Yeshwanth Bakkavemana

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Monthly Archives: January 2015

CHRIST MAGNIFIED

I. INTRODUCTION

In a fast paced world running in a direction of no destiny and purpose, where technology has become a final lap at every turn; it is an imperative for us as Christians to ask, “Who is our God?” Our belief of God is very subjective. It is subjective to our Cultural and personal prejudices. We almost forget the fact that God is beyond our mental capacities to comprehend but at the same time he is very much comprehensible because he has revealed us his character, glory and passion in the life and the person of Jesus Christ. It is preposterous to “cage” God into our own griddle of cultural prejudices, dethroning God to the level that best suits our thoughts and motifs and labeling this “caged God” to be the ultimate. How unscrupulous behavior we are harboring in our sin-stricken hearts? We give more importance to our culture, community and identity but the fact of the reality is God created “man and woman.” Culture, community and identity add aesthetic value which was fashioned by God to give man a unique visage and identity. How do we magnify Christ if we are harboring this kind of attitude in our words and deeds? In order to magnify Christ in our lives we need to be conscious of our own sin and respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, thereby putting ourselves in the process of “continual consecration.” Consecration is not the end but it is accompanied by service. This service is our purpose. Through this service we can project Christ in us to the people around us. Let us see some of the attitudes that every Christian should have in order to magnify Christ.

  1. Spirituality

We all have our own definition of spirituality. Attending to a church is no longer an act of obligation and longing for God but it has become mere “habitual” habit. It is unspoken feeling of many that God is confined to the four walls of the Church and he has got nothing to do with our attitude outside the Church. Keeping this in mind let us attempt to understand “Spirituality.” John 15: 4 says, Abide in me as I abide in you. Spirituality is our relationship with God. It is a communion with God. We can sense the meaning and purpose of our existence in reference to God. This is not an absorption into the divine as Hindu Spirituality views. It is an ethical relationship with the Divine which is a true Christian Spirituality. Let me explain this more vividly. Mystical type of Christianity is only centered on the religious experience but the ethical type of Christianity is living rightly which is the outcome of the personal relationship with Christ. This is what exactly it means by the phrase “Abide in me as I abide in you.” John 15: 4. David Boyd in his book “Indian Christian Theology” says that “Abide in me” is the “chief end of man.” Mother Terresa was invited to speak at the National Prayer Breakfast held on Feb 3rd, 1994 at the White House, United States. All the participants who were assigned to speak were given strict instructions as of not to speak anything controversial. There were many heavy hitters like Algore and his family alongside the President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton. However, Mother did not get that notice. Particularly on that day she spoke against ‘abortion.’ In her speech, there were many issues which are in disagreement with Clinton’s view on abortion. One of the reporters asked him to comment on her and here is what he said, “How can anyone argue with a life so well-lived?”

Her life speaks about how she translated her spirituality to transform the society. It is only because she “abides” with Christ and Christ “abides” in her. We can see the fruits of her spiritual life. Therefore, our spirituality should be grounded in God and thereby transforming the society around us. Only then can we say that we have magnified Christ in and through our lives.

 

  1. Being conscious of “Continual consecration.”

King David in Ps. 51:7 says, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” The verbs in this verse purge, clean and wash point out to the continual process of consecration. The point to be noted here is that these words are often used for the sacrificial offerings for the atonement of the sins. The word ‘purge’ means to get rid of, to pluck out, and to purify and so on. It also refers to the process of conviction by the Holy Spirit. After our response to this process, the taking away of the guilt takes place which is ‘cleaning.’ After which abiding presence of the Holy Spirit is realized and assured. This is what it means when Psalmist says, “… I shall be whiter than snow.”

  1. Being conscious of “creative act” of God in us.

We are not only to be conscious of the “continual consecration” but we should be conscious of God’s “continual act of creation” in us. Ps. 51: 10 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.” The Hebrew word “ בּרא ” is used for the word “create.” This is the same word used in Genesis 1 (the creation account). The word connotes the meaning of “initiation of something new out of nothing.” This is where the theological construct “creatio ex nihilio” (creation out of nothing) has been conceptualized. Psalmist goes through this same creation experience in which his old self has become obsolete and transformed into a new self. This is the outcome of the process of consecration. To paraphrase the above verse, a clean heart is created by God and a renewed or steadfast spirit is planted or established within the being of the Psalmist. It is on the basis God’s act of consecration and creation in our lives, we are enabled to magnify Christ in and through our lives.

Conclusion:

Our spirituality, consecration and renewal experience are by no means our ends. These should be translated into our personal and corporate lives. We are called to be “salt and Light” of this world. Where ever we are stationed, we should be able to project Christ in and through our lives so that Christ is magnified. Christ should be magnified behind four walls of your room, in your relationships, in your courtship, at home, at your work place and at the Church. You can part take in missions from where you are standing. The reason is that the most unreached people are those who are within your reach. Your colleague at work place, you neighbor, your classmate and so on that may be in need of God’s love and care. You are a channel for God to work his wonders in the lives of the people. It is a great elation for us to see Christ magnified among the people around by our words and deeds. Let us “MAGNIFY CHRIST.” To see “Christ Magnified” is our ultimate and purpose and destiny.

 

SHALOM.