim that they are sinless (Jn.4: 22); hence going to the church for worship is apparently a fruitless exercise for them because the Kingdom of Heaven is within them, and not ' in the midst of you' as the correct translation goes (Lk.17: 21). Many hypocrites boast that they adhere to the law and the creed, claiming that they are righteous in all respects (Mt.19: 16-22). The atheists and agnostics, inclusive of religious libertines, belong to a different class altogether propagating different strata of sub-cultural life. The saved ones, hiding their own voluptuousness and amoralism like the Pharisees who swallowed the widows' home, abide with the notion that the explicit form of adultery is the only sin; all others can be ignored on the basis of the infinite mercy of the Creator who knows about the frailty of the flesh. There are Ten Commandments, not one. Nobody except the savior is exempt from the pang of sin, but the contrition of heart makes it a huge difference. Receiving salvation by participating with Christ's Body is because it is chaste and pure in all celestial dimensions (Jn.6.47-58; Ps.34:8). Jesus puts it emphatically that the lust of the eye is adultery in its implicit form (Mt.5: 28). The Creator didn't give license for divorce on the ground that it was not so from the beginning but was given by Moses because of the hardness of their heart (Mt.19: 9). This earth was once a paradise with man as its guardian, the paragon of animals. The degeneration of man by tasting the forbidden fruit changed him internally, so also the womb of the earth, though outwardly resembling the past with its panoramic sceneries and beauty and its intricate functions reciprocating between man, a surrogate product, and nature for their existence. The carnivorous effect of disobedience is nakedness (Gen.3: 7) or ripeness of sexuality, proving transparently clear that sensuality is the mother of all the corroding lusts of the flesh in its ephemeral sense. The aim of our life is to sublimate these imbedded stain-bearing passions of the flesh, so that the spark of God's Spirit within us could be launched safely for its upward journey to a maximum limit for its infinite participation.

THE SEX IMPULSE: Every cell of our body is amplified with the electric fire of sex impulse. The fire of sexuality that is permeating in each body cell is for the dissemination of the species and the nervous pleasure derived out of it is only a gift given by the Creator to the complementing couple. As it is the motivating mother instinct of all other instincts, it is to be bridled with highest caution; otherwise it will gradually consume our inner man. Just as The Tree of Life is the panacea for the toxin of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the apposite presence of Kundalini, as delineated by Indian yogis, at the junction of our sex organ is a path given by God for enlightening the inner man to its highest perfection. Despite apposite in its location, opposite is its function, direction and magnitude. The appetite of Kundalini can be catered only with prayer and meditation, the impact of which passes through the spinal cord for the final destination of the same to the forehead, the seat of our mind, from where it is telecast to the Final Arbiter. At the acme of its growth the yogi becomes devoid of sex impulses, which paves the way for him to detach himself from all earthly passions and possessions. They enjoy all dimensions of inner harmony, which irons out the toxic elements from their body, the result of which is compassion, love and harmony with anybody and everything. He enjoys all the fruits of good health. He becomes a living dynamo, sending luminous light waves to all directions. By developing his inner senses and the heart's eye by being in participation with God the astral faculties of angelic life can be experienced. The life of a celibate or spinster (Brshmachari) till the time of marriage is the milestone of one's future success in life. Anything excess is detrimental. Sexual excesses will degenerate the body in different magnitude; toxic acidity is a byproduct of bodily indulgences. Sanctity, chastity, charity and sanity ride together. Perverting the natural, emotional and spiritual order of our existence sends ripples to the cosmic world, which encroaches in our physical, emotional and inner lives. All physical senses and organs are permeated with the flavor of sex and any other sexual indulgences other than the sanctimonious union of complementary sexes are perversions and liable to be punished in ethical sense. Adolescence is the flowering period of one's life when one can sow good seeds into the heart flower, which sprouts for the cultivation of higher values for a healthy and sound future life. Make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires (Rom.13: 14). Whereas she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives (1.Tim.5: 6) because to set the mind on the flesh is death (Rom.8; 5; 6:23). A sound mind in a sound body. There are exceptions in everything in this shoreless ocean of realities. A rich soul also can inhabit in an ailing delicate body. To put in a nutshell, there is a spiritual law that governs our life, the violation or perversion of the same leads to inexplicable catastrophes in all our seen and unseen lives sending heat waves in all directions, including the visible and invisible planes of our existence. The sex impulses and all other lust of the flesh are to be channeled and harnessed with meticulous care. Restraint is the word.

