The Paradox of Nativity

The paradox of the nativity – Dr Lalith Mendis

The Creator, The Uncreated being – took fetal from in a Virgin’s womb.

The source of life           -came to share our troubled life.

The Infinite                     -took finite form.

God who is spirit            -took corporeal limit.

The Eternal Reason         -became a fledgling Person.

He who inhabits eternity -became contemporary in human history.

He who is Omnipresent, and transcendent – became space – dependent.

He who is Unchanging and Immortal – became decayable and mortal.

He whose throne is the heavens, the earth His footstool – was cradled in a manger where oxen drool.

He whose glory spawns the galaxies – came to a stable in Bethlehem’s alleys.

He who designed and owns the created order – was born a pitiable, lowly pauper.

He who is clothed in light inaccessible and brilliant – opted to be strapped in swaddling vestment.

Undisputed Omnipotent Sovereign of the vast creation – became an undefended infant in a vassal nation.

The one Excellent in Holiness – was willing to appear in the likeness of sinfulness.

The Great Architect of the starry echelon – was willing to be called the carpenter’s Son.

He who was unimpeachable in purity – was willinlg to be accused of being illegitimate progeny.

The Lord of Hosts, the Eternal King – was threatened with death by a despotic king.

The Foundation of all wisdom and knowledge – was willing to be taught under earthly tutelage.

He who was rich became poor for us – that we might become rich by His grace.

What Babe Is This?

Vulnerable Babe takes on the madding crowd

It’s Christmas night and City in mystery shroud

Beasts of burden eager waiting in a holy hush

Prince of Peace drew us from the rage and rush

Angels on high visit the wretched Shepherds

God announces gladsome gracious words

Outcasts profligate ne’er do well included

O Star of Bethlehem your long wait rewarded

Poor are glad, King Herod and priests enraged

Humble promoted, oppressed mercy engaged

New Order of the Heart’s liberation unveiled

Swords turn to ploughshares barriers scaled

Turning Tables beginning in the Stable

Mary said Yes…Joseph said but… Yes

Augustus Caesar directed to call Census

God Almighty as Helpless Babe – Dress

Takes on Caesar, Herod, Priest the press

Rags His armour, straw bed His throne

Innocence His weapon, love to His own

What Saviour is this, where’s His Glory – Lying in a Manger

Though Dawkins puffs and Hawking huffs – God not in danger

To Invade the Mighty Roman Empire – man’s injustice and fear

God Babe ushered by a Virgin as foretold by Isaiah the Seer

Immanuel – God with us, for us, in us, thru us – ne’er against us

It’s time again for beauty, truth, love, hope and build up trust

– Dr Lalith Mendis

(The writer is the Director of the Colombo Empathic Learning Centre) 

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Da Vinci Code – Fact & Fiction Amalgam= Myth – Elastic Historicity – Bug or Humbug

The Da Vinci Code

Separating fact from Fiction

 

By this Definition, the da Vinci Code would need to develop its plot with historical integrity. When challenged on his facts, the author cannot rightfully say, “its only a novel.” Such positioning places the reader in a schizophrenic world of fact and fiction.

 

Dan brown writes an “ alternative history” without giving the reader the ability to see where his facts begin and end. Literary scholars see the difference; the average reader may not.

 

Let’s look at how the “what if” history of the Da Vinci Code plays out with elements that are alleged to be factual.

 

The significance of the Priority of Sion  is bolstered in the plotline of the  Da Vinci Code by claiming a little-known connection with such geniuses as Leonardo Da Vinci and Isaac Newton.

 

Dan Brown’s main characters- Robert Langdon, Sopie Neveu, and Leigh Teabing- are experts at deciphering codes and interpreting symbols. This is one of the most compelling aspects of the novel. The book accurately points out that Leonardo was known to have used reverse text (which could be read with a mirror) for some of his “progressive theories on astronomy, geology, archaeology, and hydrology” (p.300). Yet, his “secrets” were probably more scientific than religious. Leonardo was among the Renaissance scientists who had to be careful not to raise suspicion that their theories were challenging established church doctrine on creation.

