Saturday, December 31, 2016



Evil in the society can be controlled only by hard hitting laws. Untaxed money or undeclared income is at the core of our society. All of us are guilty of some amount of corruption in money matters. Corruption can also be at the heart level of getting what we want through hidden agendas. None of us can claim to be righteous. Our Govt with ‘some good intentions’ decided to implement demonetisation to set our society right. According to their calculation they are the chosen ones to wipe out black money, arrest terrorism at the borders and make India digital and all will be well.
Is it blind leading the blind?

There are reasons why, as people of a great nation, we accept corruption so easily. We take pride in being a tolerant society.We tolerate everything including all that should not be tolerated. Toleration is ‘putting up’ with something or someone for various reasons. It can arise from lack of conviction, respect or from benefits or personal advantage. May be we just don’t care enough! There is much injustice, violence, partiality and unfair practises in the society. Very few people pay tax. As we do not have social security, good medical care or good education for all, people choose to take short cuts to get some extra cash for emergencies and for the future of their children. Comfort and convenience are available at a price but many do not have the means to get it. Unemployment and addictions kill the human spirit. Powerful and influential people get away with much dishonesty. They have the buying power to manipulate people and systems. Life passes by without noticing the common man. There is a build-up of frustration in the poor as they are faced with their harsh reality.There is a sense of betrayal by the democratic government to take care of the grievances of the common man. There is a denial about our true condition. All political powers behave in the same way. Their promises are the  same and their failures are same. Leaders who are elected to be servants and representatives of people, now become masters who forget their primary role.It’s so depressing to watch the debates and discussions in the media. Blame game is the norm and the media thrives on this unashamedly.They get their energy from making the parties bash each other up. The spokespersons are drilled to defend their position by lies. The past sins of others seem to give them a good enough reason to continue their own corrupt agendas. Those who read or watch the game feel so lost. People at large feel betrayed by the very own leaders they chose. Inability to change anything for the better, we tolerate all that's going on. Our collective sins are too many to have a simple solution. We are our own enemies.

We as a nation have lost the moral authority to talk about good governance. There are no absolutes. Everything is grey. Laws can be twisted for personal benefits.Many can get away with wrong doing. The judicial system can also be manipulated, so faith in that system is also eroding. No one has the decency to apologize or admit wrong-doing. One’s status or public image is more important than sincerity. Sentiment is more important than justice.  The corrupt shall inherit the earth is the reality today. We all know this - it’s nothing new and nothing much can be done to set it right adds to the pain of living. We rejoice when some one is caught by authorities without acknowledging our share in the collective moral failure.

What is the solution to this sickness? As a nation, we need mechanisms to enforce the laws as no one will embrace personal or civil laws willingly. Religious instructions or fear of punishment help some to live with checks and balances. But it does not touch the core of our being with a desire for truthful living. Knowing what is good but impotent to do it is the human dilemma. We know too much but it does not make any difference to life. “I do not know what evil resides in me” wrote the Father of the Nation – Mahatma Gandhi. This truth can be multiplied by 1.4 billion to see our true situation.All of us are fallen creatures and, no system can make us what we ought to be is an unpleasant truth that we refuse to believe. We have enough proof of this pathetic condition within and without. Education has not diminished it, development has not touched it and philosophy has not transformed it. This is universal and all are infected with this inner corruption. The differences are only in the shade. We can live comfortably only as we lower the standard of ethics.

As a nation, we can work towards some civility to make our daily living tolerable. Some degree of well being is possible within our current situation. It can be enhanced by many factors. Unless we embrace common good, we will only be self-seekers. But do we have a good enough reason to think about others in our scheme of things? Unless we are convinced and convicted of our reasons, we will never desire change.

Family, school and religious institutions are the basic pillars that mould our thinking and direct us to take the path of goodness and truth. We have no role models for children to look up to and be inspired.But if these pillars are falling apart in delivering the ethics and reasons for choosing, then we fail ourselves dangerously. We promote an unhealthy and polluted culture. We influence our children’s world and train them unconsciously to take the easy path or the broad way. Thus the key to creating a civilized society is compromised forever. We move towards becoming a superficial people group whose god is plastic money and parent is google.

But there is a superior way for a personal transformational encounter with Truth that can produce radical change from within. This happened to an income tax officer called Zach. His deep desire to come out of the restlessness within drove him to take up the unusual method of climbing a tree to get a glimpse of a Sachguru, ‘Teacher of truth’. It was an encounter of truth and falsehood, light and darkness, around the dinner table in Zach’s house.

In that brief meeting, his lies and darkness acknowledged the the inner state of his heart. His lavish home, his bank accounts, his gold and silver that gave security, all were stained with corruption. He had taken what did not belong to him rightly. He had used various unethical means to acquire wealth. He had exploited the poor. He had coveted and cheated to get what he wanted and now it was giving him a burden that was too much to carry. The only way to his inner freedom was to unburden himself by giving up all that he had taken and shifting his value system. He embraced a different life style for his future. He found joy in giving up something that was eating away his soul, to get that which could not be taken away from him. He was willing to lose everything to find another way of living. The teacher did not ask him to do it. Darkness walked away in Light’s presence. It was spontaneous, voluntary and joyful.

What political maneouvering could not do, the Man who is Truth did over a dinner table. It was not enforced but embraced.  Zach found his reason to come out of darkness into Truth. Salvation comes from unexpected places. Why only Zach? Can this happen to us today? Do we want to live a truthful life? Are we willing to pay the price?

There is no limit to our greed. There is no limit to our twistedness to make happen what we desire. “I have a streak of cruelty in me that compels people to attempt the impossible in order to please me,” said Mahatma Gandhi. Our deception has no boundary. No enforcement is going to touch our hearts. We will find new ways to do old things. We invent our own unhappiness.

Demonetisation is a call to examine our hearts in the light of truth. It is not a call only to empty our pockets but our hearts. It’s a call to shift gears  and change lanes. It’s a call to come down from our vantage points and face our truth however painful it may be. It’s a call to look at the incarnated Truth and embrace the moment of grace to change.All these depend on our eagerness to be free from the bondage of living a lie. If there is a welcoming place in our hearts and homes for truth, then the Man who is Truth incarnate will set us free to a life of contentment.

