Monday, December 25, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Birth of Our Lord
St Luke 2:1-14
St. Luke the great historian and physician gives a comprehensive history of the birth, life, ministry, crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus the Lord, Saviour and Messiah. Birth narrative or infancy narratives are the special gift of the writer to the New Testament Church.  Luke Chapter 1 tells the narrative of the annunciation assuring the birth of a Saviour named Jesus to a Virgin named Mary, living in Nazareth in the town of Bethlehem. Chapter 2 tells us the fulfilment of the annunciation of the birth of the Lord. Emperor Augustus Caesar, the ruler ordered for a census of the world; for all the nations of the civilized world were subject to Rome.  

“No Room for birth” but “Room for Salvation”
Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem with Mary to be registered. Joseph was full of expectancy to find lodgings for Mary, as he entered the city of his family, as it was the time came for Mary to deliver a child. His search was in vain and he could not find a suitable lodging because every house was overcrowded. Finally Joseph reached in front of an inn where he had to hear the saddest words in history, “There was no room.”
Joseph had to find a safe space for Mary to give birth to Child named Jesus. His search led to the creation of “manger” the safest space for the birth of only begotten Son of God. There was no room in the inn, but there was room in the manger. The inn is the gathering place of public opinion, the focal point of world’s moods, the rendezvous of the worldly, the rallying place of the popular and the successful. But the manger is a place of the outcasts, the ignored, and the forgotten. The divine child Jesus, the Saviour of the world was born where one least expects to find it. The manger and the Cross thus portray the whole event of salvation. Jesus accepted both manger and the Cross because it personifies the pain of rejection and suffering; yet proclaims salvation. He was the divine child in the fullest human form. God became human in Jesus Christ for the human to experience God through Jesus Christ.

Searching the Signs of Saviour
Shepherds living in the fields receiving the ‘Word of God’ started their journey to see the Saviour. Signs of Saviour are human child in swaddling clothes in a manger. Swaddling clothes signifies the life in Khora (Greek noun for a place)–state of poverty, impurity, agony, dirt, dust- ‘life of otherness’ challenging the practices of hate, bitterness, violence and death- state of empire. Child wrapped in a band of clothes in manger is the ‘new heaven’ on earth. Shepherds searching the signs; witnesses the new heaven.
Gracious God, enable us to confess Jesus Christ as our Lord, Saviour and Messiah at all times in all cultures. Amen. 
Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing we desire can compare with it.
Rev. Shiby Varghese P, Mar Thoma Theological Seminary, Kottayam
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church