Wednesday, May 6

"Me, You and Jesus"

How can we look at Marriage in a renewed manner daily? This complex problem is similar to all the new elements that come into our lives. As years go across, the Intensity, the passion, the beauty and the drive all ebb away. This is a universal reality.

Loving each other becomes difficult when we begin to seek extraordinary in the ordinary.

Having worked in real estate development, I have understood the fancy of beachfront products. The commoners around a beach front see the ordinary beach everyday of their life. But a little away lies a crowd that appreciates beach in all its newness, in all its beauty and joy. The beachfront commoners should not expect the extraordinary from the beach every day of their beachfront stay.

Marriage is a relationship, it is a commitment and I think it is looking at pleasure with a long-term view of enjoying it: its beauty, its companionship, its sharing, its physical pleasures, its strength and its weakness. Hence, it is also venerable…venerable to each other. Marriage invites us to a deep offering: it offer a real world of safety and home in a very fast moving world.

In a married life, the parties give to one another their body… in all sense, their very own body for each other's pleasure. Two persons consummate in love becomes one. It isn't a sacrifice, it isn't pain, it is pleasure in fullness. Intercourse is the finality of physical union. But, Philip Yancey mentions in his book, ‘Rumours of Another World’, an interesting point we overlook. The same bodies that entertained each other become dull, unattractive, noisy, troublesome, smelly and useless. At that stage, the synergy of the heart and the mind has to overtake the physical. And the married journey continues.

In the Holy Eucharist, Christ performs an equivalent act : giving away His body and blood to be eaten and drunk by his intimate partners. That is the climax of the spiritual intercourse. The challenge for us is to accept Christ in Holy Communion in that manner. How can I keep myself away from Holy Communion (the Lord's Table) when I am madly in Love?

What more can I look towards in these intense acts? If sexual intercourse brings about certain commitments and certain discipline between the partners, then Holy Communion too brings about a similar discipline in our spirituality. The Holy Eucharist spreads its radiance on the whole life!

The Holy Eucharist becomes the living sign of 'God with Us'. One manner in which we can renew our earthily marriage is through systematic spiritual exposure to the Eucharist.

It is 'me, you and Jesus'.


To Take Home Something

Being given a time to preach in the Church is often a time of thoughtful hours and days.

I can never pick a sermon at a shot. Speaking of Church, Bible or on Christian living , I become a hypocrite when I speak matters larger than me… larger than what I can live…larger than my own beliefs. Those words may sound good to the Sunday Laity… but they will remain ineffective.

How can I call people to life which I myself cannot live? So, I preach to myself all my sermons before I do it on a podium. I hear it by the sea sides, beaches and by the lonely places. I ask myself if it is all true…. If all that is true…true in my own life. As Oscar Wild puts it in his book 'The Remarkable Rocket', "I like hearing myself talk. It is one of my greatest pleasures."

I sympathize with people who has to 'deliver' a sermon every other day. What a right word is 'to deliver' ! A person who delivers isn't really interested in the content of the packet!! He just need to ensure that the packet reaches safely. But is preaching after all a 'delivery' business? Is today's ineffective Church pulpits standing testimony to this 'delivery' business?

It will be the greatest cross for me to do preaching on a regular basis. Hence, I am not called for that. The joy of speaking and listening is a compounded joy. The speaker or the preacher has to listen to his own speech or sermon. He got to see the qualities of his message in his own life. When happens then? The words begin to take life in the listeners. Then, what the writer of Hebrews says in 4:12 comes true …."For the word of God is living and active."

One of the very simple question that I ask myself after every sermon that I hear is , "What has this Sermon got for me?" or "Can I take home something from it?". Else, I just forget it.

To listen to the sermon is to go beyond hearing it. It is to take home something.