Monday, November 10, 2014
My Father's hand
St. John 10:22-30
22 At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah,[a] tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered, “I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; 26 but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand.[b] 30 The Father and I are one.”
Hoodosh Eetho is a time of dedication. We dedicate ourselves as the church is dedicated to Christ. As we travel a week into the liturgical new year of our church we have to look at how we can dedicate ourselves to the church and to Christ just as the church is dedicated to God. We are programmed to dedicate ourselves to our job as that gives us our income and money. Even as the bible asks us to choose between God and mammon or God and money, we have rededicated ourselves time and again to our jobs and to our bosses at work instead of dedicating ourselves to the service of the church and humanity.
I remember my father very fondly. He was a constant and near presence in my life that when I lost him, I lost my world with him. Regaining that was a constant struggle. Just as our mother offers love and care to us, our father is also a picture of support and hope. I used to wait everyday at home knowing that my father had some surprise in store for me. A small toy, a bit of chocolate, and if nothing else a warm hug. My father’s hand was a hand I could trust, I could hold, knowing fully well that the hand would not forsake me.
The father symbolism used by Jesus in St. John 10:22-30 is a symbolism of authority and trust. Jesus tells the Jews that his sheep were given to him by God the Father. Jesus knows the sheep and the sheep know him. The sheep who follow Jesus are promised eternal life and protection by Jesus. Jesus says “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” Jesus is so sure about his followers and his commitment to them is ever abiding. There is no doubt and no fear. Jesus commits himself as a leader and as God to his followers because he is sure of the commitment of his father to him.
Can we on church dedication Sunday dedicate ourselves to God and to our church. There can be no second thoughts as the commitment of God to us is hundred percent. It is not like a boss who is more concerned about his own promotion and deadlines. Rather it is a God who promises us an imperishable life, safe in his hands and safe from any danger.
Shall we then dedicate our lives to our God and to our church? Shall we feel safe in the hands of our father God and in the hands of Jesus because he tells us so? What a nice feeling it is to submit ourselves like a child in the hands of our father, knowing that our small hands and lives will be safe in the hand of our (my) father, our (my) father’s hand! Amen.
(Picture courtesy mochadad.com)