Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Journey 38: Transformation in my community

Read; John 6: 1-15
Key Verse: “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action is dead”. [ James 2: 17]

              The Diocese of North America and Europe of the Marthoma Church organizes yearly, a mission trip to Oklahoma which is called as The Native American Mission Project. A number of youths from different parts of the diocese regularly involve in this mission activity. A few years back one of the youth members of the Philadelphia Marthoma Church, Sheeba Kuruvilla got involved in this mission activity and in the course of her involvement, she got to know of a particular family who was in dire need of help and support in the mission activity that they were doing in that area. She regularly became a part of the mission trip and slowly established relationship with this family. As her involvement became stronger,  she realized that she needed to do something as a part of her witness of serving the Lord. Because of her initiative and because of the commitment of her friends in the church, the Philadelphia Marthoma Youths have embarked on a wonderful event called as “ The Coffee house” to raise funds to support a family who has been instrumental in doing mission activity in their own small way.  Here is a model of a youth member who decides to contribute in her own way,  so that she becomes an instrument of transformation in the community.
               On Wednesday’s we meditate on how we can become agents in the transformation of our community. The portion that we are  meditating is taken from the Gospel of John chapter 6 which mentions the miracle of feeding the five thousand. Here is an incident where Jesus shows that He is not only interested in feeding the needs of ones soul but also the needs of ones body. To teach this important lesson to his disciples he puts them to test, by asking them to find resources to feed the hungry crowd. Philip is not ready to toe the line of Jesus and he tells Jesus that it is almost next to impossible to feed the multitude. But one of his disciples Andrew, goes into the crowd and finds a boy who has five loaves of bread and two fish. Andrew knows that this resource is not enough at all to feed the multitude yet he is optimistic and brings the boy to the presence of Jesus. Here are two disciples who take entirely contradicting stand to address the needs of the community. One wants to wash his hands off while the other tries to organize something at least for the sake of the community. Philip washes his hands off because he just does not want to go deeper into involving himself with the needs of the community, on the contrary Andrew feels he needs to at least try and organize something that could be beneficial to the community. I believe we have also have these two kinds of people in our church too. One group who is not interested at all in involving with the needs of the community because they feel that they themselves need help or they have better things to do. But there are also individuals in the church, just as I mentioned about the youth  member of the  Philly church, who are also going through different challenges in life yet is willing to play a small role of doing something for the sake of the community. It is because of such people who are ready to sacrifice their self interest for the sake of others, that our neighborhood and our community is able to move forward with a sense of hope even in times of despair.
Which group do you belong to…….The group that thinks that they have better things to do or to the group which thinks we need to better the lives of others.
For Further Study: Acts 6, Amos 3

Let us Pray: O Lord we live in a world where most of us think that we are supposed to be concerned only of our benefits. Help us also to think of others and how we can help in our own way so as to bring transformation in the life of others. Amen