December 2016

Thursday, December 29, 2016


Christmas 2016

Christmas is a good time to introspect to see where we stand in our conviction about what we profess to believe.
Mary allowed her body to be the home for the God cells to grow and take the human shape. Her obedience made the miracle possible.
Joseph nurtured and cared for the baby by watching over, providing and protecting the little one and embraced the responsibility of being the human father.
Others like the shepherds, wise men, Simeon and Anna worshipped the promised one, not knowing the whole story.
Millions of people all over the world continue to experience life changing encounters with this Jesus and their lives are being changed for the better.
Many leave the faith as it becomes difficult for them to embrace the moral demands of the gospel. Others stay at a distance. The church continues to disappoint many by becoming irrelevant in its current geo-political situation. Materialism, power games, competition and compromises mark the church. Church seems to have lost its moral prophetic voice to awake a dying world. It has no counter culture to offer as its life style is no different from the rest.
Jesus, the man from Nazareth, continues to disturb the status quo. He challenges us with Truth. He touches the raw nerve at the dark and hidden recesses of our being and exposes the lies we live by. This makes us uncomfortable. His answers are a big blow to the human ego yet Life giving to those who seek truth. He invites all but only a handful respond. He makes the dead alive through His death and offers a life that will not die.
His indwelling in us alone can empower us to live out His life in and thru us. No Christian life is possible without this. “Christ with us” is taken to another dimension where “Christ in us” becomes a reality. The heavenly perspective of “We are in Christ” is equated to “Christ in us” from the earthly perspective.
If Christ is in us, then how shall we live becomes

the question? How shall we allow His qualities and attitudes to replace ours and manifest thru our attitudes and actions?
We are called to offer our bodies to be His instruments to express and live out His life on a day to day basis. It’s a joyful voluntary submission to the One who continues to love us by His indwelling presence. This is the only rightful response to God’s love. Together we can become “Christ” to the hurting world.
May the Christ of Christmas give us faith, hope and love for 2017.

Take some time to reflect about what Christmas actually celebrates: the coming of Jesus, a fragile baby born into a politically dangerous situation. He continues to come in to our turmoil filled life and seeks a welcoming place where He can live out His life. Are we ready?

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ

 The Grace of our Lord Jesus.

Recently I was thinking about this special Grace. What is it and how does it work? The following thoughts evolved as I pondered over this.
I think this Grace is different from God’s redemptive Grace. God showers upon us unmerited or undeserved favor. We are paupers and in no way can we buy favor from God. So God decided unilaterally to give this Grace to us freely. This is the saving Grace.
But what is the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ? It is his ‘life style’ grace.
The word became flesh and lived among us…He walked the talk…those who witnessed this talk and walk, this word and flesh, made the remarkable statement “Full of Grace and Truth” about Him. Full of light. From His fullness all have received Grace upon Grace. A life full of Grace and Truth. Not a bit of this and a bit of that!
Paul explains this Grace, “you know the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, though he was rich, for our sake he became poor.”
The graciousness of Jesus was his willingness to let go, to descend, to become helpless and vulnerable for the nobodies. It also meant saying a big ‘Yes’ to his Father and an emphatic ‘no’ to evil.
Every Sunday we receive the benediction, “The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all”, telling us to go out and live. So how does it work?
This Grace is filled with the wisdom of God, the ability to live a different kind of life in this world.
My own experience is that:
This Grace awakens my heart to the things of God, to Righteousness.
Grace brings to my consciousness truths from the scripture that are applicable to my situation. It helps me to remember and prompts me to obey.
This Grace produces a desire in me to seek God’s kingdom.
This points me to Jesus and his ways and enables me to say NO to all that’s evil.
This Grace is the Spirit of Lord Jesus Christ, His very own nature. His Humility.
This gives us the capacity to postpone the immediate gratification of our flesh for long-term blessings. Eventually we may reach a place where we may not have to struggle endlessly to choose between evil and good. Pleasure of sin may lose its affinity and appeal to us.
This Grace helps us to accept difficulties and sufferings by changing our focus to joy beyond measure. This is the kind of life style we have been invited to take up. Jesus suffered everything that came in his way so as to let us know that it could be done. He was content to let God set things right.

We are still left with a choice to listen to this Grace, which is calling out all the time. We can choose to heed its warnings, encouragements or ignore it or respond partially. We can waste this work of Grace by betraying that moment of awakening or stirring deep within us.
We can learn to live in the atmosphere of Grace. It is just like the air we breathe without effort or conscious awareness. It’s always there for us to take in. We breathe in the Grace and its life -giving energy and words. Jesus said that his yoke is bearable and what he tells us to do is easy. Grace is the presence of Jesus in and with us and our awareness of this truth in all our happenings.

What was the secret of Jesus?  How did he become full of Grace and Truth?
It came from knowing who he was. An awareness of his father’s love became the foundation for his Rest. There was no need to impress, threaten or boast. No need to do spectacular things and push His own agenda and draw attention to him by being somebody else.
It was an expression of his trust and security in his father.
He became truth incarnate. He made choices based on truth, so lies had no power over him. Not loving was not an option for him.
When we do not know who we are, our worth and preciousness of our being, how much we are loved, then we try to grasp what is missing in some form or other. We become Graceless people. We see people as objects. We see them enemies to avoid, criticize, to demean and to hate. We begin to use people for our benefit. We bully and ignore them.
Grace prompts us to reach out, to love, to respect, to understand, to trust, to forgive and to overlook many failures in the other. Grace holds on to truth all the time. The moment we ignore this prompting, we betray this Grace and ourselves and move towards self -justification to defend our self- betrayal.
To acknowledge to oneself and to God this betrayal is confession. Grace continues to walk with us and takes us to this point of confession and repentance.
How much of self- betrayal can we cope with? It soon begins to break through our system and begins to manifest in all sorts of negative and damaging ways. Eventually we become slaves to ourselves and this gives a handle to the devil to torment us and manipulate us.
We begin to represent more of evil and become controlled by fear. All our relationships will suffer as we live in this darkness. We become even afraid to look into our own hearts. We would rather ‘be sick’ and cover up our darkness rather than find healing through facing our real inner condition. Sometimes over activity or laziness become the only escape route.
The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ continues to call us. As long as it is called TODAY, this salvation from our self -deception is available if we heed to this Grace. The only things that will destroy us are fear and pride.
How shall we escape if we neglect such Grace?
We are partakers of Gods nature. His seed is in us. We are recreated for some thing super. Every sharing in the Holy Communion is an act of receiving Grace. Taking in the life of Jesus is the sacred invitation. This invitation challenges us to live out His life in the sad world all around us. This Grace is Life giving. He gives it freely. We receive it with thankfulness. It is a movement towards humility. We freely receive and so we freely give. We become channels of this Grace to the hurting world.
May this Grace of our Lord Jesus be with us to walk the talk.
Let me conclude with this ancient prayer called ‘Soul of Christ’:
May ALL that is you flow into me,
May your body and blood be my food and drink,
May your Passion and death be my strength and life.
With you by my side, enough has been given,
May the shelter I seek be the shadow of your cross,
Let me not run from the love that you offer,
But hold me safe from the forces of evil.
On each of my dyings shed your Light and Love
Keep calling to me until that day comes,
when with your saints I may praise you forever.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Jesus

My Jesus


If Jesus is the desire of ages, the fulfillment of all prophesies
If Jesus is the exact image of the invisible God and the final revelation of all dreams for a perfect man
Then everything in scripture needs to be seen, interpreted and lived out through His eyes and His perspective!