 

Brown, however, used the fact of Da Vinci’s reverse –style scientific essays to suggest that Leonardo also left clues in his artwork about secret religious beliefs, which if known would have changed the public’s acceptance of his work. In the Da Vinci Code, the great artist is portrayed as a goddess worshiper who left clues in his artwork to let us know that his views of Christ were not in line with the teachings of the church.

But how believable is this claim? Art critics who have no interest in defending the church have rejected the notion. Authorities in the art world believe that the “hidden clues” to Leonard’s secrets faith exist only in the imagination of those looking to make a conspiracy theory plausible (see: Bruce Boucher, “does the Da Vinci Code Crack  Leonardo?” the New York Times, 8/03/03: Sian Gibby, “Mrs. God.” Slate, 11/3/03).

 

 

Such Guide lines help us to see some of the many reasons that the credibility of the New Testament has stood the rest of time. The Nag hammadi documents (Gnostic gospels) by comparison, were written about 100 to 200 years after the life of Jesus. Being later in time and lacking connection to those who knew Christ, they reflect Gnostic doctrines of the second and third centuries rather than a first-centaury record of witnesses.

By contrast, the New Testament gives us eye witness accounts, with more copies, closer to the event than any other document from the first century.

 

Small portions like the Chester Beatty and john Ryland Papyri fragments bring scholars back to within 40 years of the writing of the gospel of John (F.F Bruce, the new Testament Documents- are they reliable? Pp.17-18) likewise, F.F Bruce in his book Jesus and Christian Origins outside The New Testament shows how historians have used other early documents to confirm the reliability of New Testament  accounts.

 

Dan Brown attempts to tie his “secret knowledge” to early Judaism with this shocking statement:

“Admittedly, the concept of sex as a pathway to God was mind –boggling at first. Langdon’s Jewish students always looked flabbergasted when he first told them that the early Jewish tradition involved ritualistic sex. In the Temple, no less. Early Jews believed that the Holy of Holies in Soloman’s Temple housed not only God but also His powerful female equal, Shekinah…… the Jewish tetragrammaton YHWH- the sacred name of God- is in fact derived from Jehovah, an androgynous physical union between the masculine Jah and the Pre-Hebraic name for Eve, Hava (p.309).

 

Such concepts sound scholarly when spoken by a fictional Harvard Professor of symbology. They  can also be misleading when they come from the pen of someone who is trying to rewrite history to claim that God is pleased by the pagan practices of ancient fertility cults. This is another instance, however, where the facts are difference.

 

By contrast, Brown uses his own assumptions to make unjustified claims about Hebrew word meanings and origins. The reader is asked to accept the words of Roberts Langdon, a fictitious authority in the field, who tries to tie the worship of Israel to the ancient fertility cults characteristic of Israel’s neighbors.

 

The Da Vinci Code contradicts the combined witness of the Hebrew Scriptures. What about the New Testament? Does it give a picture of continuity with the Old Testament? Together, the writings of Paul, Peter, James, John and Jude combine with the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to cite multiple sources from the Old Testament to support their view of Christ. They build on the testimony of Jewish prophets who anticipated a coming Deliverer who would be born of a virgin (Isa.7:14; Mt. 1:18-,24-25). This Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Mic.5:2; Lk. 2:4-7). Although a king, He would enter Jerusalem humbly on a donkey (Zech.9:9; Mt. 21:6-11). Even the piercing and death of messiah were foretold centuries before the invention of crucifixion as a form of execution (Isa.53; Zech.12:10; Mt. 27)and the Messiah triumphing over death in resurrection was foretold (Ps.16:10; Isa. 53:10: Acts 2:31). These fulfillments of messianic predictions are only part of a much wider range of other elements of continuity also fulfilled by the unique person of Jesus of Nazareth.

