If your child decides to keep a present (gift) without
unwrapping it, will you feel something normal or strange? Yea, of course, it
bothers us. Isn’t it the same way when we treat Christmas? We Christians
celebrate Christmas with new dresses, caroling, gifts, cakes, etc., but forget
about the priceless gift of salvation. We are least bothered to explore the
riches available to us as children of God. A Cub Scout leader once went to teach a group of energetic
eight-year-old boys in Arizona about the birth of Jesus. One boy in particular
listened to the story intently and kept asking, “What happened next?” The questions like “What? Why? etc.” has a
real Christmas meaning in it, isn’t it? Eternal life is the most
precious possession we received. Because of His great love, the heavenly Father
offers this gift to everyone who will accept it through faith in His Son. It is
what emphasized in John 3: 16. And this gift is different from all the earthly
gifts because these earthly gifts we accumulate and eventually discard.So, won’t you help me to unpack the gift from
our heavenly Father?
How Jesus is related to Heavenly Father? Jesus is God’s beloved
Son, and God gave what was precious to Him. Why? To rescue us from
eternal separation from God. Luke 2: 11 tells us that a Savior has been born
for us, i.e., on who redeems me from my guilt, my sin, my shortcomings… So,
it’s our response and duty to trust in Jesus for mercy instead of punishment.
Jesus Christ came to earth, lived a
perfect life and died on the Cross for me. And sacrifice of Jesus gave
salvation to me and you. This enabled instant access to the Father, hence establishing
personal relationship with God. We are now free to “approach God’s throne
of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help
us in our time of need” (Heb. 4: 16).
And Salvation in Christ gave us
believers the Holy Spirit, the most incredible thing. John 14: 16 – 17,
26 tells us that the Holy Spirit abides in us, reminding the teachings of
Christ, and empowering us to fulfill His will.
The wonder and awe of Christmas is just a beginning. Christmas
reminds us that the babe born in Bethlehem has given us purpose for living, and
what happens next to us largely depends on how we embrace our Savior, Jesus
Christ, and follow Him. His glorious gospel reshaped the thinking of the world.
He lived for us, and He died for us. What can we, in return, give to Him?” The
celebration of Christmas should be a reflection of the love and selflessness
taught by the Savior… Through childlike faith we seek Him more and more and
feel His influence. “Giving, not getting, brings to full bloom the Christmas spirit.
We feel more kindly one to another. We reach out in love to help those less
fortunate. Our hearts are softened. Enemies are forgiven, friends remembered,
and God obeyed. The spirit of Christmas illuminates the picture window of the
soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in
people than in things.” To catch the real meaning of the spirit of Christmas,
individuals need only drop the last syllable of the word, and it becomes the
Spirit of Christ.
“May we give as the Savior gave.” “To give of oneself is a holy gift. We give
as a remembrance of all the Savior has given. May we also give gifts that have
eternal value, along with our gifts that eventually break or are forgotten. How
much better the world would be if we all gave gifts of understanding and
compassion, of service and friendship, of kindness and gentleness.”
Let me close with a small prayer of Erasmus,
“Sever me from myself that I may be
grateful unto Thee; May I perish to myself that I may be
safe in Thee: May I die to myself that I may live in
Thee; May I wither to myself that I may
blossom in Thee; May I be emptied of myself that I may
abound in Thee; May I be nothing to myself that I may
be all to Thee.”
Yours in Christ’s service, John Oommen Achen
Congratulations! Angela Prince, who has been honored with Award of Merit by Rotary Club of Glendora for her outstanding achievement in Academics and Citizenship.
The Diocese of North America and Europe of the Mar Thoma Church cordially invites you to attend a Holy Qurbana and Felicitation Meeting to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the Episcopal Consecration of Rt. Rev. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Theodosius at the Epiphany Mar Thoma Church, New York on Tuesday, December 9, 2014, at 9:00 AM. This will be a time for praising God for his blessed service for 25 years as a Bishop of the Mar Thoma Church. A fellowship lunch will follow.
Mar Thoma Church of Los Angeles Christmas Carol Service @ Grace Episcopal Church - Glendora, California 555 E Mountain View Ave, Glendora, CA 91741 December 20, 5pm
Rev. George Oommen
Annual church convention Oct 31—Nov 2, 2014 SCHEDULE FRIDAY, OCT 31, 2014 - 7:00 PM SATURDAY,NOV 1, 2014 - 5:00 PM (Youths & Young Families) - 6:30 PM (Regular Session) SUNDAY, NOV 2, 2014- 10: OO AM (Holy Qurbana & Convention) Enjoy the Spiritual feast and nurturing along with your family and friends!!!
Sevika Sangham One Day Retreat Tomorrow Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 10 am. Guest speaker is Lydia Almeda, she is planning to share on the Characteristics of Praying women. Please keep her,our SS and the retreat in your prayers. Please come prayfully and participate in the meeting. Hoping to see you all in church tomorrow.
His Grace RT. REV. DR. ZACHARIAS MAR THEOPHILUS SUFFRAGAN METROPOLITAN Sunday, October 5, 2014 @ 10:00AM Malayalam Holy Qurbana
Mar Thoma Church of Los Angeles Welcomes RT. REV. DR. ZACHARIAS MAR THEOPHILUS SUFFRAGAN METROPOLITAN Sunday, October 5, 2014 @ 10:00AM Malayalam Holy Qurbana
Please join Mar Thoma Church of Los Angeles Teleconference Call
Every Friday evening @ 9pm
Phone #: (559) 726-1300
Participant #: 435641
First Fruit Auction to be held after service on August 10, 17, 24 & 31, 2014
Rt. Rev. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Theodosius Episcopa with Rev. John Oommen, The First Communicants and their family
Our Church Picnic will be held on Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 at the Carbon Canyon Regional Park, Shelter # 11 in the City of Brea, from 10.00am to 4.00pm. Bring your family and friends. Lots of food & games. There will be a parking fee of $5.00 per vehicle.
Coordinators: Mr. Binu Mathew (Cell: 310-227-3338),
Mr. Manoj Varkey & Mr. Cherian Abraham
In Loving Memory . . . .
Rev. K.J. Mathew (Mannarathara) , vicar St. Peters Mar Thoma Church (Kumily), has been taken to heavenly abode Monday ( August 11, 2014) at Parumala hospital and the body is transferred to Ranny mortuary. Funeral service will be arranged later. Achen is survived by Vasamma kochamma and children ( Sonu John and Dona Elizabeth). Please uphold them in your prayers.
Contact No : 9446242502
Achen was the former Vicar of St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church, Calgary and St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church, Vancouver
Suvisesha Nidhi Sunday is scheduled for August 3 ,2014. Your participation from the local level is very essential. Please click on the following Suvisesha Nidhi 2014 Promotional Video