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

This statement means that His words in the gospels become the final authority in all matters of life and death and beyond death.  His values, attitudes and truths become our foundation for living and the yardstick for interpretation of everything that matters. All other revelations and commentaries remain incomplete and fragmented shadows. What He spoke about himself, God and His kingdom, life, relationships, the world and death, all become the final word.
He calls us to follow Him
The Voice tells us to Listen to Him
Apostles encourages us to behold Him.
He matters more than anyone here and now.
Our minds can fathom Him and understand Him only partially even as a man. He draws our hearts and our attention. He is full of truth and grace. Our hearts burn within as we listen to what he says. Yes, a compassionate, uncompromising radical who brought light and life to our world. Gentleness and kindness poured out from His being.
He had love for all. So spacious was he with open arms, yet he could not be trapped or manipulated or taken for a ride. He knew how to handle power. He displayed utter humility. There was nothing in Him to respond to evil. He knew the tempter, his voice and his offers.
Jesus had the final word. Yes, He said some hard and difficult words unpalatable to our liking. He talked about a better home. He did not hide the reality of evil and the nothingness of hell. He was proactive, yet surrendered His will to lay down His life. His trust in His Father was so complete. Yes, His humanity moves me to adore Him and want to take a second look at Him. There is something about Him that makes me wonder who he resembles, more than a man, different, unlike anyone else.
There was no fear in Him, no malice, no hypocrisy. There was nothing wrong in Him yet a mystery surrounding Him. In His transparent presence, sinners felt comfort, religious people felt threatened, children laughed, women found dignity, the tired found rest, the broken found wholeness, the sick found healing, the demons fled, nature obeyed. He generated faith in many, anger in some but questions in all. No one could remain neutral.

The more I look at Him

The more I look at Him, the more I want to understand Him, love Him and be accepted by Him. I want to touch Him and be touched by Him, to feel His acceptance and embrace. There is a deep longing to be united with Him, to be His friend and for Him to be mine.
His humanity draws out my humanity from its dark dungeon and floods my life with His light.
His truth awakens all I know to be true deep in my subconscious mind.
His humanity gently edges me to ask the unthinkable, “Could this man be God”? If God has a face will it look like Jesus? If God walked on earth, will it be same as this man?
Happy are those who move from seeing His humanity to worshiping His divinity!

Seeing and believing His divinity: always a revelation

No amount of logic can make someone believe that He is man as well as God. It’s a miracle and supernatural. This revelation can take place on a mountaintop, behind closed doors, on a walk to Emmaus, on the road to Damascus or in a garden. It can be in a moment or through a series of encounters.
My attraction to him transformed into worship
My friend becomes my God
My lover becomes my Lord
The lamb becomes the Lion
The son of Man becomes The Son of God.
This change of mindset challenges me to take His words seriously and obedience becomes an expression of my devotion and love.
His followers take in all the words that he spoke and let His words dwell in their hearts and minds. His words in the gospel become our living bread. His spirit takes these words and makes it flesh and blood to us for all our thoughts and actions. This act of “Taking in” becomes the point of transformation. It gives life, energy, reason, healing, joy and confidence in the midst of darkness and confusion. His followers will face all the temptations their master faced. Yes, Jesus through His spirit and promises stays with us through thick and thin and gives us wisdom to go on. We learn to align our will to His will and learn the intimacy of communication. This prayer becomes the very atmosphere in which we live and actions become an expression of what He desires for the world and for us. His kingdom becomes our focus. He becomes its message. We are called to share Him, lift Him up and he has promised to draw all to himself.

All scriptures are God inspired

People who were moved by God’s spirit in the past wrote them. These writings are good for giving us instruction to live a Godly life. There are lessons to be learnt by what happened to people when they obeyed and disobeyed.

God inspired and God breathed

Prophets, who watched the events and analyzed and interacted with people and authorities, wrote down the historical facts from a heavenly perspective. Others experienced God’s movements and His presence in the world and human affairs, wrote down their experiences and their understanding of God’s mind. Some had direct revelations about the future.
All these writings were breathed upon by God’s Spirit, animated or made alive with the potential to give life and wisdom to those who accept and believe and obey. These words became like seeds that could be planted and could bring life. It has built-in life principles within itself to generate new life. Unlike all other words of philosophy and writings, the scriptures claim to have this unique power to change lives. It educates us on life and draws our hearts to look at the Creator and worship Him and obey Him. It gives us partial understanding of the unseen God. It is incomplete and fragmented but promises a fuller revelation some day.
Just like Adam who was made out of the earth and became animated when God breathed to his nostrils the breath of life, words of men and women became animated when God breathed on these people and their writings. It became God’s word in the sense that it had His authority about what is permissible and what is not accepted. It reveals a way of living in a damaged world with damaged relationships and environment, but opens up the possibility of hope for a better life. It does not edit events but truth is told. Wherever there is truth, God’s spirit is active. We may not accept or understand the past, but basic human makeup, behaviour, needs and longings are similar and the applications of truth in any context ought to produce similar results.

Deep down Man has not changed

His cries for love, purpose, and security all remain the same.
In Jesus the complete revelation of God is seen. His words are not just inspired. He is the word. He claims to have come from above. His word is life. Every one may get inspiration once in a while but He alone promises E-life. Others can give good advice, suggestions and an 8-point program for healthy living. All may be good and appropriate and helpful. It can modify our behavior and excite us to change our lifestyle and help us towards civility with many rules and regulations to contain the hidden darkness in man.
Jesus talked about a new life different from all the other forms of life. It is not just an improvement but so radical that it looks out of place. It is not a controlled and modified human behaviour based on fear or rewards but results from “having God’s life within as a source”, a spring of living water, abundant and ever-flowing.
As far as the Gospel is concerned, I believe that the disciples sat together and recollected stories, events, sayings of Jesus; their collective experiences of Him. The Spirit reminded them of their time with Him. They talked about what happened to their friend and teacher and its significance. Peter helped Mark to put it all in writing at a later stage. Luke too investigated various stories and interviewed people who encountered this carpenter and compiled a more accurate document. May be he met with Mary to get a personal understanding about His birth and early years. Mathew too added other events to give connection with the Jewish history. John wrote about those intimate talks and personal moments with Jesus and showed us the lover’s heart. These writings are special and that’s the reason the church all over encourages people to stand while The Gospel is read. They are the WORDS and ACTIONS of the Lord Himself. They demand our total attention. The ETERNALWORD became flesh and lived among us, speaking life-giving words. So let the words of Christ dwell in us richly.
Jesus himself talked to the disciples about various prophecies and its fulfillments in the events that took place. He alone knew which part talked about Him from earlier writings. He spent many days after His resurrection explaining about the kingdom of God and its message. Whatever we need to have faith in Jesus to receive this E-Life is available in the gospels.
All the other New Testament writings are written to various people-groups who took the step to have faith in this Jesus about how to conduct their lives in this world. It was also written to give sense to His humanity and divinity and to challenge us to walk in His steps.       