 

Ancient documents including but not restricted to the New Testament accounts tell the story of witnesses who saw the Old Testament Scriptures fulfilled in Christ and who were willing to suffer and die for what they saw in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. These witnesses lived and died in spite of the power of Rome, not because of it. For most of the years preceding Constantine they were a hated and persecuted people (I cor.1:26-31). Followers of Christ were the outcasts of society. They were the poor and powerless witnesses of the history of Christ, not “the winners,” as alleged by brown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Da Vinci code

A response

 

 

1 what is the central premise of the Da vinci asserts that ‘almost every thing our Father taught us about Christ is false.’ It claims that:

  • The catholic church has kept the true fact about Christianity hidden through force of terror
  • Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene ( who was the head apostle)
  • Jesus was not the son of God
  • He was a mortal prophet – a great and powerful man of staggering influence who inspired millions to better lives
  • The pagan emperor Constantine proposed a motion upgrade Jesus to a deity at the council of Nicaea in 325AD

 

In 112 AD, the roman governor Pliny records that ‘Christians were in the habit of meeting regularly before dawn on a fixed date to chant verse alternately among them selves in honour Christ as to a God.’ It is clear that the early church worshiped Jesus as God from the earliest days.

 

Further, numerous church fathers speak of the divinity of Christ. For example

 

  • Ignatius (CA 50 – CA 117) ‘ our God, Jesus Christ’
  • Justin Martyr (CA 100 – CA165) ‘He was god’
  • Melito of Sardis (died CA 190) ‘Being God and Like wise perfect man’
  • Irenaeus (CA130 – CA 200) ‘He is the holy Lord, The wonderful Counselor ….and the Might God.
  • Clement of Alexandria (CA 150 – CA 215) ‘He alone is both God and man.’
  • Teryullian (CA 160 – CA 225) ‘for Christ is also God.’

 

 

The council was probably attended by 220-250 bishops. The Arian creed was rejected and they produced the Nicene Creed with four anti- Arian anathemas attached. This was accepted by all but two of the bishops, that is, over 99per cent were in favour. They declared that Jesus was the Son of God, ‘begotten not made, of the same substance (homousios) as the Father.’

 

 

Long before “Victorian Morality” indigenous tribes followed monogamy & understood marriage as between man & woman

Long before “Victorian Morality” indigenous tribes followed monogamy & understood marriage as between man & woman. Proved by research into 4000 tribal groups by . Even primitive cultures viz. our Veddhas other tribes elsewhere give evidence to God’s original social design of monogamy – marriage between man & woman.  Long before “Victorian morals” Hippocratic Oath made medical practitioners to say, “I will not help woman procure an abortion”. A law later enacted during Xhenghe reign (1111-1118) which punished male prostitutes with “one hundred strokes of a bamboo rod and a fine of fifty thousand in cash. In 1679 extensive legislation was written and confirmed in the Qing code of 1740, which made the abduction and rape of boys under twelve a capital crime, and penalized consensual sodomy with one hundred strokes of the heavy bamboo, and the wearing of the cangue (a flat wooden board) for one month.h.” (China) Within the Middle Assyrian Laws (c. 1450-1250 B.C.) does seem to provide one or two relevant laws. MAL 19 provides a penalty for false accusation of passive homosexuality, requiring the false witness to be beaten, fined and suffer a mark of shame on him.[54]

MAL 20 is more specific, “If a man has lain with his male friend and a charge is brought and proved against him, the same thing shall be done to him and he shall be made a eunuch.”

The earliest record of Book of the Dead is dated from approx. 1650-1550 B.C., though it is thought that some of the spells originated in the Pyramid Texts carved more than 1000 years earlier.[65][66] In chapter 125 are two sets of “negative confessions”, in which the deceased was to testify before Osiris and forty-two other gods of his righteousness and worthiness of eternal life. In the first set of declarations (before Osiris) is the statement (as translated), I have not penetrated the penetrater of a penetrater,[67] while in the second set (before the 42 judges) it is declared (as translated), I have committed no acts of impurity nor have I had sexual intercourse with a man

Homosexuality is condemned and forbidden by the holy law of Islam,

On Dec 16, 342 A.D., Constantius and Constans issued a legal decision which was included in the later Theodosian Code:

Cod.Theod. IX. Viii. 3: (Cod. Justin IX.ix.31):

When a man marries in the manner of a woman, a woman about to renounce men (quum vir nubit in feminam viris porrecturam), what does he wish, when sex has lost all its significance; when the crime is one which it is not profitable to know; when Venus is changed to another form; when love is sought and not found? We order the statutes to arise, the laws to be armed with an avenging sword, that those infamous persons who are now, or who hereafter may be, guilty may be subjected to exquisite punishment.