MARRIAGE: Marriage is a sanctimonious and sacramental institution drawing the line of separation between the two-footed and four-footed animals. Creating man in the image and likeness of God invites us to keep the body as a temple of God so that the indwelling of the Spirit of God is made an abiding condition between the Creator and the creature. If any one destroys God's temple, God will destroy him...(1.Cor.3: 17-8;Heb.3: 6). Every other sin, which a man commits, is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body...Shun immorality (1.Cor.6: 15-20). The infringement of the seventh commandment is a sin that takes place within the body, eventuating in the indelible mark of fire engulfing the dear and near ones. The guilt and punishments of this fire is also transmitted upon the next generations through their genes. Only a sanctimonious legal marriage will come under the boundary of marriage, all other unions and forms of conjugal pleasure are labeled as sexual perversions. Pre-marital (fornication) and extra-marital sex, homosexuality, and the like are the hideous betrayals of the temple and the Spirit of God. Once wedded is wedded for life, only death can separate them. He gave this mortal body on lease for sheltering the spirit of God here and beyond in a transformed state. Man has no authority over them; both will return to the Provider (Jn.5: 28). I appeal to you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (Rom.12: 1). The synchronizing purity of mind and body is the sacrosanct indispensable homage for the worship of God. Bulldozing the fetus and mercy killings by doctors with the consent of the parents are murders of the first degree, so also is suicide. We see in Heaven the redeemed 144,000virgins "who have not defiled themselves with women for they are chaste; it is these who follow the Lamb...and in their mouth no lie was found (Rev.14: 4-5). They didn't say lies, nor had they other impurities of the body (Rev.21: 27).

OTHER BODILY DEFILEMENTS: The dimensions of the sexual promiscuities augmented by Epicureanism, liquor and hard drugs make us preys of the following passions and vices.

All the iniquities are categorized under seven major vices, and seven charitable works under seven virtues. Having no room to explain each of these vices in this article, I just give a list of them from the Bible. Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissention, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. (Gal.5: 19-24; 1.cor.6: 9-10). Of the first 3 out of a list of 15 sins are sex related. Jesus' list in which 3 out of a dozen pertain to immoral traffic, highlighting the first as fornication followed by adultery and licentiousness (Mk.7: 21-23). The devil takes the possession of our body by taking away good seeds from our heart (Mt.13: 19), leaving the body with infernal darkness by blinding our inner eye (Lk.11: 33-36). In accordance with the written agreement (Col.2: 14; jn.5: 20;Mt.4: 9) the power of darkness has the right of exercising his authority over us, owing to the fact that he is the owner of this planet till the lease is expired. The yellow clay by which Adam moulded was ploughed out of the earth, which had been inhabited in the past aeon by the evil angels. Man is bundled with two entities, the soul that belongs to God and the body created by God with the ingredients that belonged to the elements of the solid earth and the cosmos. Simultaneous to the effect of cursing the earth by God (Gen.3: 17) man also felt the wound of the earth in him, ending up of having a co-ownership of God and devil on man's body.

DEATH: The spirit is desecrated by the defilement of the body. As Satan is the author of death, he can claim our body and spirit on account of our bodily defilements (Jude.9). The craftiness of the devil is to assail upon us with impure passions, thereby besieging our soul also for eternal damnation. Instead of allowing ourselves to be a pawn of the diabolic death it is wise for us to kill ourselves our own body with a different but opposite formula. Fasting consumes the toxin of the body caused by swallowing the forbidden fruit and also the poison generated by our own flesh being in communion with the seven vices. In order to bail out from the satanic death kill the passions of our body with the weapons of seven virtues. Fasting, together with penance and penitence, is the remedy for salvation, which is a deterrent for the devil to flee away from us (Jas.4: 7-8). Put to death what is earthly in you: fornication...idolatry (Col.3: 5-6; 1.Cor.9: 10). Such divine soldiers can only produce the fruits of the H.Spirit and overcome evil with good (Rom.12: 21; 1.Cor.6: 20). Fruits Of The Holy Spirit:

The fruit of the H.Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; against such there is no law (Gal.5.22-6). The continual habit of producing the fruit of the H.Spirit may enlighten us to receive the gifts of the H.Spirit. There are varieties of one is given through the spirit the utterance of wisdom, knowledge, faith, gift of healing.working of miracles, prophesy. (1.Cor.12: 4-10;Rom.12; 6-8;Col.4; 11-13). In fact, these are the fruits of confronting the adversities created by the abysmal darkness. These saints are the light of the world; they are prone to be tested and martyred by equivocal powers. Church Worship:

As the church is the brooding place of the H.Spirit, the people who assemble there are also holy or it is the ecclesia of saints. Jesus' Body and Blood is to be received only by the holy people who have cleansed their bodies and spirit with the flood of their own repenting tears. Shedding tears does not complete the act of cleansing; it should be buttressed by producing the fruits of the Comforter, together with a pledge of discontinuing the defilements embedded in the flesh and dedicate our body for the worship of God in true faith. Presenting our bodies as living sacrifice acceptable to God is the primary step. Taking part in worship with out sufficient cleansing of the body doesn't make much progress in spiritual growth. Many of us are mere Sunday Christians who visit the church for social affiliations. Worship becomes futile unless we are converted to weekday Christians devoted in practicing the Commandments in truth and spirit. Church worship is indispensable as the physical presence of the Lord is experienced and tasted by taking part in the Communion of the saints. The litmus check of our spiritual development is tested in the church community where we can have a charitable life of harmony and peace (Ps.133). The temple worship, clergy, sacrament and all other rituals are the steps on the ladder of our salvation, but if it is not supplemented by the dedication of our body with its thoughts and activities as a sacrifice holy and acceptable to God, we are only making the holy place as a platform for welding our name and fame for our earthly salvation (Mt.23: 6-7). The Apostle calls this type of craving of people as the pride of life. This is a sheer exhibition of one's hypocrisy (Mt.24: 51). In this age of cosmetic religions and club culture any institutionalized venue and social and family sphere become the haunting place of the unfittest morons and moral imbeciles.

Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable (1.cor.15: 50). A spiritual metamorphosis by killing and burying our inherent deadly passions and carrying the cross daily is the only prescription for salvation. Money and wealth is an unavoidable factor for attracting people to our side. By hook or by crook we make money even at the expense of the institution, without knowing that the love of money is the root of all evils, it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs (1.Tim.6: 10). Consuming passions, with the love of pompousness and cheap popularity, drag us to a miserable end. The permissive lax culture of today is conducive for cultivating any bestial passion in any institution, family or parish, forgetting the fact that there are only two constructive passions, one is the pure unselfish love, and the other the constructive fear. Churches in most parts of the world also unfold ravaging types of sex scandals true or false over a period of time and their exorbitant compensation claims, the fallout of which is doing irreparable damage to the institutions and faithful believers. Deficiency of love and fear has force landed the so-called civilized man, the apparent specialist in every theatre of life on accumulation of illicit and unfair money, in a terrain of anarchy pulverized with crude and naked passions. These are all the signs of the time, the time of the ripeness of time (Mt.24: 1-2). Private practice prior to public service invites the doctor to be immune from all the contagious and infectious bacteria or virus. Physician, heal thyself (Lk.4: 23) first. Truly, this age is the age of the survival of the unfittest.

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People tend to learn by what they see rather than by what they hear. We have to show our good works. Be model to others by practicing what we teach. If we learn and teach, we will walk in His paths.

A failure in Abraham was passed to his son, then to his grandson, and then to his great grandson. Abraham (Gen. 20:1ff) devised a lie for his wife Sarah (cf.12:10 ff); Isaac (Genesis 26:6ff) presented his wife Rebekah as his sister like his father as above, and Jacob (Genesis 27:1-45) lied for the birthright.

Carry him to his mother (2 Kings 4:19): Elisha and the Shunamite woman; the child crying, "My head, my head!", and his father saying the above words. Mother has great responsibility for the rearing and caring of a child, home, village, nation.