It is like the Ten Commandments Moses gave

It was not given to people in Egypt or to Hebrews in Egypt. It was given to a delivered people group from the power of Pharaoh and to those who experienced God’s mercy.
It was a message of radicalism to slaves who embraced the Egyptian lifestyle for 400 years. They had become idol worshipers of multiple gods; people who swore all the time, who had no rest for their bodies or minds. They had lost respect for their parents, they were used to a life of lies, cheating, murder, adultery, greed and covetousness.
Ten commandments are a call to total reversal of their habitual destructive lifestyle. They had to learn a new language of life before they entered the Promised Land. But most of them remained illiterate and unwilling to learn the new way.
We too are delivered, liberated, redeemed and transferred from the power of Evil buy paying a ransom. Our debts all cancelled. All accomplished by God through Jesus Christ. We had nothing to do with it. We only have to believe and accept this as grace and extreme mercy.
But once we believe, we are given a model to live by.  In order to live out this model of Jesus we need to discard our habit pattern of disobedience and self-worship. Time and again people refused to live by this model and the disciples wrote letters to encourage them to come back to a real life, filled with the presence of God. It’s a call to live out what’s already in.
So faith in Jesus is followed by a life lived out in His way. This is what the kingdom message is all about. When a small community begins to embrace this message and live out its truths, people around are affected. Light begins to disperse the darkness. There will be justice, peace and joy.
Let us soak ourselves in the Gospel. Let our imagination go wild and enter those stories and dialogues with Jesus. Let us walk the dusty roads with the Nazarene and see people and situations through His eyes. Let us see God, the Father through His eyes. Let us behold this Eternal man in the Gospel. Let us whole heartedly enter His vision of kingdom living.

Many have to go thru various stages of seeing Him

Maybe as a good man, a wise man, a compassionate man, a man with authority.
Then some may see Him as a miracle worker and a prophet.
In others it may raise questions like” Could this be the promised one?’
Some will come to an earlier understanding like ‘The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’
There will be those who remain at a lower level or in a negative frame of mind. They will see Him only as a clever somewhat misguided man. Maybe crazy, demon-possessed and blaspheming disturber of peace.
A sudden revelation of His divinity can shock and paralyze others.
Also it can take an intense form of revelation of utter unworthiness about oneself! Which may make them say, “Depart from me”.
Both beauty and the beast are revealed in that encounter.
We are left with the responsibility of making a choice, to follow or walk away. He gives us the option. We alone are responsible for this decision. The outcome may surprise us.

Only the sick need a doctor

Jesus made it very clear that only the sick need the doctor and the lost one needs to be found. But if we do not feel the need or think differently, he allows us to take our choices and pursue our own path. But those who decide to follow, he offers the cup of pain and joy along with the promise of the presence of the triune God on a daily basis. When we accept this offer, the spirit will take the words of Jesus and make them alive in us. This word, which is living, will take our mortal bodies, our eyes and hands, to become His to reach out to others and touch their lives just the way He did 2,000 years ago. Our surrender to this love and union with the triune God will become heaven on earth in a small way. So let us share this Jesus, the Man for all, to those who are around us in a meaningful and loving way. Let us pray that all those who will see his humanity will also have a revelation of his divinity.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Man shall leave......

Man shall leave!!
Scripture says that when God made the first man and woman, He gave clear instructions for them to have a new identity as a couple. They were to ‘leave’ their parents and ‘cleave’ to one another to become ‘one’. They ought to discover joy in having a nest of their own. Over the years someone somewhere made changes and the Hebrew culture was accepted as the ‘norm’.
Today the woman leaves her parents and is asked to make all the sacrifices to fit into her husband’s family. This style is accepted as divine. Women have less value and bridal price is becoming bigger in spite of equal education and equal earning capacity of women. Many of the problems women face are related to the joint family expectations and the control of the new bride by the in-laws. Even though the joint family has many advantages depending on the character of the in laws, the underlying fact is that the bride is the property of the bridegroom’s family. She has to make all the adjustments to fit into the new setup. She loses her own identity as she gives up her surname. Why? Why can't she retain her surname? Why can’t the children have both parents names as part of their name?
Why does the Church encourage this pattern in spite of all the other major changes happening all over the world? The Church gives no teaching about this cultural aberration. What about inheritance? Job gave equal share to his daughters thousands of years ago!!
Marriage brings in a new unity that needs space and time to mature and function in the right way. The reality of this ‘Oneness’ is planned by God and needs to be learned by the couple in this space and time. Yes, wisdom is available from elders and parents in times of need but the man and woman have to be by themselves to learn this ‘Oneness’.
Man and woman are equal and they have equal responsibility to make this new life meaningful. Man needs to leave his parental control just the way a woman is expected to . This leaving is crucial for love to blossom and responsibility to make the Oneness real.  Both families need to let go of their children but support them as they create their own destiny. The new couple needs to make decisions about the way they are going to care for their parents when the need arises. Both sets of parents are equally important and this care can be expressed without coercion and blackmail. It is the strength of the oneness of the couple that frees them to be involved in caring activities for others. We have reversed what God said and made the woman do all the leaving. Man continues to be the aggressor and his family continues to dominate the decision-making processes for their advantage. The woman’s love for her own family is choked. Most of the men do not have the moral courage to stand up to their convictions. They are too dependent on their parents to make decisions. These men have no real life goals and marriage goals. They are immature and see women only as a commodity. It is automatically assumed that the woman shall follow her husband wherever he goes. Or they stay with his family for x number of months or years. There seems to be no healthy dialogue based on scripture and Trinitarian love. This culture has made men spineless and irresponsible in their own family matters.
 The tradition of men and the cultural background undermines the truth of the scripture. Women continue to pay the price for this but they also perpetuate this malady through their intense desire to have a son who will carry on the family name. Many in-laws treat their daughter in-laws as second-class citizens and much psychological oppression goes on even in so called middle class respectable Christian families. Money becomes the real god that determines the way a woman is treated. Marriages are arranged and conducted almost as a business deal. Weddings are a display of wealth and status.
 We all behave in a worldly way when important life issues are faced. Our faith gets buried or ignored and we embrace our deep-seated cultural values and prejudices with out a second thought. We have taken in the values of the cultures around with out questioning. Our behavior is the same as someone who has a different faith. Our faith has not overcome and displaced this aspect of flawed culture. Not many people question the customs and traditions and vocalize their disapproval when it’s against ‘kingdom values’. Our real self has not undergone radical conversion. Our polished behaviors as a result of education, social upbringing and tradition soaked religious activities do not have the moral fiber to withstand the power of conformity. The scripture tells us not to conformed to the pattern of the world around us but be transformed according to the kingdom values. Most of us have not heeded to this high calling for revolutionary change in our families and in our churches.
We have created double standards for our children. Discrimination based on sex continues to thrive. Religion also seems to sanction this bias. The girl child from the very early years gets the message that she does not belong in her own home. She exists for some other family. Her rights are suppressed and her gifts are buried. In many cases she has no control over her own feelings, her future and her income.
The Trinitarian concept of love is vital for change to take place at the mind level. Marriage ceremonies and messages give too much one sided importance to submission of the wife to her husband and his family. Man leaving and cleaving and loving with a sacrificial love is belittled or completely ignored. No wonder men behave the way they do. They have no model except the model that is in the culture or what they have seen in their own fathers. The woman learns to suffer silently and eventually turns to her children for some compensation and attention. Soon she realizes that they too have inherited their tragic image and characteristics and the cycle continues.

