Saturday, December 24, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Yaldo - Feast of Nativity- A New Dawn- Grace upon Grace
 Luke 2:1-20

Rev. Thomas Kurian
Oklahoma Mar Thoma Church

11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”
Wow!!! (Wonder of Wonders)
The recent edition of Readers Digest portrays Courtney Holmes, a generous man who chose to donate his time and give free haircuts to underprivileged kids to introduce them into a world of reading books.  Holmes remarks that “The kids should earn their free haircut by having to read a book to me and thereby be  away from a world that is today full of guns and violence, and  my barbershop is a safe haven for the kids, to come and read books”. He turns his place of work into a transforming venue where the needy children become little wonders and this elicits in me a sigh of Wow!!!
If that is so, how about our Savior who left His heavenly realm and was born in an unimaginable place (manger), that is beyond our comfort and strongholds? Not any wonder created by us can replace this amazing wonderful gift given to us to redeem our fallen nature. In this beautiful narrative, we can see more wonders being depicted as:
a. Words of Wonder:
                        We read angels declaring out, “Glory to God in the highest heaven,  and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” and well guided travel notes for the shepherds to see Jesus. The response is, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened”. Watchers of above and below (Angels and Shepherds), guarding us even when we slumber and sleep declare to us to glorify and praise God (v. 20) for this wonderful gift at all times.
b. Worshippers of Wonder:
                            When His son was born, God communicated not with the rulers in Jerusalem but with hardworking shepherds and by the nature of their work, they were considered, “unclean,” which meant they could not go to worship at the temple and never testify as witnesses in court either. As we worship  this wonderful gift on Christmas, the goodness of God uses everyone, to have  witnessing worship anywhere, so that others can see and experience  Jesus.
c. Workers of Wonder:
                           The sacrificial parents, declaring angels, travelling wise men and witnessing shepherds worked together in nurturing baby Jesus who could withstand the agony and pain on  the Cross for us. To create a wonder, the sacrifice of the contributors is made and in this narrative, it is for the Divine plan for redemption. At the same time we see King Herod, who could sleep in a place away from his people and purpose, who was worried about his position with shaky legs on a throne.
Shepherds reveal that there cannot be a flock without a shepherd and neither is a shepherd truly without a flock. The two must go together and we are Christ’s sheep. To belong to a King carries some measure of distinction. We are the sheep of imperial pastures.


Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy… Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit,
to defend all that is holy.  (Prayer of St. Augustine)
As we celebrate the Christmas as sheep of imperial pastures, are we just going to hear words and worship the wonder? The call is for us to be Workers of Wonder so that we fulfill the external, Eternal and internal needs of the needy, neglected and nobody.