1. Homely atmosphere
2. Homely discipline
3. Homely administration

Teach the truth. Holy Bible is the textbook. It is living and powerful (Hebrews 4:12). Three areas to cover:

1. Knowledge: Accumulation of facts and information (2 Peter 3:18). Need proper attitude. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 1:7).
2. Understanding: How knowledge relates to people, places and things? How it fits together? Like David, we have to pray: "Give me understanding that I may learn your commandments" (Psalm 119:73). Take time to meditate (Psalm 119:99). Also need obedience (119:100). We have to do or practice (111:10).
3. Wisdom: Ability to discern how, when, and where to use the undersdtanding of knowledge... the ability to apply knowledge for the right decision. Depart from evil (Proverbs 10:8; 14:16; 15:33; Job 28:28). Obey God (Matthew 7:24). Wisdom is a spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12:8-10; Ephesians 1:17; Daniel 2:21).We have to ask God to gain wisdom (James 1:5). We need wisdom to understand (Daniel 12:10). Wisdom gives us happiness by making right decisions (Proverbs 3:13, 18). Study the books especially Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the lives of men and women, the Gospels, Epistles, etc. thoroughly in order to gain wisdom.


1. Study the basic documents first ("milk") and then complex ("meat"): Hebrews 5:12.
2. By picture or general overview method: "Here a little, there a little (Isaiah 28:10); use a concordance.
3. By analogy: Compare the physical to the spiritual
4. Cause and effect: Obeying and disobeying laws
5. Seasonal and timely technique: "Food in due season" (Luke 12:42) - spiritual food (Pentecost, Palm Sunday, Transfiguration, etc.)
6. Experience: 1 Corinthians 10:11
7. Repetition: The more we look, the more we see.

People tend to learn by what they see rather than by what they hear (Matthew 5:16). We have to show our good works. Be model to others by practicing what we teach. ICS: Inclusion, Credibility, and Satisfaction: If we learn and teach, we will walk in His paths (Isaiah 2:3).

Husbands teach wives (1 Corinthians 14:35); parents teach children (Deuteronomy 6:6-7); grant parents and older people teach the youngsters (Titus 2:4-5). Answer questions (1 peter 3:15). Teacher taught John Scripture: Three things are here to remember: Teacher, John and Scripture. Children "listen more to what we are than to what we speak; yet the teacher tries to live the Gospel in his life. Education is not what man knows, but what a man is". "Your speech shows it," Pilate's servant told Peter (Mark 14:70).

1. Know the subject: 1 Peter 3:15; study: 2 Timothy 2:15; Grow in grace and knowledge: 2 Peter 3:18. Self study is important to increase knowledge. Should know the faith and discipline of the Church.
2. Set good examples: Lights to the world (Matthew 5:14-16); Live God's way. Obedience of Israel is an example (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). Live His way (Romans 2:21-23). Should be dedicated to Jesus Christ with sanctity of life. Should be model to students in dress, language, attitude and manner. Be on time for worship services and be prompt and punctual. Should have prayer life and communion life.
3. Use authority well: Help to learn, improve and prosper. Handle situations responsibly. Should know (his) students who and what they are.
4. Communicate well: Explain from different angles in humility and warmth. Clarity in teaching ... explain in full.
5. Show outgoing concern: Helping, serving, caring attitude. Have godly love (1 Corinthians 13). Be merciful (Luke 6:36) and compassionate.


1. Management: Arrangement and adjustment of the environment of classes - board, chalk, atlas, etc.
2. Motivation: What to accomplish.
3. Matter: Prepare well.
4. Method: Who, What, Why, When, How?
5. Manner: Happy face; simple language; asking intelligent questions to all; letting them to ask and if don't know the answer, research and answer in the next class, appreciate: Luke 2:40, 52.

Children learn about God from environments - family, friends, school, etc. It helps children to grow if they learn that there exists an all-powerful and protective God who provides them an enormous sense of security. "A child is a mystery and a shut-casket of immense possibilities." "How do you know the fruit is ripe? When it leaves the bunch" (Andre' Gide). "Every child born into the world is a new thought of God, an ever-fresh and radiant possibility" (Kate Wiggin). Children reinvent your world for you." (Susan Sarandon). A child depends everything on his/her parents. Children have firm faith in them; no worries or burden. They know that their parents have everything. They have pure hearts; no cheating or treachery; their obedience and complete submission and surrender. Children are angels .. at least most of them... their appearances, behavior and attitude. At Jesus' birth, the angels proclaimed the message: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14). At Christ's death, they sang: "Holy art thou, O God." Angels are messengers. They listen, obey, and perform. Like children, they are the extension of God's love. They are instruments of judgments. We do not worship them (Colossians 2:18; Revelation 19:10). They watch, guide, reveal, praise, provide, and protect. Children have angels (Matthew 18:10).