The meaning of this is somewhat obscure, more explicit is the law issued by Valentinian II, Theodoisus and Arcadius on Aug 6, 390, and which also survives in the Theodosian Code:

Cod.Theod. IX. Vii. 6:

All persons who have the shameful custom of condemning a man’s body, acting the part of a woman’s to the sufferance of alien sex (for they appear not to be different from women), shall expiate a crime of this kind in avenging flames in the sight of the people.

During the Roman Imperial period the Lex Julia de adulteris (originally of c. 17 B.C.) was expanded by legal commentators to include first offenses against boys, and possibly all male homosexual acts. Under Justinian, the Eastern Roman Emperor from 527 A.D. to his death, historical accounts in Procopius and Malalas indicate that there was punishment of some homosexuals. In addition, under Justinian’s legislative activity there was the strict Institutes of the Corpus Juris Civilis (effective Dec 30, 533), which is understood by some to sum up the legal opinons:[89]

An notable interesting aspect in regards to the history of homosexuality is that it has been rare in a number of cultures or been absent in some cultures. Dr. Neil Whitehead and Briar Whitehead state regarding various cultures: “If homosexuality were significantly influenced by genes, it would appear in every culture, but in twenty-nine of seventy-nine cultures surveyed by Ford and Beach in 1952, homosexuality was rare or absent. My Genes Made Me Do it – a scientific look at sexual orientation by Dr Neil Whitehead and Briar Whitehead – Chapter 6

As with Sodom and its region, (Jude 1:7) widespread fornication and its abominable homosexual form are Biblically seen by traditional Christians as concomitant with “pride, fullness of bread and abundance of idleness, and selfishness. (Ezek. 16:49,50), and is a preclude to national travail and ultimate destruction, if such prevalence continued.[109]

Historically, societies that have embraced homosexuality have perished, whereas those that have upheld traditional values have endured. For example, ancient Rome’s decline and its eventual fall in A.D. 476 were due in no small part to a growing tolerance of homosexual acts beginning in the Late Republic period ending in 27 B.C. The prominent Italian historian Roberto De Mattei, deputy head of Italy’s National Research Council, indicated the fall of Rome was due to a “contagion of homosexuality and effeminacy” that made the Roman Empire easy pickings for barbarian hordes.[110]

 

Antidote for Digital Abuse – Father Bless the Son for Generations

The book of Proverbs was written by Solomon based on what he heard form his father David. The first nine chapters particularly have this emphasis, more so chapter four. We should not treat the book of Proverbs merely as a teaching manual or a repository of wisdom. It was born in the intimacy of a father-son relationship and is meant to be taught in that relationship of parent & child.

Pro 4:1-13 Sons, hear the instruction of a father, and listen in order to know understanding.  For I give you good teaching; do not forsake my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He also taught me, and said to me, Let your heart hold fast my words, keep my commandments and live.

Then follow the promises for the son who listens to the father’s advice.

  1. Paternity – For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. It is important to acknowledge paternity. God works thru the generations. God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. You will also beget a generation. Think generations. Not yourself only.

Pro 4:6 Do not forsake her, and she shall preserve you; love her, and she shall keep you.

  1. Preservation Prov 4:6 Preservation has to do with inward life. Seed of God sowed into you by the father preserves you. Fathers need to examine what they sow into the children?
  2. Protection (keep you) – Not only accept but love wisdom, who will keep you from evil, and evil from you.

Pro 4:8 Prize her, and she shall lift you up; she shall bring you to honor when you embrace her.

  1. Promotion & Post you to Honour – Solomon patiently waited with the father and ascended the father’s throne. Joseph, the father’s much loved son, arose above his siblings.

Pro 4:9 She shall give to your hand an ornament of grace; she shall shield you with a crown of glory.