 Is there any hope in coming back to the original purpose that God desired? Can the church begin to affect the families in discovering the truth? Is it possible to help young people in the church to think Biblically? Can the church help the parents to ‘let go’ of their children and trust God more? Can the church support and encourage new couples to understand the Trinitarian love? Is it possible for families to redefine inheritance and how to come with a counter- cultural value system? May be a few families can start this.
 for a couple  that is the reality

Kingdom people need an inside out revolution in these matters. Our minds need to be realigned to kingdom values so that we become aware of our choices. We need to remember that we are called to BE the heaven on earth and act and deal with what we face in a different spirit. We need to model Kingdom values to our children. Can the change begin in our churches?  How long are we going to be blinded by the powers that are behind the evils plaguing our society? Evil is not some thing far away but it is so close that we fail to see it. We are contaminated and corrupted by it. It comes in various forms and bombards us from every corner. We as followers of Jesus need counseling to recognize the trap that we are in and get rehabilitated through spiritual therapy. The Holy Spirit is longing to release us from our cultural bondages and bring us to the land of Trinitarian love. The question is ‘Do we want this’?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Kingdom of God

                                            The Kingdom of God
Last night I was awakened suddenly with what Paul wrote about the Kingdom of God being Peace, Joy and Righteousness. So I lay awake thinking about what it meant. The Major theme of Jesus’ messages was the Kindom of
God.  He explained about how and who can see and enter this Kingdom. He talked about the principles of the Kingdom and the great reversal. John the Baptist called out to people to repent and get ready for the Kingdom.
Peace:  This quality of peace is between Man and God vertically, and with one another horizontally. The means of this peace is the cross. So what happened on that cross is central to peace. Jesus’ death on the cross, paved the way for man to be reconciled with God and re-establish a loving relationship with Him. God has forgiven man in Christ and there is no condemnation. Sin (trustlessness and lovelessness) that separated us from God was dealt with. Man is no longer a condemned sinner but a new creation. Fear and guilt are replaced by a sense of belonging and a gift of ‘sonship’. The result is peace where my inner being is at rest in God’s goodness and mercy. It’s a contentment of the soul in God alone.
The other aspect of peace is what the cross does between people. It brings together all sections of the society and creates a new identity. All barriers are broken down. Enmity, prejudices and complexes are removed and a new humanity is born at the cross in Christ.  The Cross makes it possible to look at the other and consider him as a brother loved by the same God. For this process to become real, the cross has to be embraced. Peace does not mean compromise but overcomes evil with good. Peace opens the way for a compassionate outlook and a radical brotherly love towards people all over irrespective of their reactions or responses. It is also a calling to be peacemakers in this world.
Peace is a gift that Jesus left with us.  It is His personal presence in the midst of all possible problems and difficulties.

Joy: This aspect of the Kingdom is a gift given by the indwelling spirit of God. Joy is an expression of freedom. This happens when one knows that God is smiling as He sees us. When shame is removed, it is replaced by joy. It is part of the blessing God pronounces on His children. It is God’s face shining upon us. It is a result of knowing and experiencing God's amazing love. It is having the assurance David talked about in Psalm 23 “goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of God for ever”. It is the result of knowing that all is well and will be well.
Righteousness: When there is peace and Joy in our hearts, it gives us motivation to live the right kind of life in accordance with God’s will. It starts with a major shift in values and attitudes. It is counter to our culture and traditions.  This dangerously radical life style, Jesus modelled for us to embrace. It cannot be done without the cross and it is the result of the ongoing work of the cross. Right living is a trusting life in a gracious God. It is a life style where self is dethroned and self-will is submitted to God’s will. Right living embraces various truths revealed in the word of God and allows ongoing repentance to take place at a deeper level.