Children, when they are in first grade, talk about them like "my dad, nose, eyes" etc.; in second grade about their parents, "my dad, mummy"; in third grade about the town, village, or city; in fourth grade about the county; 5th grade about their state; sixth grade and seventh about their country and by eighth grade about the world. When they become a teenager, all these change into a new spectrum. So also their conception about their parents also change: At four, a child thinks that daddy can do anything; at seven, daddy knows a whole lot of things; at eight, daddy doesn't know quite everything; at twelve, oh, well, naturally father doesn't know that either; at fourteen, father is hopelessly old-fashioned; at twenty one, that man is out of date; at twenty five, he knows a little bit about it, but not much; at thirty, may be it is better to find out what dad thinks; at thirty five, try to get dad's assessment before do anything; at fifty, dad was pretty smart and wonder what he would have thought about that; at sixty, dad knew absolutely everything; and at sixty five, "I'd give anything if dad were here so I could talk this over with him; I really miss my dad."

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6). The first question a child asks is: "Why?". When a child makes its first step, we are all happy. But when starts running and yelling, we finally say "shut up." Teach them when they are young: Who is God? Love: John 3:16; 1 John 4:8
Who we are? Children of God: John 1:12
What is the purpose of our life? Witness (Acts)
Teach the importance of ACTS: A: Adoration; C: Confession; T: Thanksgiving; S: Supplication. "Life is an egg, do not break it, but hatch it." Teach them three beautiful words: "I love you"; three difficult words: "I forgive you"; and another difficult word: "No" at times. One needs courage and strength to use the three royal refuses: (1) David refused to put on the armor (1 Samuel 17:38-39); (2) Daniel refused king's table to eat meat (Daniel 1:8); Jesus refused king's crown (John 6:13).

A child's mind is very sensitive - inqusitiveness. Have the child nearby during family prayer and at worship services. A child is greatly swayed by instincts. Heriditory in the blood runs in the family. The story of Laban, Jacob, and spotted and stripped lamb (Genesis 30:32-43) is a good example. Family life and environment shall be ideal. Have Bible reading, prayer life, church going all together. Train them to swim against the waves. Jesus considers children as an integral part of the Church:

1. Jesus called a child and set him in the midst of them (Matthew 18:2): Central position.
2. Turn around (convert) and become like a child: Matthew 18:3.
3. Jesus to disciples: "You do not despise these children" (Matthew 18:10).
4. Told to allow little children to come to Him: Mark 10:4.
5. Jesus blessed the children.
6. "Feed the lamb": Jesus told Peter : John 21:15. The child is the Father of Man.

Prepare children for worship participation by:

1. Worshipping (praying) at home
2. Visiting worship places and introducing to Church leaders.
3. Introducing to new people who worship
4. Helping to say responses in the worship services.
5. Participating in other sacramental services: Baptism, etc.
6. Training to get involved in worship services
7. Preparing physically, mentally and emotionally.
8. Parents' participation
9. Talking about what happened after the service.

Fifteen Guidelines:

1. Obedience is better than sacrifice: 1 Samuel 15:22 cf. 3:19
2. Honor parents: Exodus 20:12 cf. Genesis 46:29
3. Listen to parents: Proverbs 23:22
4. Be obedient to parents: Ephesians 6:1-2
5. Avoid the temptations of the world: Proverbs 1:10-19
6. Be faithful: Hebrews 11:1
7. Be truthful /sincere: "Come to the knowledge of truth" (2 Timothy 3:7)
8. Be submissive: in all reverence: 1 Timothy 3:4
9. Be excellent: Wisdom is ethical and moral associated with excellence - truth, righteousness and knowledge: Proverbs 8:6-11.
10. Be sensible: Evaluate the five senses when doing/talking.
11. Study the Holy Scriptures: The spoken word and the incarnated word: 2 Timothy 3:15-16
12. Keep the Law / commandments: Proverbs 28:7
13. Honor elders: Leveticus 19:32
14. Prepare children for worship physically and emotionally
15. Introduce children to the leaders and visitors of the church.