  1. Pleasure of all – favour from God and man; Ornament of grace. You will receive grace in the sight of others and you will give grace. Contrast Ishmael with Isaac.
  2. Pre-eminence & Prosperity – Crown of glory

Pro 4:10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of your life shall be many.

  1. Prolonged life

Pro 4:11  I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in the right paths.

  1. Pathways of righteousness – willing to be led

Pro 4:12 When you go, your steps shall not be narrowed, and when you run, you shall not stumble.

  1. Progression – rapid advance without hindrance or stumbling

Pro 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more to the perfect day.

  1. Perfection, Perpetual brightness, well being

Joseph – Real Star in a Realty Star Spangled World

Joseph – Real Star in a Realty Star Spangled World

Dr Lalith Mendis

 

Joseph  was called to play sheet anchor in someone else’s star role – how would you react to that? Both Baby Jesus and Mary received more attention from Heaven and others, than Joseph did. Christmas is When God sets you up for His Best – don’t try to compete with your agenda.

Saviour was insulted as Carpenter’s Son – why? – Bethlehem had the most delicate & skilled carpenters to make & maintain their linen weaving timber machines (handloom). Bethlehem was famous for well bred sheep, quality wheat, flax & linen industry. When Bethlehem fell on rough times, these carpenters scattered all over the country & some from Joseph’s ancestry ended in Nazareth of Galilee – quite the antithesis of Bethlehem, the City of King David & the city beautified by Solomon, the wisest. Joseph pined for Bethlehem where carpenters were honoured. In Nazareth they were among the poorest & had to also learn masonry with limestone. There was no artistry in doing the timber work for rough shod Fishermen like Simon Peter. And their hands were calloused with hard labour while their back broke for their meagre pittance.

Agreeing for the Best God Had

Mary heard heaven and Joseph had to agree. How do you respond to people who say, “I have a vision from God; will you partner with me?” Having understood on Mary’s re-telling of Gabriel’s vision, Joseph came on board on the Project Immanuel.

Having come on board on Mary’s word, Joseph seems to have had misgivings when Mary’s heavenly vision had visible girth consequences that were embarrassing. Obviously people began to drop their voice when Joseph came around. He may have heard, “poor fellow”. Have you felt like pulling out having begun in good faith? If Joseph pulled out he would have missed God and his own destiny. Joseph is one who has understood that his destiny is to serve another who has a great call from God. Not that Joseph’s call was less but different and supplementary. All cannot be in the lead role.

Joseph became the team member who got the most difficult parts of Project Immanuel. His call was, “Do whatever need be for King to be born”. Shift the straw. Clean up the dung. Wash the food trough. Find the bandages. There went Joseph’s best robe.  Be midwife for one night with no training. One moment great elation that three kings came to worship the babe and in the next, great danger that Herod will kill – fleeing in the night. At burial another Joseph – Mat 27:59  And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

 

Most Menial Work to Make others to shine

Joseph understands that on his toil the gifts of others shine. In the fellow-ship of HMS Apeksha, Joseph is on lower deck pulling the oars (work of Galley slaves). Singers are high on the sails for all to see. Others reach down and save the sinking taking them into life boats. Yet others man the guns to keep the enemy at bay. Some read maps and keep the ship on course. In fact the whole profession is called sailors though Joy-serfs are indispensable. Josephs are Joy-serfs who toil for others to shine. Their joy is another’s trophy. Trainers, coach, teachers all have the ministry of Joseph

Joseph demonstrates the ministry of the shepherd. Shepherd has to lead and follow and be on a side when there is danger that sheep may fall of the ledge. Shepherd leads until he gets them to new pasture. He follows them when sheep have to move thru known territory. It is a difficult balance. If you do not lead, sheep stagnate or go astray. If you do not allow sheep to take initiative, they do not grow.

Others First – Joseph Motto

When all goes well Joseph gives the credit to the protégé. When all does not go well he takes the rap. Joseph’s task is not to do it himself but to get others to do what he knows to do so well until others he trained do it better than Joseph does. Joseph works to get himself out of the job. “Do you not know I have business in my Father’s house”. Twelve year old Jesus asked Joseph. Jesus was even then surpassing Joseph’s mentoring capacity.

