The Journey 162
Read: John 12: 20-23
The First Church for the Deaf or the Deaf Church This was the news that caught my attention, a news that I read over and over again. A deaf church? A church for the deaf? How can that happen. How can one have a church exclusively for the deaf people. How can the deaf people know Christ? Or how does a deaf person acknowledge Christ?. These were the questions that was raging in my mind. But the truth was as broad as the daylight. The first church of the deaf has now been founded in Sudan. In this church you have a few believers who are deaf but are baptized Christians. How did this happen. One of the deaf believers was an orphan who used to steal and also lived on drugs. Finally he learned the sign language and then one day he learned about the greatest sign in his life– JESUS, and that changed his life. Once he experienced Jesus he learned about baptism and soon through sign language learned that one had to get baptized to be a part of the body of Christ. Thus about 21 deaf people got baptized and they formed the first deaf church in North Africa. There are a few missionaries who work among the deaf to help them to respond to the gospel message and they say that deaf believers exist in many countries in the northern African region, but then they have not yet formed communities of faith. The challenge they face is very hard and there are number of people who are also physically challenged, who are not reached by the gospel and they all are waiting– For the Message and the Messenger. One of the most wonderful thought that came to my mind, as I read this news is to praise God for his wonderful working and His mysterious ways of working. How does the news of the establishment of the “Deaf Church” impact our life?. The answer to this question will tell us how serious we have been with regards to the impact of the gospel in our life and the transformation that the gospel brings about in our life.
This week we start a new theme for our meditation which is “Transformation in my personal life” The portion that we shall use for our meditation is from John 12: 20-23. This is a portion when Jesus is his in the final leg of his ministry, teaching the disciples and the people who was following him about the life giving bread and about the death that he was going to undergo so that through his death, humanity could be redeemed. Jesus was also exhorting his disciples that they have to die so that only through death that they could raise to a new living and a new life [ John 12: 24,25]. It is at this time that the a group of Greeks comes Philip and tells them that they wanted to see Jesus. Philip goes and tells this strange request to Andrew and then both Andrew and Philip goes and tells about the Greeks to Jesus. Here is a group of people who are outside the fold of the Jews, who “do not come into the fold of salvation act of God’, but yet they are keen to know and see Jesus. I think the church sometime are not interested to see and meet Jesus and it is the individual who are outside the fold of the church who are the people who wants to see Jesus and also live like Christians. Today in church you have people who have eyes and ears, yet do not see or hear Jesus and hence they live “Unchristian” life while on the contrary just as the news reported, you have people in Sudan who cannot hear yet they have heard about Jesus and have responded to the gospel message. Isn't the Church of today blind and deaf to gospel message? Let us give ears to the deaf believers of the first deaf church– That is when transformation in our life will begin.