Six stages of Moral Development according to Kohlberg's Model:

A. Preconventional:
1. One does what is right based on the fear of punishment;
2. Based on procuring something in return.
B. Conventional:
3. Concerned for the approval of others
4. concerned about the rules and regulations
C. Postconventional:
5. Breaks out of being controlled by others and regulates one's own behavior
6. Development of a healthy conscience - does the right thing because of one's own belief.

Few questions to ponder:

1. "What will be the boy's rule of life and his work"? (Judges 13:12): Manoah's question to the angel.
2. Why are you going to him today? (2 Kings 4:23): Shunamite woman's husband.
3. What kind of a child will this be? (Luke 1:66): John the Baptist. "Is this not Joseph's son?" (Luke 4:22): Lord looks at the heart: 1 Samuel 16:7.
4. Whose son are you, young man? (1 Samuel 17:58): Jesse's youngest son, shepherd of Bethlehem, giant slayer, composer of Psalms, musician, Jonathan's closest friend ... Was a fugitive but became Israel's king, a champion in battle and a troubled monarch. Glorious triumph, but great tragedy; strong in battle, weak at home; a man after God's own heart (1 Samuel 13:13-14; 16:1; Psalm 78a:70-72.
1. Spirituality: A heart like God's - in harmony with him, obeying His command: 2 Chronicles 16:9
2. Humility: Committed heart
3. Integrity: Wholesome and pure: Psalm 78:70-72
4. Skilful: 1 Samuel 16:18 cf. Proverbs 18:16. (Parumala Thirumeny, Mother Theressa, Florence Nightingale, Fr. Damian, George Muller): Social work and gospel work intertwined.

Psalm 127:3-4:

1. Children are gifts (heritage): God's property assigned to parents.
2. Children are fruits: nurturing, cultivation, hard-works in shaping a life.
3. Children are rewards.
4. Children are arrows pointing to a certain target. Children are very sincere, straightforward and truthful. Children should have the attitude of gratitude. Nathaniel: "There is no guile in him" John the Baptist: "No other greater person than him." Peter: the rock to build the church. Ask ourselves: "Show me myself, Lord, show me myself.' Pray: "Lord, show me Thyself."

A. Be faithful: Hebrews 11:1
B. Be truthful/sincere: "Come to the knowledge of truth: 2 Timothy 3:7.
C. Be submissive: In all reverence: 1 Timothy 3:4.
D. Be excellent: Wisdom is ethical and moral associated with excellence - truth, righteousness, and knowledge: Proverbs 8:6-11.
E. Be sensible.
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Fortieth day or Sixth Thursday after resurrection is traditional day of ascension. Ascension is one of the crucial confession on which the Christianity is founded on.

40th day or Sixth Thursday after resurrection is traditional day of ascension. Christianity is founded on the confession of five cardinal faith doctrines namely:

1. Incarnation of the Logos (Virgin birth of the Lord)
2. Crucifixion
3. Resurrection from the dead
4. Ascension into heaven
5. Blessed hope of Second Coming

"After the Lord had spoken to them He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God," Mark 16:19. "He was parted from them and carried up into heaven," Luke 24:51. "He was taken up and a cloud received Him out of their sight," Acts 1:9. Thus Gospel of Mark, Luke and Acts show slight variance of ascension details. Promise if the Second Coming by the Angel is seen in Acts only. Scholars are of the opinion that Acts of Apostles is an extension of Luke's Gospel. Probably he might have felt it necessary to give more details of ascension.

Ascension and Second Advent are always considered together. We are not sure why Mathew and John left out such important events of ascension and the promise of Second Coming. However, we recollect that Jesus had predicted His ascension, the purpose of ascension and Second Coming. "I will come again and receive you to myself," John 14:3-4. "Then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory," Mark 13:26, Luke 21:27, Mat 24:30 and 26:64. Old Testament Shadows: Elijah's translation into heaven bears much semblance to the ascension of our Lord, 1K 2:11-13. A chariot of fire and horse of fire came down from heaven and he was carried up in his earthly body in a whirlwind. Elisha witnessed the great event of Elijah's translation. He received Elijah's mantle and his spirit and continued the mission. The disciples received the Lord's blessing. Angel appeared and encouraged the gazed disciples with the blessed assurance of His Second Coming, which imbued joy in the hearts of disciples.

