Holy Week Devotional

 

Pastor John Piper launched a new, free devotional eBook, titled Love to the Uttermost: Devotional Readings for Holy Week, today. The devotional focuses on the self-giving love of Jesus Christ leading up to his death, burial and resurrection.

In preparation for the Easter, the new devotional was compiled from past teachings and writings of Piper for use in personal devotions or family and group settings. There are eight devotionals, beginning with Palm Sunday and ending with Easter Sunday. Piper chronicles the steps and words of Jesus as he prepares for his own sacrificial death. He takes the devotional reader on a journey of Christ’s love for them through his suffering and sacrifice.

The significance of the term uttermost is explained in the devotional. When used in relation to Jesus’ willing death for the world, it means he endured “unimaginable degrees” of suffering to do so. “To love to the uttermost is to love freely, without reserve or limit, and without flaw or failure,” it reads. “As we watch his arrest and trial and death unfold for eight days, we gaze on a God-man who begrudges no pain or reproach on his pathway to redeem lost sinners. This is the man who humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” – Philippians 2:8,”

 

Love to the Uttermost

 

Holy Week Timeline

 

holy-week-timeline

 

 



The Bible – Mini Series

‘The Bible’ — History Channel’s Upcoming Mini-Series That Covers Genesis to Revelation

Premiering on March 3

 

You can watch the Trailer here:

http://youtu.be/mz5JivD9eys

 

“I’ve probably seen most, if not all, of the films about the Bible produced in the past 50 years. This one stands alone, in a class by itself, as the best I’ve ever seen. Brilliantly produced with stunning cinematography, a Hans Zimmer score and academy-worthy acting, it stands head-and-shoulder above the rest. Too many ‘Bible’ films end up feeling like documentaries, with stilted dialog, second-class sets, and narration that feels like a lecture. In contrast, this series, draws you into the story from the start. The key to its effectiveness is that it lets the Bible speak for itself, without commentary, excuse or qualification, which makes it unique. This is living history at its best!”

—Dr. Rick Warren, Author, What On Earth Am I Here For?, The Purpose Driven Life

 

Famed reality show producer Mark Burnett has brought Americans popular programs like “Survivor,” “The Apprentice,” “Shark Tank” and “The Voice.” But his next project, “The Bible,” a mini-series set to air on the History Channel in 2013, may come as a surprise to some. The program, which takes the holy book from Genesis to Revelation and re-enacts it, will air in two-hour intervals over a five-week period.

There’s less than two months until Mark Burnettand Roma Downey (actress from “Touched by an Angel”) unveil their epic “The Bible” series on the History Channel. On Thursday, a new trailer for the initiative was released, showing snapshots of the compelling stories that will be told.

Premiering on March 3, the five-part program may come as a surprise to some — particularly considering Hollywood’s generally-dismal portrayal of religious themes (not to mention an overwhelming penchant for ignoring faith altogether).

The mini-series, which will take viewers through the holy book from Genesis to Revelation, is slated to air in two-hour intervals each week, concluding on Easter Sunday. Unlike documentary-style projects, “The Bible” is a reenactment that relies upon actors and realistic settings, merging the two in an effort to bring the book’s many stories to light.

“We really felt called to do this. [It] just kept tugging at our hearts,” Downey told reporters, later adding, “We really felt God’s hand there with us.”



Lent – Free Devotional Guide

Devotional Guide for Lent

Compiled by Haug and Walker, Journey to the Cross  is a free devotional guide for the season of Lent. Each week focuses on a different theme (e.g., repentance, humility, suffering, lament, sacrifice, death), and each day follows a distinct pattern: Call to Worship, Confession, Contemplation, and Closing Prayer. “Lent is about Jesus,” the authors contend, and with each element “our aim is to reflect meaningfully on his journey to the cross, so that we might take up our cross and follow him.”

Click below for the devotion:

Journey-to-the-Cross

 

Also, please read the article below from our Diocesan Bishop.

Great Lent or Valiya Noyambu

by Mar Theodosius

Feasts and fasts are the part of the tradition of all religious communites. In the Christian Churches of Antiochian tradition, including Mar Thoma Church, the Great Lent consists of 40 days ending with 40th Friday, with an extension of 10 more days inclusive of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter. It spreads to 7 weeks with a total of 50 days.

