Marthoma Yuvajana Sakhyam Members of St Paul's Marthoma Church Adyar, Chennai
Monday, February 13, 2012
Feb 19th - Sunday : Beginning of Great Lent
The 117th Maramon Convention had commenced on Sunday. However there is another important event about to begin soon.
The Great Lent begins next Sunday - Feb 19th. It extends through passion week.
Lets plan to observe it prayerfully. It will help us be disciplined followers of Christ.
The Great Lent is a 40 days Lent and it is a forty day period when we remember Jesus' journey to the cross. As a practice the Yuvajana Sakhyam members observe the fasting period and contribute the amount saved for charity. Lets us observe the same prayerfully.
Have a nice week ahead.
Monday, February 6, 2012
The necessity of Daily Christ Experience : Message by Tony Varghese
Yesterday's Yuvajana Sakhyam Meeting was handled by Mr. Tony Varghese, student of Gurkul Theological College. You can find the details of the same below.
St. John 21:1-6
Greetings to you in the name of triune God.
After the resurrection Jesus appeared to disciples many times. This is one among those events. The central message of the read passage was the restoration or reinstallation of the disciples. But today I would like to focus on a message that is related to our personal spiritual life. We are very familiar with social perspective of the gospel, like justice, marginalized, violence and so on. But what about our spiritual life? Today I would like to share three points that related to our personal spiritual life from this passage. These points start with the English alphabet D. So I would like to call 3D's.
1. The necessity of Daily Christ Experience.
The disciples followed Him with great enthusiasm and they were great leaders when Jesus was alive. They expected a new king and kingdom, but their hopes were shattered. The second verse says that Simon Peter and 6 other disciples have gathered. This verse shows the situation of the disciples after the death of Jesus Christ. They were in a condition of nowhere. Now they were in confusion, didn't know what to do. So Peter finds a solution, verse 3 says "Simon Peter told them I am going out to fish". They replied "we are also coming". This same Peter, as we know once declared his faith by saying about Jesus that "You are the Christ, Son of the living God". And even Jesus affirmed it. But here we can say that he became the reason for the resignation of faith of other disciples. As we know they have had the resurrected Christ in their life. In the last chapter it is mentioned and Thomas had a direct and different experience. But lack of His presence led them to resign their faith. They forgot the rich experience they got when they were with Jesus; they have forgotten the words and commands of Jesus, now they were in their old way. So what is the reason for that? It was the lacking of Christ experience or lack of experiencing Christ's presence with them. They could not realize the presence of Christ with them. Therefore living in the way of Christ, needs a daily experience. That they missed in this incident. The early missionaries had the personal Christ experience that led them to India and elsewhere.
Today's context, we may have lot of excuses to avoid it, busy schedule, busy classes and assignments and so on but that may lead us to wrong directions. St. Luke 5 says Jesus called Peter from his boat, here it says Peter went back to the boat and they left (V.3). He was returning to the old place from where Jesus has called him to be catchers of human. Resigning the rich faith once they had. The daily Christ experience will enrich us to be in his path and ways, which will lead us to depend on his ways and directions. I feel that the so called Christian community is lacking it to some extent.
2. The necessity of Depending Christ directions/ways.
In this incident the disciples were on their way to catch fish. As we know they were good in fishing and they know the pattern and secrets of the sea. They were in a high expectation. They have worked hard for a heavy result. But the end result was failure. Here comes the question of Jesus. What you have? A group of strong disciples went with their own directions and presuppositions had the answer no. We don't have anything. Jesus showed them the right direction and said to throw net on the right side. The result was amazing. They have worked the whole night as the passage says, didn't get anything, why? Because something was missing in their attempt. For them the direction to throw the net was missing. Many a times we may think that we can do great things. But without the real directions and ways that to be revealed by Jesus you may be a failure. Understanding the direction/ways of Jesus Christ and depending on his directions will give you new experiences in life. So it is said that 'a little push in the right direction can make a big difference'.
Dear beloveds in Christ who is fixing our directions? Most of the time we used to ascribe our direction as Christ's directions. Christ's directions and ways may be different to ours. Only through the daily Christ experience we could understand the directions that may demand us to risk our life. Best example is Jesus, he said in his prayer at Gethsemane, "Not my will, but your will". For David Brainerd it was something different. His mission was among the red Indians and most of them were suffering TB. Once some journalists tried to find him in the forest. They enquired where we can see him. One person replied you go this way. You will see the spitting of blood on the way. Then you follow that blood mark you can find him. So he got the nick name blood spitting Red Indian Missionary. So walking and working according to the directions of Christ is risky but that is what Jesus demands. When you depend on Jesus' direction you will be able to work diligently in Christ's way.
3. The necessity of Diligence in Christ's call.
The word diligence means persistent in effort or work. V.3 says "that night they caught nothing". They were on the sea for whole night. Here Jesus was asking them to work more or to try again. He knew that they were tired; he knew that they were disappointed; he knew that they were failed completely, but he wants them to try again. He needs our participation to fulfill his purpose and mission. At times when we are failed it may give us pain and disappointment, but Jesus says why don't you try again? If you walk according to my direction I am with you. Diligence or persistence is necessary in Christ's call. It is said that 'there is an island of opportunity in the middle of every difficulty'.
E.g. we all know about African Great Missionary David Livingston. He died on 1873 at the age of 60. His dead body was found in his bed room but not in the bed. It was found beside his bed in the praying posture on his knees. But from the bed they got a slip of paper. It was written on it as this "My Jesus, my king, my life and all, to thee again I dedicate myself". For Livingston everyday was another day to serve and grow. He was not tired or lazy in the last minute also, thinking, what to do for his Lord. Jesus is asking today do you have that type of diligence in your commitment. We have to analyze in our life.
Dear beloved in Christ, I hope you will remember these 3 D's always. The necessities of Daily Christ Experience, Depending Christ Directions and Diligence in Christ's call in our life. When we have daily Christ experience which will lead us to the directions of Christ and make us diligent to his call. Let us submit our life to our Jesus so that we may walk in his way and directions to fulfill his just mission. Somebody said it is like this "A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first one step". Let us start our journey by rearranging our personal spiritual life. May the Almighty bless us with these words. Amen.