Monday, January 7, 2013

Read: Genesis 22
               From this Thursday onwards the news agencies have reported that Starbucks, the coffee giant in the US, a cafe that most of us visit to have strong coffee or chai tea latte like me, have decided to introduce reusable cups.  This move comes when it was known that Starbucks itself produces coffee cup waste of about 4 billion cups each year globally. Hence the company effort to get these reusable cups and also get more of its cups recycled as their effort to be more caring and just to the environment. But then these cups will be of course made in China, and will have fill line inside denoting "tall", "grnade" and "venti" sized drinks. When I thought of reusable cups, what came to my mind was what about reusable and recycling meditations. This was because for the last one week I took a break from writing my regular devotions title "The Journey". Looking back the one Last one year was a thrilling experience for me working in the Lord's ministry. I have been working as the Youth Chaplain of the South East Region of the Diocese of North America and Europe. One of the vision that our diocesan bishop, Theodotius Thirumeni, gave to us the clergy, was to make our ministry relevant, meaningful to the times, especially mindful and relevant to the people that you are entrusted. Since I was a youth chaplain, my focus was the youths and the young families of this region of the diocese. This was also a dream and a passion that I used to carry. My dream about my ministry is that wherever I am placed I should be a blessing to others, making difference in people's lives, helping them to encounter our Lord, through the regular meditation of the Word and thus able to lead transformed lives. It was this quest in  ministry that made me wonder as to how I can make my ministry relevant especially to the youths and other families of this region of the diocese. The passion and dream to make to make my ministry relevant, resulted into the beginning of daily devotional tilted  "The Journey". Writing this devotional was an amazing experience. I never felt that I could write everyday of the year, because I used to think, how do you get new thoughts every day, and moreover to write it in an organized form takes time and effort, discipline and dedication. But looking back to the year that passed I need to thank the Lord for enabling to work every day, spend time in His presence daily so as to come out with some random thoughts that He gave me. I don't consider the thoughts and devotions notably worthy, but it was a humble effort to discipline myself, to spend time in prayer and meditation  and to relate the truth of the word of God with the current events and the challenges that we all face as we live our Christian life. At this time I really want to thank the Lord for His grace and wisdom that he gave me daily to undertake this devotional journey. I need to specially thank  my diocesan bishop Theodotius thirumeni who has been instrumental in seeing me though this arduous task of writing the devotion every day. He would always encourage me to move forward and do everything so that the ministry in the diocese is fruitful and relevant.  Youths and families and also members from the different parishes, my friends in the social network especially on Facebook, would always give me good suggestions and encouragement and it was all these aspects that helped me to keep my devotional journey going. On 31st December, when I finished writing 365 devotions, I felt that the hand of God leading me daily in my life, throughout the last year through  the outpouring of his wisdom and grace. As I began to  relax and slow down, Theodotius thirumeni started speaking about his next dream and vision, and it was all about  continuing  to write the devotional journey. I was bit reluctant in the initial stages but in the last one week after prayer and meditation, and with my friends and the community of believers encouraging and supporting me to write again, I felt that though this is going to be very tough, still I should continue my devotional journey, because more than others it would be a blessing to me personally as I discipline myself and consciously spend time in meditation and reading of the Word of God. So here I am continuing my devotional journey for the glory of God and a humble effort to understand and transmit the truths of the Word of God and also in the process of making my ministry relevant to the times and to the community that my Lord has entrusted me.
                    I have titled this year devotional as "The Musings'. Musing is all about contemplative thoughts, thoughts that come to our mind as we reflect upon God's word in relation to the contemporary events. Contemplative thoughts that help us to make our life a witness to others. As  I write these devotions I sincerely seek your  prayers for me, my family and my ministry. It is the prayers of the community of faith that keeps clergy like me going and empowering us to minister unto you all. As we begin the new year the thought that came to my mind is about letting go and letting God to work in our life, through the regular re reading of the Word of God and in daily reinterpreting the Word of God to discern the truths that our Lord want to communicate to us. I have heard a story about a man who used to climb mountains. One day as he was climbing a mountain, it became pitch dark and he could not see the route that he was climbing . He slipped and started falling down. As kept falling he suddenly caught hold of rope. Whew he thought he escaped certain death. But because of the darkness he could not see anything. He started shouting "God help me". Suddenly he heard a voice which said ' Leave the rope". But the man was reluctant to let go the rope. He did not what to do, and the voice again said "let go the rope". But the man refused to let go the rope. Next day morning the rescue team found the lifeless body of the mountaineer holding on to a rope, cold and dead. He was holding on to the rope just 5 feet above the ground. If only he had let go the rope........ In Genesis 22 we find, God asking Abraham to sacrifice his son. I think for Abraham though it was painful, he decided to let go his son as this was a blessing that he got very late in life. But that did not stop Abraham from holding on to the blessing and on the contrary when he let go that which he thought was precious and best, God blessed him with a greater  blessing. I think we all are holding on to some kind of blessing or something that is precious in our life. Until we let go that which we consider as precious, God cannot work mightily in our life nor can he achieve his desired plan in our life, nor will be blessed greatly by God. It is imperative in Christian life that we need to let go of  the rope so that we can let God work in our life. Which is the rope, or the blessing or the security  that you held on to in the year 2012?. In this new year can you leave or let go that security and blessing so that  God can work in your life, so that our life is more blessed than last year?..