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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 1st

Confusing? Is one of the Gospels wrong? NO WAY!



When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt Matt 2:13-14

When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord – Luke 2:22
 
  The visit of the Magi or the Wisemen to worship Christ, forms one of the most captivating backdrops of Christmas. Oh, how many Christmas greeting cards abound, with the pictures of these wise men, with their flowing white beards, crowns and all, worshipping the infant Jesus, lying peacefully in the manger! For the next 30 days, we shall be focusing on their to and fro trip to the land of Israel, to worship the ‘King of Kings’ in the process of which, we hope to see all the ‘six sides of the dice’, as it were, pertaining to Christmas, including the fact, as to whether the ‘Wise men were wise all along or not’. Simply put, the entire significance of Christmas!

Matt 2:13-14, captures the scene immediately after the departure of these Wise men, wherein we see the angel, urging Joseph (the earthly guardian of Jesus) to flee to Egypt in the face of brutal plans of King Herod to eliminate the Christ-child, whom he had mistaken to be the ‘future competitor for his throne’. It is another matter that Christ’s Kingdom in his I advent was supposed to be anything but earthly. The twist to our meditation comes, when we try to reconcile the flight of Jesus’ parents to Egypt vis-à-vis their visit to Jerusalem as recorded by Luke (refer the captioned scripture portion above) in his Gospel. The Biblical scholars state that Jesus’ earthly parents took Him to Jerusalem approximately 50 days after His birth to complete the mandatory Jewish rituals (soon after the birth of a baby boy) as described in Leviticus Chapter 12.

Hey, were they not supposed to be in Egypt is the question, which would emerge in anyone’s mind on reading Luke’s account of their visit to Jerusalem! Added to this is the fact (Matt 2:19 and 20) that they remained in Egypt till the death of King Herod, which took place a few years after their flight to Egypt. Was one of the Gospel writer’s wrong? NO WAY! God’s Word inspired by Him (II Tim 3:16,17) is infallible; it is just that our traditional interpretation is wrong. Using the technique of many a Biblical Scholar ‘let scriptures interpret the scriptures’, lets go step-by-step in our meditations to arrive at the TRUTH, stripped of all the traditional Christmas strap pings, we have got so used to. Bible itself contains the answer to this apparent puzzle. A closer examination of Scriptures, which is what, we shall attempt in the coming days…’shall bare it all’. Just hang on, till I come to it, in the ensuing meditations.

Prayer:

Father, thy word is perfect, it is just that our minds are skewed sometimes getting carried away by what has been told by someone. Also, your words the Psalmist says is sweeter than honey. So as we study it deeply, we also enjoy the entire process thoroughly. Oh, how blest, we are to partake in these joys of studying Thy Word. We thank you once again for your infallible Book. In Jesus’name. Amen.
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