Sunday, 23 September 2012

What have you been arguing about?

Christ Jesus took his disciples for a walk through Galilee. He made sure nobody got to know about their presence in the vicinity because of the information he wanted to share with the disciples. He spoke to them about his impending death. Unfortunately, the disciples didn't get what Christ meant, and didn't want to ask any question. It appears the reason why they didn't want to ask questions was because their minds were preoccupied with something else- who is the greatest? Christ wanted to talk to them about something as important as his death but the disciples were busily arguing and debating about the greatest amongst them.

Later Christ asked the disciples what they were arguing about on the way. We shouldn't be surprised that Christ knows what we have been craving for- selfish ambition in our hearts. The disciples kept quiet about the question because they were ashamed of what they have been doing. Years down the line and the same debate rages on. Who's the greatest? Who has the greatest;  TV audience, membership, influence, power etc. Jealousy and bragging amongst Christians, churches, denominations has reached an alarming proportion. We have allowed the spirit of rivalry to take hold of our hearts. It is very common to hear churches, pastors arguing about trivial things. People are plotting to knock each other off the top spot.

The church is divided along the lines of many things. Precious time and resources is spent arguing and debating issues such as women in church leadership, homosexuality, and gay marriage. In many ways we have set aside what really is the important thing and are arguing about the unnecessary things. We have been making a case for ourselves instead of a case for Christ.

What have you been spending time arguing and debating at church meetings? Would you be proud or embarrassed if Christ inquire what have you been arguing about? Instead of knocking each other off, why don't we lift each up. Greatness is about humility and obedience and that is what we should crave for.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Leave it alone for one more year and....

Jesus's listeners thought they were good people because they hadn't suffered similar fate to those Galileans whose blood were mingled with their sacrifice. They associated physical suffering with some evil done. Don't deceive yourself thinking that righteousness is measured by level of physical suffering. The key thing is the fruit you bear; which come by repentance. By their fruits you will know them. 

Christ obviously shocked by His listeners line of reasoning sought to point them to the right path, by using the analogy of a fig tree. Repent or Perish.  By our own standard we think we're better than others. By the listeners of Christ their measuring tape was the level of physical suffering.  Note the vineyard dresser's report- the tree was full of life; no physical damaged, and yet the vineyard owner found no fruit. The vineyard owner couldn't hide his disappointment. We all do when we thought we have done all what we could to receive something positive and all we get is negative; when we thought we've done all we could to expect good behaviour from our children and all we get is bad behaviour. It's very natural that we'll feel disappointed. Since we're amongst  the seed that fell on good ground, we're expected to produce fruits. The vineyard owner had waited far too long.

Years ago I watched a film called "save the last dance". In the film was a lone parent with a baby boy. The boy's father was supposed to come and get him for a weekend, but always had an excuse that he had to go to work. One day this lady who obviously has had enough of the man's excuse exploded "I ain't seen the fruit   of that labour". "What do you think I feed your son with, oxygen"? In other words, why don't I get some fruit of your labour?

Friends, we've been in the Christian Ministry for a long time. The vineyard owner needs some fruit to celebrate His investment. Christ himself and the apostles suffered a lot for the gospel. It's time we begin to bear fruit of that investment. John the Baptist said to the multitudes going out to see him, do those things that will show that you have turned from your sins. Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

The gospel of Chris must drive us to do things which otherwise we wouldn't have done; must drive us into places that otherwise we wouldn't have ventured, and must move us to talk, and help others that otherwise we wouldn't have thought off. Should Christ come now, will He find the desired fruit? The gardener is pleading on our behalf for a second chance. God is prepared to give us a second opportunity for repentance. Would you take it?