“Almighty and glorious Lord, save us…praise and thanksgiving now and forever” (Taken from the Order of Worship for Holy Qurbana)
Sedra is a collection/series of prayers and supplications. Being prayer clusters, each small prayer has a great deeper meaning. Last month we studied about Promeon. We studied that Promeon is a preface or an introduction to Sedra. Both Promeon and Sedra go together and both help us to participate meaningfully in the Holy Communion service. Before we meditate on Sedra we have to understand that there are many promeon and Sedra prayers in the Order of Holy Communion of Mar Thoma Church. These prayers are truly biblical and has biblical references. Liturgical prayers are neither human imagination nor mere fantasies. The following can be understood as the importance of the Sedra ‘cited above’ in Holy Communion service.
1. Sedra reminds us of God’s act of redemption through His Incarnation
We are in the season of Advent. As we celebrate God’s coming to us in flesh, we have to always remember that Incarnation is God’s love towards us (Jn 1:14; Isa 9:6; Col 1:15; Rom 6:23). The Son of God became son of man so as to make ‘sons and daughters of man,’ Sons and daughters of God. Lord in his mercy and grace has incarnated into this world (Jn 3:16, Eph 1:7; Rom 3:24-26). The incarnation narratives speak of Jesus’ birth for the redemption of the world (Mt. 1:18-21, Lk 1: 28-35, 2:10-12, 28-32).
2. Sedra reminds us that we are in God’s Holy presence worshipping Him
Why we worship God? We worship God to Glorify Him. As God is the Truth, his worshipper should worship Him truthfully with all of their heart, soul and mind (Mt. 22:37; Deut. 6:5). So worshipping God means to be actively participating and involving. God dwells in Holiness. As angels continually praise God’s holy name and proclaim ‘the Lord God is holy’ (Rev 4:8-11; Isa 6:1-3), the believing community is praying to God to give them also that great privilege to worship God without ceasing. Worshipping God in His holiness is a great privilege and also honor. To inherit the Kingdom of God and to experience that eternal bliss which God has prepared for his faithful (Mt 25:31-46), the community here seeks God’s guidance to show the path that leads to His glorious kingdom (Jn. 14:6; Acts 4:12, Jn. 10:9). As we are in God’s presence our worship should be pleasing to him and in Godly fear we should humble ourselves.
3. Sedra reminds us that it is God who sanctifies and protects us
God’s presence is always sanctifying and protecting (Tit 2:14, Jn 8:1-11, Lk 23:42-43). Isaiah on experiencing the holiness of God and His glory, says, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of host!”(Isa 6:5). Saul on his way to Damascus encounters Risen Jesus and that experience sanctifies his life and direct him to carry out the mission of spreading the good news of Jesus the Christ. In Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the Tax collector, Jesus teaches why God rejected Pharisee but accepted the tax collector. Jesus said, “… for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” A worshipper should humble himself/herself before God. Cross is the symbol of God’s protection and care. Jesus died on a cross bearing the burden of our sins. As sin leads to death, Jesus by taking our burden of sin and punishment redeemed us. (Eph1:17, Rom 3:24, 5:8, 18; Ex 12:7). Cross is the place of protection.
Therefore as we participate in Sedra prayers, let these prayers help us to understand God’s holiness and our sinful nature, thereby leading you and me to true repentance.
May God keep us in His Warm and comforting Embrace.
Edavaka Mission meets every Thursday at 7:30PM at the following locations:
Address & Phone
& Mrs. Joseph K Mathew
1557 Rosser Ave., Elmont, NY 11003
& Mrs. V.G. Abraham
260-19, 81st Avenue
Floral Park, NY 110043
& Mrs. Yohannan Varughese
25 David Avenue
Hicksville, NY 11801
& Dr. Shinoi Joseph
2350 Merrick Avenue
Merrick, NY 11566
Edavaka Mission Activities
Thoma Voluntary Evangelist's Association was found by our late
Metropolitan Most Rev. Abraham Mar Thoma out of his strong conviction
that each Mar Thomite is an Evangelist. Evangelism
is the utmost mission of this Organization. The Parish level unit is
known as the Edavaka Mission and at the Long Island Mar Thoma Church,
New York, we give stress to the seven fold activities such as
Intercessory Prayer, Bible Study, Sharing of Experience, House Visit,
Visiting the Sick, Group Activities etc
Edavaka Mission regular
meetings are conducted every Thursday at 7.30 PM at the Church as well
as Members' houses with prior announcement at the Parish on Sundays.
Fasting Prayer meetings are conducted once every month at the members' houses either the last Saturdays or Thursdays depending upon members and Achen's
convenience with prior announcement at the Parish on Sundays.
Edavaka Mission also support various Mission projects such as sponsorship of students at St. Thomas School,
Visakhapatanam, India. Sponsoraship of an Evangelist in India. Medical
and financial aid to different individuals and families based on
requests received by Achen time to time. Edavaka Mission welcomes
donations from members for the above mentioned activities and
sponsorship. For details, please contact our Achen Rev. A. B. Binu, Mr.
Mammen Samuel or Achamma Jacob.
Ecumenical Christmas Carol Celebration will be on Sunday, December 28th, 2014 at 4:30PM at Glen Oaks High School Auditorium (74-10 Commonwealth Blvd., Glen Oaks, NY 11426). All are encouraged to attend this program.