Power: This is very different from the world's idea of power. Power in the Kingdom is to love and to forgive. It is the power to serve and to be humble. It is the power to say No to sin and to the devil. It is the power to say Yes to God's will. It is not to control or dominate things and situations and people but rather to lay down one's life for the other. It is not position hungry or title crazy. It does not judge the other but understands and empathizes and acts in love. It is proactive and full of energy to do good. It refuses to be self exalted.  It is the power to hang on the cross when there are options otherwise. It is the power to wait and allow the outcome in God's hands.
So the Kingdom is a growing phenomenon. It begins with hearing, understanding, repenting, inviting and receiving God’s gift of salvation in Christ. It is grace in action in human hearts. It is life that flows from being united with Christ. It is not a calling to copy or duplicate Jesus. No one can do this with out the indwelling of the risen Christ. The kingdom of God being with in you is an ongoing experience as He transforms the inner man. This is the work of God's spirit and a transformed person will be empowered and enabled to live out the Kingdom life in the world. Jesus used many parables to show us what the Kingdom is like. No one picture is sufficient to show all the aspects of this new order. Man cannot create it. It is from above and it is a redeemed community living out ordinary life in an extraordinary way. It faces opposition and persecution yet continues to expand. It waits patiently for human habits to be altered, godly character to be formed and a new humanity to arise out of the old order of things.
It knows no barriers but the devil and his forces are against this movement and will do everything possible to damage and destroy the unity and the love in the community. This makes its witness ineffective and delays the expansion at a slower pace in a particular locality. At the same time it leaps and bounds in other areas in the world. It is a mystery. Its impact is felt in all areas of life as individuals gets transformed and reclaim God’s creation from the devil’s hand. It will be a minority, yet so powerful and their light will shine and the darkness will not overcome it. It wins wars with out weapons and defeats the enemy through the Word and prayer. It knows only one enemy who needs to be resisted. No man is kept outside its perimeter of love and the doors lay wide open for all to come in to faith. Every one has a choice to enter or not. All are given the grace and free will to accept or reject. Heaven alone knows how and what transpires in human hearts. Others have no business to judge or condemn or question the dealings of God. If God is just and fair and full of mercy we need to believe that He loves all equally and He desires that all will come to the saving knowledge of His Kingdom. Our responsibility is to live out this life and be a witness.
Jesus taught us to pray, ‘let your kingdom come’. This ought to be an ongoing prayer and a desire of the Kingdom community. We need to be involved in Kingdom building activities. Basically it is believing who Jesus is and going about doing good and trusting what He did. This involves proclaiming Kingdom news and displaying Kingdom lifestyle. God will confirm this kingdom through wonders and miracles and by affirming His presence in our midst.
May all who call upon the name of The LORD seek this Kingdom individually and collectively. Kingdom people will wait for their King to return. So we also pray, “Let your kingdom come’ (and in the same breath – let my kingdom go) and also ‘Lord Jesus, come quickly’.


                                My understanding of Scripture
Paul wrote to Timothy saying " All scripture is God -breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in right living" so that a man of God is equipped for all good work. Paul, at this time had only the Jewish scriptures, The Law of Moses, Psalms and the Prophets. In the book of Hebrews it says, 'God spoke through prophets at many times in various ways". Peter says that, "Prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, ( no prophecy of scripture is a matter of private opinion), but men spoke from God as they were carried along or prompted, by the Holy Spirit". When God made man out of dust, He breathed in to him and man became a living soul. When God breathed on the written word of men and women who were inspired or moved by God's Spirit, it became alive having the power to speak, challenge and transform those who believed in it and it also brought condemnation to the disobedient. "The word of God is living and active, sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joint and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart," The scripture became animated with God's authority. It can scan and apply its lazer power to burn the dross. It reflected God's character and His desires partially. Revelation, history, experience all found their places in the scripture. The power of the choices made by people and the consequences that those choices brought  are recorded for our benefit. Public reading of the scripture awakened people to follow God's ways and it instructed them about how to conduct their lives in this world. Paul says that "everything that was written in the past was written to teach us and to give us hope." The scripture can be used to teach truths about God and man. There are stories that can show us the effect of human sin and the reality of God's mercy. It has warnings about the consequences of breaking the built -in life principles in humans. The scripture has enough instruction about living a life of wisdom. Correct and diligent application of the word is needed for it to be effective in people's lives. God's common grace to all is displayed in the scripture and there is more than enough for any one for wise living in this world. But it is incomplete to bridge the gap between fallen man and God. Hidden away in this scripture was the promise of the coming Messiah. Prophets could see this hope dimly. In the fullness of time Jesus of Nazareth was born in an insignificant village. Being a Jew, he too studied this scripture. Slowly and steadily, the picture of the Messiah began to emerge, not as a powerful warrior as others expected but as a suffering servant. The Messiah's words, actions and life style were all portrayed in scripture in bits and pieces like a puzzle. Jesus began to embody this picture of the Messiah and lived out his story in the scripture and began to fulfill the role that was given to him. Jesus saw himself as the one crushing the serpent's head, as Moses rescuing people from slavery, as a priest interceding for all, as a prophet expounding the kingdom of God, as a teacher instructing the way of life, as a sacrificial lamb becoming a ransom and a sin offering as the Son of Man triumphing over death.So the fulfillment of Jewish scriptures was all concluded and maximized in Jesus Christ. What ever else is still left to be fulfilled will be accomplished as history comes to a close. History is His story indeed!
After His resurrection, Jesus met with two of his disciples and  explained to them what was said in all the scriptures concerning Him. He opened the scriptures and opened their eyes to see Him as the fulfillment of all the Desires of ages and what prophets had longed to see. As followers of this Jesus, we need to see Jesus in the scripture and proclaim this Man-God who is The WORD. Everything needs to be examined through this Living Word. The Living Word can be experienced through the written word. His words and His life rise above all that was and is and is to come. Every interpretation of the scripture ought to be done from His revelation and His perspective.  Yes, there are events, stories,  predictions, actions and reactions, which can all be used to draw lessons for living in this world. The human 'sin experience' (missing the mark or falling short of the standard) is universal and we can be equipped to act and react in a right way if we apply the truth of the scripture and its instructions in our lives. Yet all the Old Testament revelations culminate in Jesus Christ and He became the salvation for all. Jesus said,"you diligently study the scripture because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the scriptures that testify about me." So anyone who 'has the Son' has life. The Scripture cannot reduce or replace THE SON. He alone is above all. The word became flesh and this Living Word alone needs our full attention, adoration and obedience. "Listen to Him" is what The voice said. 'Do what ever He tells you' is what Mary said to the disciples. We are admonished to let the Word of Christ dwell richly in us. Jesus said that "His words are Spirit and Life." Anything that does not incorporate the mind of Christ needs to be discarded, discredited or displaced to make room for His words. He is the Pearl of Great Price. He has supremacy over everything. Jesus revealed the truth about the unseen God as a Loving Father. Once some thing is fulfilled it has only academic interest and we ought to hold on to the fulfilled reality. The fulfillment of any pregnancy is the birth of a healthy child. After the child is born, it is not so vital to continue to talk about and focus on all that happened during pregnancy. The Baby is the focus. Jesus came to give rest to our souls from all religious struggles. When religion becomes a burden and an end in itself, Jesus offers rest. He is the focus. Coming to Jesus and having faith in what He has done on our behalf and being united with Him on a daily basis is the Gospel that frees us. It is all about Mercy, Mercy and more Mercy!!
The biggest Mercy of all is the Gift from the Father of 'the comforter', the blessed Holy Spirit. Even His job is to reveal the greatness of The Son and empower us to live out the Kingdom Life which is The GOOD LIFE. It is impossible to live out the Christian life with out the Triune God. At every moment we need This God. The purpose of reading and studying the scripture is to appreciate and acknowledge what the Triune God has done and enter into a loving relationship with God and with one another for ever. The devil's strategy is to blind people from seeing this miracle of Grace and miss out life in its fullness. Our prayers ought to focus on opening the eyes of all and the removal of the veil that blocks the truth, to behold the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 


Pioneering In today’s world.

