Friday, November 24, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Annunciation of Mary
Luke 1:26-38
Vs. 38 Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
We live in a world where we feel happy making our little contributions to church and society by our participation in the various activities associated with them. We at times boast about what we offer as our financial contributions to maintain the church and sustain its mission works in the world. We are excited by the fact that we are involved. But is just being involved all that is expected from us even as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our savior?
Annunciation is the good news that comes to Mary through the angel Gabriel. The Good news is that she has found favor in the eyes of God. Mary finds favor in the eyes of God to go through the most unfavorable situations of life, to conceive even when she’s a virgin and go through the pain and embarrassment that accompanies it.
Mary’s response to the annunciation is an act of complete surrender. She agrees to whole heartedly co-operate with God .She participates in the salvific act of God through her obedience. The incarnation  was God’s act, but it also depended on the obedience of Mary. Mary, through her surrender, was not just  involved in the whole process but was totally committed for the salvation of the world.
There is a great difference between being involved and being committed. To be involved is easy but to be totally committed demands risking one’s life.
A chicken and a pig lived on a farm. The farmer was very good to them and they both wanted to do something  good for him. One day the chicken approached the pig and said, “ I have a great idea for something we can do for the farmer! Would you like to help?” The pig, quite intrigued by this ,said “of course! What is it that you propose?”
The chicken knew how much the farmer enjoyed a good healthy breakfast. He also knew how little time the farmer had to make a good breakfast. “ I think the farmer would be very happy if we made him breakfast.” The pig thought about this. “ I would be happy to help you make breakfast for the farmer. What do you suggest we make.?”
The chicken understanding that he had little else to offer suggested” I could provide some eggs.” The pig knew the farmer might want more, “ That’s a fine start. What else should we make?” The chicken looked around….scrathed his head….then said , “ham ? The farmer loves ham and eggs !” The pig, very mindful of what this implied, said, ”that’s easy for you to say. For you it’s just an involvement, but for me it’s a total commitment.
Mary was willing to offer herself, her body, her womb to bring forth God’s son into the world. This total commitment of Mary brings great  pain to her as she has to flee with her son to Egypt to protect the child from Herod and later on see her son been stripped , beaten and hung on to the cross even while being in the prime of his life. She receives God’s favor to experience the unfavorable. But she knew God’s purposes for the world was being realized through her.
Christian life demands a total commitment on our part and not just an involvement. The apostle Paul said” Offer your bodies” (Rom.12.1) which is one’s complete self to God for realizing God’s purpose in the world.
Can we make that total commitment as we prepare ourselves to celebrate our savior’s birth? We become a blessing when we give ourselves completely.
Dear Lord, give us your grace to be totally committed to see your purpose being realized in the world. Help us to offer ourselves completely to serve you in your world. Amen.
Every little contribution should finally lead us into a complete surrender.
 Rev. George Cherian, Dharmaram College, Bangalore
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church