20 Jun Unity, Love & Prayer
UESI has selected this three part theme for the next two years – what could be the reason? I feel we are falling back on all three; it is high time that we realise our folly and go back to these basics. So, good choice.
Unity – UESI is inter-denominational. What unites us, believers from different Churches, is the blood of Jesus Christ. We are from different geographical areas, from different family backgrounds, from different financial situations, from different upbringing, with different education levels, and different occupations. But we all have experienced what it is to born again. Irrespective of all the other differences, our old self is dead in Christ, it is no longer we who live, but Christ lives in us. Not I, but Christ – should be our motto. That unites us. United we stand in Christ, divided we will fall.
Love – it is one of the most commonly used word – but misinterpreted, misquoted and misused in many occasions. The world says we should love ourselves. But our primary love should be to our Creator, Saviour, Protector and Provider i.e. God – to Him and Him alone. When that love is in place, we will be able to love others in the way we should. On the other hand, if we go by the worldly way and love ourselves more than anything else – we are in for big trouble in all phases of our lives – being a bully with friends, infatuation and one-sided affairs, ego clashes with colleagues, broken relationships within the family, alienated in the society, etc. The Word of God describes the various love relationships “You shall love your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and all your mind”, “Love your neighbour as yourself”, “Husbands love your wife as Christ loved the Church”, “Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you” – all these things are impossible if we try to do it on our own. But as Apostle Paul said “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
Prayer – it is the most talked about topic, but least put into practice. Prayer is sought as a tool by most people when they run into trouble. Otherwise, when the sailing is smooth, they depend on their own strength and wisdom. And when we pray also, we see it as a means to put forward our complaints, demands, etc. to God. Prayer is communication and if communication has to be effective – it has to be two-way communication. Yes, prayer is a time of pouring out our heart to the Lord. But it should also be seen as a time when the Lord speaks to you, and hence you need to sit quiet and listen intently. Many a times, we do not enjoy prayer because it is not done in the proper manner. Yes, it is ideal to set apart some quality quiet time, preferably in the early morning at the feet of the Lord. But, sometimes we make it so sacrosanct that, if that time passes by, then there is no quiet time or prayer in the day. You can speak out to your Heavenly Father at any time of the day or night, or any place or any occasion – it can be during driving, it can be during resting, it can be while you are in a public transport, or waiting for someone. The most important thing is that you communicate i.e. you pray.
Renjan Mathew Varghese, The writer is State Director for WWF-India and is based in Thiruvananthapuram with his wife Neelu, daughters Reeba and Ruth and mother Aleyamma Varghese.