Saturday, September 17, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

SENIOR CITIZEN DAY
Luke 2:25-38

 
Rev. Philip Baby
Vicar 
St. Thomas M T C Indianapolis & St. Louis M T C
V-38, “At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.”
Spirituality is an affirmation and celebration of God’s saving activity in history and through history. It is the longing for a culmination and perfection beyond history in relation to the past and the present. It is a communion with God and with the created order. Spirituality is actualizing, perceiving and relating to reality which in turn is life affirming.
The image of Anna represents the elderly figure of spirituality and devotion. Old age in Bible is depicted as a blessed time. An elderly woman, prophet Anna, always looking forward to Jesus. The name Anna means gracious. She led a gracious and spiritual life. Luke: 2:36-38 reveals three types of spirituality in her life.
  1. Spirituality of survival without discomfiture: verse 37 says, ‘she never left the Temple’. The characteristics of that Temple was, it was quite large and included several rooms for various purposes. Anna may have been allowed to live in one of them. In her life she faced so many problems. She was an 84 year old widow and she has no children. She had lived only for seven years with her husband. Even in these miserable conditions, she has no complaint or murmuring against God. She survived all these circumstances through her spiritual life.

2.            Spirituality of self-dedication: Anna dedicated her life to God and never left  the temple. She worshipped God through fasting and praying. In her old age she was actively continuing her prayer life. The life itself becomes sacramental and a spiritual act of worship. Anna through her life challenges the present “microwave culture”, where we want God to act instantly. The unpleasant circumstances Anna went through can not be reversed but she withstood that bitterness through being grateful to God and giving thanks to the Almighty.   

3.            Spirituality of witnessing life: Anna praised God for the child of Jesus. She proclaimed Jesus Christ as the redeemer to all who were waiting for the Savior. Her health, age, nor even status of being a widow didn’t stop her from witnessing the Good News – the Jesus Christ. Bishop Polycarp was urged by the Roman official to ‘curse Christ’, to which Polycarp replied, “Eighty – six years have I served him (Christ), and he has done me no wrong: how then can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” What was his end? Bishop Polycarp was burned alive for witnessing Christ.
 
The Queen Mary was the largest ship to cross the oceans when it was launched in 1936. Through four decades & a World war she served until she was retired, anchored as a floating hotel and museum in Long Beach, California. During her conversion, her three massive smokestacks were taken off to be scraped down and repainted. But on dock they crumbled. Nothing was left of the ¾-inch steel plate from which the stacks had been formed. All that remained were more than thirty coats of paint that had been applied over the years. The steel had rusted away. The Spirituality is like that, isn’t it? Is it only an exterior appearance with no substance? Jesus calls us the ‘whitewashed tombs’ and life of Anna challenges us.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, May You go before us and lead us.  We pray that we would allow Your Holy Spirit to guide us today and that we would be a light to others.  May Your light shine through us and may Your love bless those around us.  We pray that we may be patient, kind, and considerate.  We pray that Your character would flow from us as we put others first.  Use us as a vessel for Your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN!

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
‘Present your bodies as a living sacrifice to God’  Romans 12:1