Prophesy of ascension: Psalm 24 is prophecy concerning ascension of our Lord. "Lift up your heads O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of Glory shall come in. Who is the king of glory? The Lord strong and mighty. The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory," v 7-10. This is a dialogue between the legions of angels, while one legion utter the cry of welcome to the king the other host asks who is the king and the other answers, He is the king of glory, etc. The references to "glory, strong and mighty" are indicative of His victory over, sin, Satan, hell and death while during His earthly ministry, crucifixion and resurrection.Apostles' conviction:

Apostles firmly believed and attested the ascension and promise of the Second Coming. "As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes," 1 Cor 11:26. "He will appear for a second time," Heb 9:28. Paul closes his first epistle to Corinthians with fervent plea to Lord to come soon (maran atha), 16:22. He exhorted Philippians to conduct themselves righteously and wait hopefully considering the imminent advent of Christ, v 4:5. "Who has gone to heaven and is at the right hand of God," 1 Pe 2:22. Stephen testified, "I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God," Acts 7:56. The common usage is, "sat or sits at the right hand" instead of "standing" as in Acts 7:56 and Rev 5:6 that says of a "stood a Lamb.") "Behold, I am coming quickly," Jesus Himself assured, Rev 22:12. The term "sat" indicates the completion of the work of atonement. It is also symbolic reference to the position of authority.

Executive orders are often signed or directed in sitting position. The term "right hand" indicates the place of honor and favor from God the Father. St Paul says, "Being found in the appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death on the cross and therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him name which is above every name and that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and of those on earth and of those under the earth, Phil 2:8-10. This in turn teaches us a lesson that exaltation comes only to those who humble themselves and obey the Lord's precepts. Apostles had the notion and taught that Jesus would return in their lifetime. "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air," 1 Thes 4:15,17.

Arguments against: Also there were people who discredited or doubted the apostles. For this reason Peter admonished them saying, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance," 2 Peter 3:9. Peter also said that God's timeframe is different from human standards because as said in Psalm 90:4, "With the Lord one day is a thousand years and a thousand years as one day," v 3:8. We are thus reminded of our duty to eagerly wait and urged of the exigency to be vigilant and shun evil ways to receive the Lord whenever He comes. How He will come again? 1, He will appear in His glorified body for He resurrected and ascended with the glorified body. 2, It will be visible, "Every eye shall see him, even they who pierced Him," Rev 1:7. 3, He will come gloriously in dazzling brightness as in transfiguration accompanied by hosts of angels, blazing fire, saints, and trumpet of God and voice of archangel. 4, He will come triumphant over the foes.

He will avenge the infidels casting them in eternal fire where fire will never quench and worms will never die. 5, Second Coming shall be unpredictable and shall be like a thief, 2 Pe 3:10. Preparedness of the believer is highly imperative. Two-fold effect: This is the grace age, all are given chance to obey the Gospel. The Second coming is for judgment. To reward according to what one has done in this life. It will be a day of exceeding joy to the believers who will reign with the Lord and wailing to the opponents of Gospel. His foes will be ashamed and shall weep as they are thrown into the lake of fire.

There shall be numerous signs of Second coming, 2 Tim 3:1-9. Objections: However there are certain objections about ascension. They say that the Jews and early Christians believed that earth was flat and the heaven was a place above earth. The ascension story is said under a notion that is now out-dated and hence needs be ignored. It could have be an acted parable to convince the disciples that the post-resurrection appearances were over and the Holy Spirit is replaced in the Church. Though physically away from the earthly time and space frame the risen Lord is spiritually present in all Christian gatherings, etc. The purpose of ascension: 1, He has gone to prepare place for us, "I go to prepare a place for you," John 14:2. 2, He advocates for our frailty, 1 John 2:1. 3, He intercedes on our behalf, Rom 8:34, Heb 7:25. 4, He ministers our needs as High priest, Heb 8:1-2. 5, He is the Mediator of the new Covenant, Heb 9:15.