  1. Joseph lends his light for others to shine and even outshine him.
  2. Joseph cannot feel let down because trainees do not perform. Joseph cannot steel the credit when trainees perform well.
  3. Joseph cannot get disappointed that trainees do not perform to his expectation. He would get disappointed only if he assesses his worth according to the trainees’ performance. Joseph sticks thru bad seasons, even when his team comes last in the tournament, knowing that he did his best as coach.
  4. Joseph must not become Saul when he recognizes that one protégé is going to do better than him.
  5. Joseph is wise to tackle jealousy that comes up in the team. Jesus was brilliant. Joseph’s own four sons were not so. They envied Jesus. John 7:1-8.
  6. Joseph evaluates and appreciates another’s son in the same way he does for his son.
  7. Joseph cannot allow bad ways or brilliance of one to dominate the others. Joseph like David has to lead the slower sheep also to full potential. Joseph makes the playing field even. The brilliant one gets the hardest task. The handicapped gets the easy tasks. All play the game. All are rewarded.
  8. Joseph learnt the ministry of a shepherd – not to accuse or blame but bear the sin. Be the solution. Joseph has understood his foibles and failures and is graced by God to help others in their failures. Those who look for perfect workmates assume they too are perfect. Joseph thru trouble was comforted that he might comfort others. 2 Cor 1:3.

 

Joseph Taught Servant Leadership to Jesus

  1. Joseph was called to play sheet anchor in someone else’s star role – how would you react to that? Both Baby Jesus and Mary received more attention from Heaven and others, than Joseph did.
  2. Mary heard heaven and Joseph had to agree. How do you respond to people who say, “I have a vision from God; will you partner with me?” Having understood on Mary’s re-telling of Gabriel’s vision, Joseph came on board Project Immanuel.
  3. Having come on board on Mary’s word, Joseph seems to have had misgivings when Mary’s heavenly vision had visible girth consequences that were embarrassing. Obviously people began to drop their voice when Joseph came around. He may have heard, “poor fellow”. Have you felt like pulling out having begun in good faith? If Joseph pulled out he would have missed God and his own destiny. Joseph is one who has understood that his destiny is to serve another who has a great call from God. Not that Joseph’s call was less but different and supplementary. All cannot be in the lead role.
  4. Joseph became the team member who got the most difficult parts of Project Immanuel. His call was, “Do whatever need be for King to be born”. Shift the straw. Clean up the dung. Wash the food trough. Find the bandages. There went Joseph’s best robe. Be midwife for one night with no training. One moment great elation that three kings came to worship the babe and in the next, great danger that Herod will kill – fleeing in the night. Mat 27:59  And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
  5. Joseph understands that on his toil the gifts of others shine. In the fellow-ship of HMS Apeksha, Joseph is on lower deck pulling the oars (work of Galley slaves). Singers are high on the sails for all to see. Others reach down and save the sinking taking them into life boats. Yet others man the guns to keep the enemy at bay. Some read maps and keep the ship on course. In fact the whole profession is called sailors though Joy-serfs are indispensable. Josephs are Joy-serfs who toil for others to shine. Their joy is another’s trophy. Trainers, coach, teachers all have the ministry of Joseph
  6. Act 1:23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, This must be the Barnabas who well exemplified the ministry of Joseph Barnabas – efface after Saul becomes Paul. Comforter of others. Ministry of encouragement to others. Even the most talented and anointed apostle must know to slow down to help the weak, as David learnt to be king having followed the pregnant ewe. Ps78:70-72.
  7. Joseph demonstrates the ministry of the shepherd. Shepherd has to lead and follow and be on a side when there is danger that sheep may fall of the ledge. Shepherd leads until he gets them to new pasture. He follows them when sheep have to move thru known territory. It is a difficult balance. If you do not lead, sheep stagnate or go astray. If you do not allow sheep to take initiative, they do not grow.
  8. When all goes well Joseph gives the credit to the protégé. When all does not go well he takes the rap. Joseph’s task is not to do it himself but to get others to do what he knows to do so well until others he trained do it better than Joseph does. Joseph works to get himself out of the job. “Do you not know I have business in my Father’s house”. Twelve year old Jesus asked Joseph. Jesus was even then surpassing Joseph’s mentoring capacity.
  9. Joseph lends his light for others to shine and even outshine him.
  10. Joseph cannot feel let down because trainees do not perform. Joseph cannot steel the credit when trainees perform well.
  11. Joseph cannot get disappointed that trainees do not perform to his expectation. He would get disappointed only if he assesses his worth according to the trainees’ performance. Joseph sticks thru bad seasons, even when his team comes last in the tournament, knowing that he did his best as coach.
  12. Joseph must not become Saul when he recognizes that one protégé is going to do better than him.
  13. Joseph is wise to tackle jealousy that comes up in the team. Jesus was brilliant. Joseph’s own four sons were not so. They envied Jesus. John 7:1-8.
  14. Joseph evaluates and appreciates another’s son in the same way he does for his son.
  15. Joseph cannot allow bad ways or brilliance of one to dominate the others. Joseph like David has to lead the slower sheep also to full potential. Joseph makes the playing field even. The brilliant one gets the hardest task. The handicapped gets the easy tasks. All play the game. All are rewarded.
  16. Joseph learnt the ministry of a shepherd – not to accuse or blame but bear the sin. Be the solution. Joseph has understood his foibles and failures and is graced by God to help others in their failures. Those who look for perfect workmates assume they too are perfect. Joseph thru trouble was comforted that he might comfort others. 2 Cor 1:3.

