SECOND SUNDAY, ORDINARY TIME YR. A 15.01.2017.

 

One of the first things I learnt during my German Course was the significant difference between two Words ‘Du’ and ‘Sie’. Both Words mean ‘You’. But a use of ‘Du’ (informal) in the place of ‘Sie’ (formal) could really spoil the show and prove costly. These words define the kind of relationship that exists between two people and the kind of things they may say to each other. Much about the relationship can be perceived by the use of one of these Words. It is so in almost every relationship; Family, Friends; Colleagues; Lovers; School mates; Acquaintances and even in that unique relationship between God and us; Communication plays an indispensable role. I remember that I asked a German Priest why we say ‘Du’ to God. His answer was simple, “We are Family with God as Father” it is an informal relationship. So how do we talk to God, and how does he get to us?

The Letter to the Hebrews shows many ways through which communication is effected between God and us; Dreams, Visions, Prophets and ultimately, through his Son (Heb. 1). On rare occasions, God spoke to the People himself (Ex.20. 1Kgs. 19:). God still speaks. Today we see some of those instruments of communication set before us. In the Old Testament, Isaiah and Israel, and in the New Testament, John the Baptist and Jesus. In all cases this point comes out clear: i). God is only using these human instruments to achieve a Purpose. He says he intends to use the People of Israel to show his Glory.  Isaiah is used only as a Servant. John prepares the way for the Lord. ii). He continues to use human instruments to achieve his purpose in our world even in our days. iii). because they are human, they live and work with the weaknesses of human nature, yet they also enjoy the benefit of Grace that comes from working for God. It is awesome to know that God chooses and works with our brothers and sisters, people we may know.

Even though, we are family with God, this is a completely spiritual relationship. It often defies many of the given standards that we know in temporal relationships, especially because we must speak of this spiritual relationship using human, temporal concepts. This has led many people, sadly, to either turn their backs on God or approach him with standards that suit them. It is unfair, to seek to operate in the realm of this relationship with the standards of other kinds of relationships. You may not gain much if you approach God with the apparatus for a scientific investigation; or with economic laws; or medical laws or any other such categories. The only way to approach him is like children to their father. He is God, He is spirit, and He knows how to achieve what he wants when he wants. Isaiah, John, Jesus all submitted to the Father, and allowed themselves be used. So must all who approach Him must accept there is a lot yet be learnt,  because God is ever new, ever alive, and ever active. He continues to speak to us, we respond appropriately only when we listen to him and follow him, and fellow human beings can help here. Isaiah and John bear witness today to help us follow God. We will follow him through a life of holiness and prayers this will bring us undoubtedly, love joy happiness and peace. May God keep his word ever in our hearts. Amen.

SHITYO, Ternenge Isaac.

The baptism of the Lord.

 

BAPTISM OF JESUS.                                                     Isaiah. 45; Acts. 10; Mat. 3.                8.01.2017

 

On Friday, we celebrated the Epiphany of the Lord. The Manifestation of Jesus to people who would ordinarily be precluded from his saving ministry. They came from afar, and like strangers in every respect, the needed guidance, they asked.

Today, we celebrate another great feast in the life of the Lord; namely his baptism, by John, in the River Jordan. See the many significant points of this single event. i). Jesus came to John the Baptist ii) he wanted to be baptized iii).after his baptism, the Heavens opened, a dove came from heaven and rested on him, and a voice spoke. On this day I would like us to look only at the first point of significance.

JESUS CAME:

It strikes me immediately that only on Friday, those who wanted to see Jesus made great efforts and sacrificed much in other to see him, and today, he comes to someone who is surprised and even thinks he ‘should not have come.’   Remember the words of John the Baptists, “…do you come to me? (Math.3:13-17). But he comes not only to John the Baptist. In fact, this is only the beginning of a ‘coming’ that will eventually lead him into the hands of his enemies. See the steps: on Friday, his friends (the wise men) were looking for him so to worship him; his enemy (Herod) was also looking for him, through tricks and murderous outrage to kill him. The child lay somewhere. Did he know what was already going on? Today he begins by coming to his Friends represented by John. Much later his would dismiss his enemy with a wave of hand, ‘go and tell that Fox…’ (Lk. 13:32) until he eventually confronts them and asks; ‘who are you looking for?…i am He! (Jn. 18:4-8). No longer afraid! No longer lying in a Manger! He had grown to the level of knowing that he should not live in fear. This immediately poses a challenge to us to us to live a life free of fear under God.

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