Why delay? He is waiting to come again until all his enemies are subdued so as to establish Kingdom of God, 1 Cor 15:24-26. Universality of the Church; Our Lord's earthly stay was centered on a particular locality. The Church assumed universal dimension because the Lord ascended into heaven above. Implication to us: Jesus Christ is the head and the Church is His body. We, the members of the Church, which is the body of Christ, are also entitled to sit where Christ sits. Because he sits at the right hand of God the Father we have also bold entry into the presence of God, Eph 2:6. Creed: Venerable fathers of the Church firmly believed and taught and handed down to us the very same true and undefiled faith of the apostles. Thus we read in the Nicene Creed, "The third day He rose again as He willed and ascended into heaven and sat at the right hand of His Father and He shall come again with great glory to judge both the living and the dead." Misinterpretations: However, many overzealous and selfish people misinterpreted and twisted the Word of God for their benefits, arrived at various wrong conclusions and misled many who are unstable and untaught.

Apostles sternly warn that they are destined for damnation. The doctrine of Second Advent of our Lord is our foundational faith and blessed hope. We truly believe and confess it. It is neither a myth nor a soothsaying but basis of Christian existence. It is not simply a condition of mind or a wishful thinking or an illusion but a reality on which we heavily rely on. We express our hope and declare our readiness to receive the Lord in every Holy Eucharist.

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Looking at 42 year old Ponnamma, her 82-year-old mother in LAW Thankamma said, "Eddie neeyum ninte makkalum avarude makkalum mudinju pokumadie" and she died. Ponnamma came to that house about 22 years ago and Thankamma began to nag her with in a short time and she continued this ever since. Ponnamma's husband will not do any thing to support her to avoid a conflict with his mother and prevent to be called a hen pecked husband. After Thankammas death Ponnamma became very frightened thinking that her curse may come true. Even after her death, the curse, and the harassment of Thankamma continued. By cursing Ponnamma, her mother in law Thankamma was indeed punishing her own son and his children and his grand children.

Will her curse work? There is a general belief that the curse will work what is the truth? Many people worry a great deal thinking of the consequences of such curses.

St Paul (Romans 12:14) advised believers not to curse, but to bless those who persecute them. Again he wrote to Corinthians (1-4:12) to bless those who curse us. Our Lord Jesus advised us to bless those who curse and pray for those who ill treat us (Luke 6:28). He told us to love our enemies. It is written in Exodus 21:17 that any one who curses his father or mother should be put to death Matthew 15:4 shows that Jesus referred to this. In the history of Job, many people including his wife advised him to curse God, but he did not in spite of all problems he had. It is not a Christian habit to curse others. This shows that Our Lord will protect us from the curses of other people. We do not need any more protection than that.

If any one curse us pray to God and try to bless who curse us

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Before U were thought of or time had begun,
God even stuck U in the name of His Son.
And each time U pray, you'll see it's true,
You can't spell out JesUs and not include U.

You're a pretty big part of His wonderful name,
For U, He was born; that's why He came.
And His great love for U is the reason He died,
It even takes U to spell crUcified.

Isn't it thrilling and splendidly grand,
Se rose from the dead with U in His plan.
The stones split away, the gold trUmpet blew,
And the word resUrrection is spelled with a U.

When JesUs left earth at His upward ascension,
Se felt there was one thing He just had to mention.
"Go into the world and tell them it's true,
That I love them all- Just like I Love U."

So many great people are spelled with a U,
Don't they have a right to know Jesus too?
It all depends now on what U will do,
He'd like them to know, but it all starts with U!
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If you lived in the far East,
You wouldn't have missed me Either,
I come down every year during winter,
Sometimes More, Sometimes Less.
Children Love to play with Me.
They Make Snowman and Snowballs out of Me
Elders I know you too enjoy on Me
Though You showell me away from your driveway
I am a problem to the drivers
They find it hard to get to work
Children wish I fall in plenty
They wish to have a day off from school
It's nice to see me fall
I wish the temperature wouldn't rise
You know, I wish I would not freeze
I hate to create accidents
I hope to remain a piece of enjoyment
But what to do?
It's only in my dreams though
May I never be a burden to anyone. !
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