Walking The Talk When Government Errs

When the Government Errs & Social Justice

  1. When pioneer Christians saw problems they became the solution. Alexandre Fleming discovered Penicillin. Pasteur discovered Pasteurisation –eliminating Bovine TB. Florence Nightingale went to the Battle Fields. Great missionary educators risked their life & sacrificed their careers to give undeveloped countries best of British Education, civil service, AR/FR etc. The present “Progressive Christians” only react with hot words – gaseous. Show me your work & I will hallow your name.  “Hallowed be Thy Name – Thy work be done by me in my patch of earth”.
  2. Stick to your field. Do not comment on fields on which you are not expert & do not comment unless you have a plan of action. SO stick to one field about which you will be practically active & not merely vocal
  3. Walk the talk. If you have no plan to walk – don’t talk. Speak only on what you will actionize for redemptive justice
  4. Francis of Assisi said – let your acts speak, talk only if necessary. To be realistic, let’s modify this to say – I will talk, placard, speak, protest, lobby – only on a subject about which I have a better plan of action than the Govt. (Rather than a plan of protest against Govt) & I will mobilise friends & resources to act to do what I can on the issue. For example youth in Vanni are aimless, teen pregnancies high. Partner with us in developing skill c That would be effective social justice.
  5. Calling a spade a spade is not Christ’s advocacy or ambassadorial style. We have to incarnate “washing the feet’ where Governments or decision makers err.
  6. Vocal vengeance is not only unbiblical achieves nothing besides placating your vexed conscience. Preserve your energy for constructive work rather than destructive criticism. Only reasonable constructive criticism is work you do that proves your point. Successful debate you do on any TV channel only entertain some more arm chair politicians who will do nothing more than sit again for another satire show.
  7. If you want to move legislature go to Parliament or to regional level representation.
  8. If you want to mitigate Justice, learn law well enough – take up injustice in the court house – not on FB pages & in arm chair politics.
  9. Farce artistry, Mockery, Cynicism – take the edge from injustice & offer fake exit from our accountability to own up & our responsibility to act. We disown grave issues into frothy laughter. Laughing at others is sick medicine. Being addictive, it exacts more vengeance each time – creating a superior class of expert commentators who drastically reduce the ranks of actual participators.
  10. List the injustices in your field – by the Govt, by the Corporate, by your profession, by the beneficiaries – by all stakeholders. List the victims. Prepare a document with experts on how you can tackle & at what end & what level & what modus you will use. Bring it to your cell group for prayer. Looking after victims of injustice is more important first step – than castigate oppressor.