And They Came With Haste, And Found Mary And Joseph, And The Babe Lying In The Manger – St. Luke 1: 16.
Dear Young Friends,
May I convey my belated Seasons Greetings? I know you all are in the thrill of the exciting celebrations. From your mails/letters/phone calls, it is understood that you all have celebrated the Christmas and the New Year in different ways with a variety of programs. New year is the occasion to evaluate the blessings and gifts we received in the past year and to submit our immediate needs and desires to God Almighty. Normally many of us do not take pains to count the gifts and mercies we enjoyed from our Lord God. The verse of devotion is very familiar to all of us, as we have heard this Biblical portion several times. There won’t be any doubt about “they” mentioned in the verse of devotion. The term ‘they’ is used for the shepherds who reached the manger to worship Lord Jesus. We must taker care in understanding the word ‘haste’, which has deep meaning. Whenever one has to see our Lord face to face, he has to reach the divine presence in haste. When Zacchaeus was peeping Lord Jesus through the leaves of the sycomore tree, our Lord called him by name and said “make haste and come down: for today I must abide at your house”. (St. Luke 19:5) What is this ‘haste’? Let us separate each alphabet and try to see for what they stand for. The first alphabet ‘h’ stands for humbleness one should have, prior to meeting our Lord. The second letter ‘a’ stands for the ambition of a faithful to have an abide ness with our Lord. The third letter ‘s’ is for the solemnity one faithful must have. And ‘t’ is there for the tears one should shed, remembering his own or her own sins and the final letter ‘e’ stands for the enthusiasm one should have. When we would unite all these qualities together, we could see our Lord face to face. I am sure all of you might have attended the Church worships on Christmas day as well as New Year day. On New Year day we have remembered the circumcision of our Lord as well as the memory of St. Basil, St. Gregory and the other Church Fathers.
When our Lord was 12, his mother St. Mary and St. Joseph. took him to the Jerusalem temple In Vs 43-46 we read, “And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of doctors, both bearing them, and asking them questions”.
This is what happening in our lives also. We all have started the pilgrimage to heavenly Canaan with our Savior Jesus Christ. When we started our pilgrimage the faith in the presence of our Lord with us was our power, enthusiasm and thrill. But due to some or other personal/selfish interests, we lost the frequent contact with Him and we maintained a false faith that He would be with us and we never bothered to identify the truth that we lose Him from our company. Why we lose Christ? It is only because of our selfishness, which do not allow us to identify ourselves with the interests of Christ. In our daily lives we must give priority to the interests of Christ. When we would realize that we lost the companionship of Lord Jesus, we must go back to the place and circumstance where we lost him. When His mother and St. Joseph realized that Lord is not with them, they turned back to Jerusalem seeking him. We the Christians, never turn back even if we are sure that we have lost our Lord from the fellowship and also we never bother to seek him. Unless we turn back from the style of life followed by us and seek Him, we cannot survive in his companionship. As long as we stay away from Jesus, we cannot produce heavenly fruits. In St. John 15:1 our Lord says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman” And again in verse 4 of the same chapter we read from him, “Abide in me, and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine no more can you, except you abide in me”.
Let us turn back and seek Him and try to abide in Him. Let our Lord make use of us to produce good fruits useful for the glory of God. May God bless us all.