Lent is a season observed by our church as a time set apart for fasting and prayer and also a time of introspection. Observing silence is a great help during these days to have transcendence of mind. In the life of the community of the faithful, lent provides a time for spiritual discipline regularly. It is the practice of a life of denial, taking up the cross and following Jesus Christ. Here we recognize that permissiveness is not the principle of life. Freedom in life is a restricted and responsible freedom. Lent is based on the spiritual practice of fasting and prayer-both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. Jesus began His public ministry with forty days of fasting and communion with God (Matt. 4:2, Mk 1:13, Lk 4:2). Here the mind is not kept idle but will be very active in communion with God. Fasting and prayer remain as an undeniable character of the Church from the early days (Acts 13:2, 14:23). We wait upon the Lord in fellowship for renewal and strength.

The great lent or Valiya Noyambu is specifically set apart as a time of fast, prayer and meditation wherein we remember the person and work of Jesus Christ and ultimately connect ourselves to His passion and death on the cross. Christ redeemed the whole humanity from sin and death. Lent is in fact a spiritual retreat of the Church, through which the members of the church meditate upon the cross of Christ and submit to it in a sense of complete repentance. These fifty days should help every member of the church to have an experience of abiding in Christ in a realistic way (Jn15).

Fasting should never be observed with ostentation or spiritual pride Matt 6:16-18). Fasting is a spiritual discipline where we try to have mastery over the very things, which we understand as difficult to change. Jesus is the Lord of life and no interest in life shall stand on the way of experiencing His Lordship. So if you discover that you are a slave to certain habit, or you have a liking for any pleasure of taste, lent is a season to give it up and have mastery over it. Lent is not intended to win favors from God; instead it is the fulfillment of the will and purpose of God. It is not a ritual in which we try to change God’s mind rather we transform ourselves to have the mind of Christ. We discipline our life to care the needy and to show mercy to those who deserve it. It reminds us of the transformed practices of Zacheus who found salvation in Christ.

The exercise of Lent is also a time of rebuilding the altars of prayer – both personal and collective, studying the Word of God and developing a strict discipline of giving and forgiving. This helps the believer to gain internal strength to resist temptations, carnal desires and vested interests. Fasting is a time of reconciliation and healing (2Cor 5:11-21). It is a time to reconcile with the whole of creation and to heal the wounds of the world to make it a habitable one. It is a time of transcendence and transformation. St. Paul says in Rom. 1: 1&2 “Therefore I urge you my brethren, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is the spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the patterns of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will”.

Believers are encouraged to read and meditate on the word of God during lent. It will be useful to use continuously a devotional book. Those who study the Bible and use the devotional guide are to spend time in prayer asking God the Holy Spirit to guide you to understand the spirit and meaning of what is the given text for each day. This is not merely an intellectual exercise but a time of devotion, where you accept the Biblical truth into your life, so that it will bear fruit of renewal and transformation.

When you celebrate Easter, let this spiritual exercise help you to celebrate your spiritual life in abundance and to live victoriously in the power of the Holy Spirit. The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus leads the believer towards a renewed life and the faith community to a life of witnessing the power of Christ’s resurrection and to live with great hope towards consummation in the Kingdom of God.



All Glory Be to Christ

New lyrics to the tune of Auld Lang Syne, from the album Joy Has Dawned by Kings Kaleidoscope:

 

Should nothing of our efforts stand
No legacy survive
Unless the Lord does raise the house
In vain its builders strive

 

To you who boast tomorrow’s gain
Tell me what is your life
A mist that vanishes at dawn
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing,
All glory be to Christ!

His will be done
His kingdom come
On earth as is above
Who is Himself our daily bread
Praise Him the Lord of love

Let living water satisfy
The thirsty without price
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing,
All glory be to Christ!

When on the day the great I Am
The faithful and the true
The Lamb who was for sinners slain
Is making all things new.

Behold our God shall live with us
And be our steadfast light
And we shall ere his people be
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing,
All glory be to Christ!

credits

from Joy Has Dawned, released 27 November 2012
Words by Dustin Kensrue, arrangement by Kings Kaleidoscope / © Dead Bird Theology (ASCAP), It’s All About Jesus Music (ASCAP)


Horeb MTC Christmas Carol Service 2012

The first Christmas Carol Service of Horeb Mar Thoma Church. It was a fantastic evening, as we celebrated our Savior’s birth through wonderful music, fellowship and worship together. Enjoy and cherish these pictures and videos.

 

 



Christmas Carol Rounds 2012

Here are a couple of videos of our members visiting homes during the Christmas Carol rounds and spreading good cheer!

 

 



What Ravi Zacharias said to the Founder-Leader of Hamas

Forgiveness.

Ravi Zacharias a Christian apologist and an intellect, but above all he is an evangelist of the gospel of Jesus Christ:



Anti-Santy Ranty



Santa is Coming to Town vs. Jesus Came to Little Town

The contrast between Claus narrative and the Christ narrative, John Piper:



Joy to the World

Sojourn’s Music’s arrangement of “Joy to the World”