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DAILY DEVOTIONS
 

  In more than three decades of my Christian life, I have been blest by 2 types of Daily devos' (matter not exceeding 500 words) in universal Christian literature. Not only those Devos' which have a different theme everyday but also the ones which revolve around a certain theme over a period of time, say a fortnight, have richly edified me. In fact, both styles have their own inherent advantages. If the former style caters to the varying spiritual needs of a christian from day-to-day, the latter aims 'to ground' a child of God in a certain subject in order he derives the full benefits of the deep insightful study of a certain topic, spread over a fixed span of time.

In my Daily devo page, I have consciously tried to go in for 'a blend of both the styles' whereby within a constant theme, I would be aiming to focus on different facets of it which admittedly is a closer imitation of the 'Constant theme' style than the 'Varying topics' one.

As the month of December coincides with the Christmas season, in this month I intend to dwell exclusively on all the topics revolving around Christmas using the visit of the Wise man described in Matthew 2 as the base.

Let me wish you a happy and an edifying read… oh yes-MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF US!

Suresh Manoharan




December 11th

Sins of omission



‘ Remember, too, that knowing what is right to do then not doing it is SIN’ – James 4:17

He called a meeting of theleading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?” “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote: ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah,for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’- Matt 2:4-6
 
  Today in our on-going study of the Christmas story revolving around the visit of the Wise men we come now to yet another set of characters therein…the Jewish religious leaders and their Sin…the Sin of omission that is. While we may not put them on the same pedestal as wicked, cruel King Herod, by the same token, they cannot be held guiltless too, guilty as they were of a very subtle sin…the sin of omission, which brings us to a subject within a subject…. the Sins we are wary of and the Sins, we may not be conscious of.

Is it not relatively easy to be wary about the Sins of Commission? Even, as we are wary of murder, theft, adultery, do not we get tripped over by more subtle sins…. the sins which the Bible does not as much say but alludes to as the ‘Sins of omission’? God is just as critical of the latter, as he is of the former, as the above text ( James 4:17) so amply reveals.

While the response of King Herod to the news of Christ’s birth was one of hatred, what was the response of the scribes religious leaders? One of marked indifference! They were unaffected by the infectious enthusiasm seen in the wise men to worship the Christ child, so much so that after revealing the location of his birth to King Herod, they refrained from going along with the Wise men to worship the long-promised Messiah. Again our minds swim, when we consider their attitude of indifference to the Messiah especially in light of the fact that these were the very men who had been reading all that had been prophesied about the arrival of the Messiah for ages? Were they plain afraid of King Herod? It was not just fear that made them stay put in Jerusalem. It was their cold indifference to all that was Messianic.

Indifference to God and His work is only a step away from outright hatred of it because as soon as Jesus’ began His public ministry (30 years later), what was the response of this hitherto indifferent group of religious leaders to it or to Jesus? One of warm appreciation? NAY, that of outright hatred! Our true heart sentiments towards God, temporarily covered-over by calculative indifference borne out of human cunning, would stand exposed one time or the other, for what they really are.

In the spiritual realm, there is no neutral ground. During World war II Sweden Switzerland may have got away by calling themselves as ‘Neutral’ countries (hence they escaped the bombing of both the allied the axis forces), however in the spiritual realm, if we are not with God, it means we are with Mr. devil. PERIOD!

The parable of the Good Samaritan is yet another pointer to God’s mind on this theme of Sins of omission. Just as Jesus was appreciative of the Good Samaritan, wasn’t he critical of the indifferent temple priest the Levite?

Finally, coming to the ‘Sheep goat ‘ judgment, so beautifully described in Matt 25:31-46. What does Jesus accuse the goats on His left hand of? The Sins of commission? Murder, theft, adultery? NO! Rather, he accuses them of Sins of omission. Of acts, which they knew they had to do but didn’t.

The words of Jesus mentioned there would always ring in our ears. “ I was hungry but YOU DID NOT FEED ME, I was thirsty but YOU DID NOT QUENCH MY THIRST, I was naked but YOU DID NOT CLOTHE ME and …

I kept sending you Bible-based /spiritual e-mails but you never even cared to reply to encourage me …Hey, who whispered this into my ear?

Prayer:

Father, make us sensitive to all types of sins -the obvious sins of commission and the more subtle ones of omission- in order even unconsciously, we do not grieve thy heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen
 


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