The Pioneering spirit originated in God.  He is the original Pioneer. He pioneered in creating the world and us when He could have been content with heaven.
Pioneering is sharing God’s love
God took risks in creating both the angelic hosts and Man. Yet for Him it was a love worth risking. When man failed to receive love in one form, God pioneered into acting it out in a different way. The Devil too pioneered in inventing ways to destroy all that God was doing. So pioneering can be for selfish reasons or altruistic reasons. It can be for enslavement or freedom. It can either promote life or death. We have examples of both in abundance in the history of mankind.  Jesus pioneered in reclaiming all that was lost or corrupted and in bondage. His pioneering started in heaven, limiting himself of privileges and rights and took upon incarnation, entering into the dark world. It involved a simple life style, hard work, being misunderstood, laughed at and labeled. He experienced rejection, loneliness and pain as a result of it. He saw many deeply entrenched in religion yet trapped and hardened by it. They had a negative vision and power struggles. Others oppressed, harassed and controlled both from with in and with out. Incarnation helped Jesus to enter their lives and feel what they felt. He watched the way society and religion functioned and how it shut God out. Yet he saw the yearning in many to seek truth and have a revelation of God. These people longed for some kind of touch from God out there. Jesus pioneered in revealing God and gave Him a face. He lived a life so radical in loving, that he could unashamedly say, “He who sees me sees God”.

Jesus the God-revealing Pioneer
After walking around the villages and towns of Galilee, Jesus was at His best when He hung on a cross. He showed that God is on the side of man and no power on earth or hell could separate man from His love. He pioneered in death defeating and hell conquering life style. He pioneered in absolute trust in God and obedience unto death, displaying that the urge to sin could be overcome.  Yes, Jesus, above all pioneered in showing that this world is not the ultimate reality, but there is a life beyond the grave and it is possible to have eternal hope through His resurrection. He called the disciples, all weak, fearful and ordinary people, to pioneer in the spreading of God’s kingdom.
Now you and me
As a follower of this matchless pioneer of faith, love and hope, I am called, as you are called, to this adventure of life-giving pioneering! It means incarnation to a new situation and a definite sense of being sent out into the same old dark world. Nothing has changed after 2000 years either in God or in humanity. The message to man is the same and the remedy for his sickness is the same. It is a call to ‘Act out faith, love and hope” in the way Jesus did. All those who truly follow Jesus will face similar experiences. But there will be great Joy deep within. We have a responsibility to know what is happening around us and enter into our neighbor’s story. Empathy ought to become compassion. The Pioneering spirit is to know how to express this compassion in practical terms and also using the Jesus’ way. It is a calling to remain uncontaminated by the moral filth and pressure to take on the worldly ways to solve problems. The pioneer needs to be constantly in need of inner transformation.
Pioneers are God’s commando force
In this there are risks and no guarantees. The whole picture is not given. It calls for trust in a God who is also the Father. Whatever may be the vision and the call, the pioneering spirit ought to be a loving, compassionate otherworldly spirit. There are many in the world who are involved in both good and useful ventures. Evil too is alive and will do everything to undo and undermine God’s mission mainly through interpersonal problems.
The Medical Mission in India had many pioneers. Learn from them. Read history. Now many such missions have lost their visionaries and have become just a structure that continues to do the ritual of routine medical work. It is so predictable and calculative; there is nothing exciting that draws one’s heart. Missions have negative rituals and many leaders do not have the courage to dismantle the structure and look afresh for a reason for its existence. Where is God in the Mission? Can these dead bones live? These are disturbing questions. God is able to raise up new people who will take up the new challenges if the old mission has lost its purpose. Just like the religious system prevented people from experiencing God and being transformed, the mission set up can be the biggest hindrance to any pioneering spirit. God is always doing something new. So the old pattern of functioning needs to be put aside to create space for the new wine to discover its potential. The new pioneers need the support and wisdom of the old. Know and understand the history of the mission. Respect the past but have the courage and freedom to experiment with the new. Every new thing will become old in a matter of time. Someone else will come and do something different and life goes on as usual. It is okay, as long as it is all part of the Kingdom building process.
The Pioneer
His person:
His own personal encounter with the risen Lord qualifies him to be sent out as a pioneer. His model is Jesus Christ. He sees the world through God’s eyes and feels the needs the way God would feel. In the process he will be changed from within to become an instrument in God’s hands. He believes in the power of God’s word to speak and direct his steps. He accepts the correction and encouragement of God’s spirit. He realizes his strengths and weaknesses and is aware of various temptations to which he is vulnerable and takes the necessary precautions to be obedient to his Lord. He also realizes that his failures are not fatalities and God is able to bring out something good out of all negative situations. He has the ability to use the past as fertilizer for the future growth. The pioneer is primarily in a field for his own transformation and growth. If this is not achieved his whole mission becomes an anti witness.
His mission: incarnation
His mission cannot be different from his master’s. It is to incarnate God’s love in a broken world and being an agent of re- conciliation and redemption. Jesus knew people and the way they felt and thought. He knew the struggles, the temptations and the oppressions. So the pioneer needs to prepare himself with sufficient knowledge and skills to enhance the healing process. He will not use these to promote himself or to make a big empire of self-glorification. The skill and knowledge ought to be upgraded according to the need and used as a tool to help people.
His field: unlimited
This can vary from person to person. The need in a particular field can be difficult to meet realistically but can be challenging for the pioneer if that is the call. It can be slum work, palliative care, and counseling. It can be work in an old mission hospital, either as a GP or a specialist. It may be private practice, polyclinic or freelancing. It may be a socio-economic development project or running a home for addicts or those afflicted with HIV. But job-hopping seems to be arising from a lack of commitment and inability to be part of a team. What ever may be the area of work, he ought to be part of a team and a servant. There is a need to value the gifts of others and work as partners in God’s field. He needs to see himself as a people- person and become part of the suffering community at a personal level instead of becoming a mission compound person.
His team: relationships
Here wisdom is needed in knowing who can fit in and who can be involved and trained to share the vision. The team ought to have people with different skills and knowledge and who will give differing points of view. They should be able to feel the pulse of the people around and be sensitive to the situation and provide wisdom. There needs to be openness, accountability and integrity. The team needs to sharpen each other to keep the Kingdom values and purposes as priorities in all decisions. The power of money needs to be dethroned and the unrighteous mammon ought to be used for furthering the things of eternal value. Looking to God for unmet needs and holding on to His promises ought to be the lifestyle of the team. Any unwise decisions and its consequences can be avoided through wise counsel.
His support:
It is important to develop a group who will pray and provide spiritual nourishment to the pioneer and his team. Some individual may need financial backing till the work is established. Others need emotional support. Good communication with people around and with those who send the pioneer needs to be a day-to-day reality. He needs to have a lifestyle that will speak what he believes. Greed and covetousness that reflect the lack of trust ought to be abandoned. Hidden agendas and motives in financial matters only undermine the power of resurrection in one’s life.
His own family:
Again the need to have a shared vision and on going dialogue with one’s own family and choosing a lifestyle that reflects Kingdom joy and peace must become a priority. Standing together as a family in God’s given field has big strength. Time given to family is time invested wisely. Passion for the living God and His plans can be caught by one’s own children if they are loved and cared for through Jesus’ eyes. One’s family and God’s family in the mission field can be the biggest source of strength for continuing the work. To sacrifice God’s call for the sake of family’s material needs is a big temptation and the war zone is filled with many such casualties.
Reality check:
None of the above guarantees a smooth sailing in pioneering. The enemy is constantly pulling down what we cherish. There will be sabotage and unexpected events and turmoil. Yet the deep conviction of the call and the encounter with truth will be the only anchor at these times for the pioneer. There are many great moments of joy for the pioneer. He experiences much appreciation and respect from simple people. There are many who pray for him and the work. Seeing God answering prayers and meeting needs can lift his spirit high and give strength to go on. Even professional satisfaction takes a new shade. Physical and emotional tiredness can be discouraging. Spiritual darkness can lead to days of depression. Interpersonal difficulties can take away all the energy even to look at another day with hope. One has to believe that all these will pass as the days go by. Yet he needs to examine himself to know whether the problems are caused by his own attitudes and way of functioning rather than some body else's. Sometimes a break is needed to get away to find rest and rejuvenation. Others may need a change of pace and programs. God is able to provide these at the right time. Every burnt out or distressed person in the field reminds us that there are others who are not responding to God’s call. Thus the load has become heavier for the pioneer. Moving away from the call because of disappointments, failures or lack of resources may not be the right thing for someone who heard the call.
So may God give the pioneering spirit abundantly to all those who are willing to get out of the present systems of the world including the traditional mission setup. Let us run after the living God. It is an adventure of faith. It is a walk with God. It is beholding Jesus, the pioneer of faith, hope and love and becoming a channel for blessing!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The blind man

