MAY I TIE YOUR SHOE?

by  Imaobong Ukpabio

 

In the book of Genesis,God asked Cain,”where is your brother Abel?” Cain responded with some irritation, “I don’t know.I’m i my brother’s keeper?” (Gen 4:9)

God seems to be saying,we should know about our brothers and sisters-their whereabouts and needs.We tend to respond that we don’t want to be bothered about our needs of our fellow human beings.We have enough problems of our own.unnamed

I will probabaly not forget the situation i observed.An older couple,probably in their middle to late 70s,was standing infront of Ikeja city mall,Suddenly,the lady said to her husband,”my shoe is untied.” She had her arm in a brace and obviously needed some help.Her husband hesitated for a moment to bend down and tie the shoe,not because he was unwilling to do so,but rather because he had some physical limitations of his own.images-1

Suddenly,almost out of nowhere,a young man,most likely to be in his thirties,appeared.With a bright smile on his face,he said to the elderly woman,  “may i tie your shoe ma?” Surprised,she responded in the affirmative,”Yes! My husband has an arthritic hand and can’t tie them so well.”  The young man said,”i’m younger,i’ll do it!” And he bent down and tied the woman’s shoe laces.

 

“Oh thank you son”,she responded. rose-gold-3.jpg

“And God bless you.” And off went that cheerful and helpful youngman-or was he an angel? He left behind two quite amazed seniors.When does anyone offer to be so helpful? Somewhat rarely! In that one small act,they had experienced a marvel of love and grace.

 

Whether that young man was a christian, i know not. I can say he certainly acted like one. Jesus told His followers to love each other.” In this way everyone would know they are followersnof Jesus. He indicated that by his loving action.

 

Once,Jesus was washing His disciples’ feet-a messy job at best.They wore sandals in those days and needed to wash the dust of the road off their feet.

THE BOY JESUS

  • by  Idongesit  Imuk

A peep into Nazareth…

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…the angel said to Mary…

 

She stared at the boy.He had grown rapidly.She looked intently at him.He was buried in his books.There was something unusual about him,she always had that in mind.The circumstance of his birth was  too mysterious.She allowed herself drift into memory lane…

 

That day…

 

will she ever forget that day? She was out in the field.It was the time of harvest.She had sat down at the foot of a tree when she saw him.His countenance was so bright and blinding.She alone saw him.He had delivered Yahweh’s word.

 

“Mary!” She had whispered,hugging herself after he had left.”The messiah will come by me? May your will be done Yahweh”,she had said,then rejoined her mother in the field.It had been a long day,she could still remember.

 

Back to the boy bent over the book,he was as mysterious as the circumstance of his birth.

 

“Yeshua”,she called.He looked up.She noticed how sharp his eyes were.”This boy,truly is not mortal.No mortal’s eyes could be that sharp,as if it were seeing through a body. “The food looseth its warmth.”He paused,looked at her then smiled.I will eat mother but after doing my father’s business.” The word,”father” jolted Mary because she was one of the two people who knew he had no father,the other being Joseph,her husband,or perhaps he Yeshua also knew he had no biological father.

 

“…thou shalt be overshadowed by the Holy Ghost…”the words of the angel echoed in her head.It had slowly become her lifelong obssession.With these words,he dropped the books and left.

 

 

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“Where goest thou?” She called after him.

“The temple.”

She watched him leave.He had grown so fast.

Looking round and seeing no one around,she called on Simeon,his immediate younger brother;her second born and Joseph’s first son.He came out and as he helped her gather sprewn wood,he couldnt help but notice her loose-fitted raiment,she had been worried over something the past month.He didnt know what it was but  he had overheard her discuss it with Salome,her best friend few days earlier.It was about some prophecy.A prophecy about Yeshua,his brother!

 

It was getting dark when Salome came knocking.Mary answered.”Hearest thou what Yeshua thy son doeth?”

 

“Nay,i do not.”

 

“Come then,follow me.”

 

There he was,standing in the midst of the pharisees,the doctors,lawyers and theologians.

 

“Verily verily i say unto you…”  “Nay,but yeah…” his voice echoing across the temple,into the evening sky.

 

“Yeshua…”Mary whispered,trembling.

 

Those pharisees were not people to be associated with.Yeshua had be careful with his words,she thought.

 

She made to move towards him but Salome held her back.

 

“Nay  Mary,fetch Joseph first.”  She nodded,hugging herself.

 

As they moved away together,she turned back to look at him.His long hair,falling over his face.His face, the picture of peace.His voice,filled with power and authority.He was just twelve.

Take Up Your Cross

By: Idongesit Imuk

 

In 2004,Hollywood actor Jim Cavaziel was offered a movie role by director Mel Gibson. He accepted the role and prayed about it.He was to act as Jesus in a movie titled “THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST.”

However, few days after he accepted the role, Mel called him and advised he reject the role. In an interview with 700 club in later years, Jim would call it “one of the toughest decisions he ever made in his life.” In his words, “Mel called me and said, i hope you know what this means? hope you know it will cost you a lot.” After the movie was released, he never landed a major role in Hollywood again. Hollywood rejected him for playing the son of God. 

Jim was 33 at the time he shot that movie. From 2004 till date, Jim has never made it through a major movie audition. However, Jim is happy as millions of people gave their lives to Christ after watching that movie.In his words,” we all have crosses to bear.”

Jesus had rightly said,”…take up your cross and follow me! “That was like an order, a command.”Don’t tell me about your persecution,

Don’t tell me about the reputation you’ve lost.

Don’t tell me about the rejection you are facing from your family because you are born again.

Don’t tell me about how people laugh at you or how your coursemates make mockery of you for being a believer.

Sister don’t tell me how your husband divorced you when you became born again or how your parents disowned you when you gave your life to Christ.

Just “take up your cross and follow me.”

Jim Cavaziel has borne his cross. A cross of rejection by his own industry. A cross of losing his job (he barely has roles in movies).

What crosses have we borne?

Paul had longed so much for his cross when he spoke of “the fellowship of his suffering.”

When people laugh at you because you go to church everyday, you are partaking in the fellowship of his suffering. When your coursemates call you names because you refuse to cheat in exams, ,you are partaking in the fellowship of his suffering. When you refuse bribery in office and you are queried by the manager of the company, you are partaking in the fellowship of his suffering.

What crosses have we borne for the sake of the gospel?

Have we partaken in the fellowship of his suffering?

Our hope is that the cross we bear is not greater than His grace.

May the eyes of our understanding be opened.