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A Good Friday poem: Deathbed Conversation

Father, Father, why have you, forsaken me?
Why does it feel like you’ve walked away from me?
They’ve left me to die, hanging on this tree,
Even though they’re the guilty ones, not me.
I know  that this is the crux of your grand plan,
To reconcile yourself with sinful man,
but part of me wonders why I agreed
To go through this hell so that they may be freed
from lives that are rife with lust and greed
But it seems to be what you have decreed.
But since that’s your word, who I am to dissent?
I rest assured that this is not the end,
That though I die, I shall live again
And return to be with you in  heaven
And I shall see those who trust in me   
And trust my death will set them free.
Thus, in your court, I stand accused,
I accept your judgment for what others do,
And wait for you to rescue me 
To rule by your side in heaven for eternity. 

(C) 2014 Pravin Jeyaraj

Happy Epiphany: Coca Cola bearing gifts

A belated Happy New Year. More importantly, Happy Epiphany (today). Or, if you are an Orthodox Christian, Happy Christmas (starting today or soon).

According to the stats, my blog is multicultural.

That’s what I like about Epiphany, when the the wise men came from somewhere in the East to see and worship Jesus. From the very beginning, it reminds us that Jesus did not come for a singular culture; the Gospel isn’t a Jewish or Western thing.

The same account in the Bible also sees Mary and Joseph, with Jesus, becoming refugees fleeing persecution by the regime of the time and others being killed.

I think both of these aspects of the Christmas story speak a lot to the world as it is today. 

Oddly, only one advert has captured this paradox: Coca Cola. I have reposted an advert from 4 years ago and this year’s version as a last (or first) day of Christmas gift.

From 2010

From 2013\4

The Gospel is like a bottle of Coca  Cola: everyone can share in it, it united all.

How was your Christmas Day?

Perhaps this is a question you’ve already been asked in the post-Christmas, pre-New Year lull. What was your answer? Or maybe it’s something to look forward to when you go back to work or school. How would you answer? For me, it was exciting.

Christmas Day was not exciting because of the presents I received. That’s not to say they were not good presents and I am not thankful for them. But the last time I would describing receiving presents from other people as exciting is when I was a kid.

It was not exciting because I spent it with family. Again,that is not to say it was not good time but, as I live with my parents and see my sister and brother-in-law regularly, Christmas Day was arguably in many ways just like any other day of the year.

Indeed, for 13 years, I increasingly found myself asking what’s the point of Christmas? If Christmas Day is not special because of presents and family, why bother celebrating it? 

I became excited about Christmas seven years ago, when I became a Christian.

Presents and family are precisely what Christmas is about, not in themselves but as symbols of God’s gift to humankind to welcome us back into his family. His son, Jesus Christ, was born as a human to live as one of us, be executed for all of us and come back to life so that each of us could be forgiven of our sins and be with God for eternity.  
 
Why do you find Christmas exciting or not? Please leave your answer below.

Christmas Thought: Waiting for Jesus

Its now 7 am on Christmas Day 2013.

The two days before Christmas Day is traditionally busy for me, but not because I am doing my Christmas shopping or trying to get home for Christmas. I live with my parents and I would have sorted out presents by then. On Christmas Day and during Advent, Christians remember not only that God came to Earth as a human, jesus, but also that Jesus will come again.

There are different views on how this might happen. Some Christians believe that Jesus will first return quietly like a thief in the night, take all genuine Christians of all time to heaven suddenly (the rapture), let Satan wreak havoc for a few years (the Tribulation) then come back in visible full force to judge everyone. This is meant to be a final attempt by God to let people accept or reject him. Other people believe, however, that there is no rapture and that we are going through Tribulation at the moment – I lean in this direction. Through my PhD, I am increasingly realising that ideology, including capitalism and communism, is the work of Satan. There are other interpretations too but all Christians agree that Jesus will come back when no one expects it for a Last Judgment. No one knows when though – only God does, as the Bible says, so if anyone claims to know he or she is a false prophet.

I always think therefore, how do I want Jesus to find me when he returns. This soon morphs into, if there is a rapture how do I want to leave my room for others to find.

Of course, Jesus could come back any day of the year. But the deadline of Christmas Day motivates me to do a mass spring clean just in case. This is why the last two days have been hectic but last night it was all done. (There’s still more to do but I’ll need something to do if Jesus doesn’t return today.)

So its now 7:45 am on Christmas Day. I am getting up to celebrate his birthday.

Happy Christmas.

A Christmas gift for you

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