In this story of a miracle, Jesus encounters a man born blind. The disciples wanted to know the cause of this suffering. What causes such sickness and who is responsible for such meaningless suffering?. They could only come with two options, the personal sin of the man or the sin of his parents. Jesus discredited both and came with a third reason. This kind of situation happens and God uses this as an opportunity for showing kindness so that the person can experience God’s work in his life! His life can become a testimony to God’s grace. What a strange answer when everybody else is trying to find the cause and whom to blame. Jesus says that when an opportunity is given to us to show God’s heart for the suffering, take that opportunity and do not miss it. Such opportunities may not come all the time.
The blind man in this story does not ask for healing. He is too blind to know what was going on. He is just a victim and had no voice. The blindness made him to be a beggar. This is what happens to many in our country. Birth defects and handicaps make children beggars. They are a burden to families and they become social out-casts living without the dignity of a human being. They stretch out their hands and raise their voices to draw attention to get some coins for their food or eat from the rubbish bin. They hope for some one to show compassion. They are pushed around and scolded and seen as a nuisance to the social structure. They are the unwanted scum of the society living out their karma. They live in the dark and have no bright tomorrow.
Jesus encounters such a person and decides to do the work of God. He took soil and mixed it with his saliva and made mud and applied it on the blind man’s eyes and told him to go and wash. A Strange act. The blind man could not see what was put on his eyes! He was a beggar any way and it did not matter. The man also needed to do some thing, to go and wash. It was not just a one sided miracle. He had to co-operate. He became a partner in this act of God. He got healed.
He faced all sorts of questions and threats. He was ridiculed and eventually labeled as a sinner steeped in sin by the religious authorities. But in spite of all these, he developed courage and conviction to speak of his experience. He was willing to undergo rejection for the sake of his faith. His own parents did not give him the needed support. Now he could see but nobody wanted him. He faced a greater dilemma. When he was blind he could not see people, now he could see them and experience their hatred. He could see the blindness of the religion and its keepers. His own faith matured slowly. Initially his opinion about Jesus was that he was just a man called Jesus who healed him, then to a prophet, then some one sent from God. When Jesus heard about what happened to him, he used that opportunity to reveal himself as the Son of Man and bring him to a real faith.
What is the work of God?
In this story, it was to give dignity to a broken blind beggar and elevate him to a position where he could develop courage and conviction to face the world. His eyes were opened to see the wonder and beauty of God all around Him. Another aspect of the work of God is to help this man to recognize the one who healed him as the Son of Man, the Messiah and put his trust in Him. Jesus was able to accomplish both and challenges us to be involved in the work of God as the opportunity presents itself to us. Everyday we have enough opportunities to show compassion and kindness. We have people all around us whose dignity can be restored. Many of them may not even ask for it, but in the process of being given that dignity, they may open their minds and hearts to faith and see the Son of Man. Various problems that may arise as a result of restoring some one, but these are not that important. That’s how evil works. But God’s work is in spite of all that is negative. He redeems and restores. He gives hope and courage. He reclaims and sends us out to be His witnesses.
My calling is to be involved with God in His work. I do not have to waste my time trying to find the cause and effect of so many problems. They happen. I am given an opportunity to give dignity to people and elevate them to a position as children of God. All that de humanizes people and diminishes them do not come from God. Many times people are just victims of something unseen. Any thing that devalues the worth of a person and disfigures the image of God needs to be restored. My concern ought to be the person who is suffering and what can be done to help. This may provoke anger and rejection from others but this is how God works. The suffering of others becomes a mirror to reveal my own need for healing at a deeper level. The Pharisee in me is in need of a greater conversion. I am also faced with the opportunity to reveal Christ who is the Son of Man. Faith and trust may take time to develop in an individual’s life but when that opportunity comes, I ought to be there to seize the moment and share the true healer and dignity giver!