Saturday, December 25, 2010

At the name of Jesus

I was awakened from a light sleep just minutes before six in the morning in the pre-dawn darkness by my ringing telephone. It was a call from Radhakrishn, my Indian friend in Mysore, who worked with us for a couple of months back in 2006 when we had an affiliated company in India. He called to wish me a Merry Christmas. Yes, all the way from India. Here is a brother who, though not yet a Christian, believes strongly in the God he doesn’t know and does what He desires. It was of such brothers that holy apostle Paul wrote,
“…who never heard of the Law but are led by reason to do what the Law commands, may not actually possess the Law, but they can be said to be the Law. They can point to the substance of the Law engraved on their hearts—they can call a witness, that is, their own conscience—they have accusation and defense, that is their own inner mental dialogue. [This will take place] on the day when, according to the Good News I preach, God, through Jesus Christ, judges the secrets of mankind.” (Romans 2:14-16).

How a man half-way round the world can love a brother—of a different faith and with whom he is rarely in personal contact—enough to telephone him a greeting on the day of the birth of his God, makes up for those who don’t even give us a thought, say they are believers, may even be related to us—it puts us all to shame. Still, it is a joy to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who draws people to His Son, and despite appearances and the judgments of men, will justify those whom He has chosen.

Radhakrishn’s little daughter, Riya, whom I had the privilege to name and bless, is now in school, and his family and life in India are going well. He says he hopes to be able to come back to America soon. As we can see, every seed that God has planted will come to bear fruit, more and more, and finally in abundance, but any plant that the Father has not planted will be plucked up by the roots. This friend and brother whom the Lord sent, who greets me on the day of Christ's birth, will be with me in spirit when I go to the temple later this morning to worship in the divine liturgy. For all I know, he is more worthy than I to even be there.

Meanwhile, this thought keeps filling my mind this morning as it has all night, and I can't seem to get it off my mind…

His state was divine,
yet He did not cling
to His equality with God
but emptied Himself
to assume the conditions of a slave,
and became as men are;
and being as all men are,
He was humbler yet,
even to accepting death,
death on a cross.
But God raised Him on high
and gave Him the name
which is above all other names
so that all beings
in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld,
should bend the knee at the name of Jesus
and that every tongue should acclaim
Jesus Christ as Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:6-11 Jerusalem Bible

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