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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 8th

Why Prayer is not an option….





Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him. - Matt 2:2
 
  Even while continuing to expound on the significance of Christmas by taking the visit of the Wise men from the ‘East’ (most probably Babylon) as a text for our meditations, today let’s cast light on yet another facet in their disposition (of the Wise men), which may actually cast a shadow on their famed wisdom. That, they were wise, respected and laudable characters is beyond any trace of doubt. But best of men in this world are merely men at best capable of making an odd mistake of indiscretion here and there and that is what came to the fore in their demeanour after having landed in the land of Israel and Jerusalem in particular.

What was their primary purpose of coming to the land of Israel. Not only to give gifts or pay their respects to the Christ child but to worship Him. Period. Now worship transcends acts of giving gifts or paying respects. Biblical Scholars have equated the Wise men with devout gentile characters like Cornelius (Acts 10:1-3) and Lydia (Acts 16:4), who were already worshipers of God, and as such needed only some apostolic guidance and prodding to achieve their full potential in faith. Now how idealistic, it would have been that if the Wise men, the worshippers’ of true God, who had come to worship his visible image on earth (Col 1:15) had sought God’s help in locating the Christ-child by sincere prayers’ rather than inquire with mortal men of Jerusalem as to the ‘whereabouts of the King of the Jews’. Wouln’t have the ‘Special’ Star appeared, then and there to lead them to Bethlehem? But look at the tragic chain reaction, their action of seeking human counsel triggered. That they were in Jerusalem came to the notice of power hungry, nervy Herod which eventually led to the slaughter of several innocent children of Bethlehem. Now wasn’t this an highly avoidable calamitous fall-out of not so wise action of the Wise men? I would like to believe, so.

Without being too judgmental of the Wise men, let’s reflect on our not so wise actions, ourselves. How often, we have made praying the last option or worse no option, whilst facing emergency situations or mundane, routine problems. It is not as if, we should not try to help ourselves but the point is, why do not we prayerfully go about sorting out our problems. Any task well begun is half done and what better way to start a work of problem solving, than by prayerfully committing it into God’s hands and seeking His guidance, thereof before rushing out for any human intervention.

Prayer:

Father, we confess our apathy to praying, despite knowing that it is the most powerful tool you have made available to us. Put in us that resolve to seek your help first, in our difficulties rather than solely depending on human means. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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