Sunday, October 28, 2007

Communion Sharing – Rooster Crowed

Good Morning, For today's communion let's turn our bibles to Luke 22: 54- 62

54Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, "This man was with him."
57But he denied it. "Woman, I don't know him," he said.
58A little later someone else saw him and said, "You also are one of them." "Man, I am not!" Peter replied.
59About an hour later another asserted, "Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean."
60Peter replied, "Man, I don't know what you're talking about!" Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times." 62And he went outside and wept bitterly.

For three years Peter had lived with the Lord; had walked with the Lord; had eaten with the Lord. He had seen the Lord perform many miracles: healing the sick, raising the dead, walking on the water, calming the storm. And yet, in the moment of trial, in the moment of testing, in the moment of temptation, he had denied a relationship with Jesus.

The story does not end there for Peter repented. The relationship was reconciled and Peter was restored, and went on to become one of the most dynamic Christians of the early church. Jesus said, before the rooster crows three times you will deny me. I have often wondered why Jesus chose the rooster crowing to be that trigger for Peter's memory to remind him that he had failed. Jesus could have said, Peter, when you get approached by servant girl; or he could have said Peter, when you hear the judgment of the Sanhedrin; or Peter, when you have heard I have gone before Herod; or Peter, when you see me on the cross. But Jesus said when you hear the rooster crow.

I grew up in New Delhi wherein I always used alarm clocks to get up in the morning. One time, when I was a teenager, I went to my parent’s hometown. It’s a village in south India. I have heard rooster crowing early morning around 4am and people wake up at that time to go field for farming. In the land, during the time of peter the rooster crowed every morning. The rooster crowing was alarm clock to many of them. The rooster crowing was a spiritual alarm clock for peter. I believe from the day he denied Jesus till the day his relationship was restored with the Lord, every time when he heard the rooster crow, he was reminded of his failure.

There are people and places and things that are associative with our deepest failures. We may have failed, we may have asked forgiveness, we may have grieved, and yet that person, that place, that thing will catch us and remind us that we have failed. And there's a little voice that whispers in our ear -- maybe you weren't forgiven; maybe you're not really saved.

When the rooster crowed, peter thought that’s the end of his spiritual life. He would have felt down, discouraged and hopeless. But for Jesus, it was not the end but just a beginning.

Let’s turn to John 21: 15-18
15When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
16Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."
17 The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. 18 I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."

After peter repented, the rooster crowing would have reminded him not just his failure but also his repentance in Our Lord. We may have failed like peter in our relationship with Jesus; today is the day and this is the time to get restored in him.

Let’s Pray.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Premium Train in Japan

Mind Your Mobile Phone Manners

Have you ever experienced a cell phone user whom you wanted to pack up and ship to Miss Manners? Or have you ever witnessed a person on a cell phone do something so completely rude that you stop in your tracks? I have, and it continues to intrigue me just how polarizing cell phones can be. Sure, almost everyone has one, but they can drive even their most loyal users crazy.
Though I write about cell phones every day, even I think it makes perfect sense that cell phones are continually cited in studies that say good manners have gone out of the window. You don't need a sociology degree to see just how handsets have changed how we relate to each other; and I'm not talking about their positive effects (though indeed there are some). Rather, I'm talking about how you can put a cell phone in an otherwise courteous person's hand and then watch how that person loses all awareness of the people around him.
Let me emphasize that I'm no luddite. I think mobile phones are great and serve a very useful purpose. But just as people hide behind e-mail to avoid face-to-face communication, it's amazing how some mobile phone users think a handset makes them so much more important than everyone else. Here's some extreme behavior I've seen and be sure to share your own experiences and advice, as well.
Be nice to the person behind the counter
Last week I was waiting in line to order lunch behind a man blabbing away on his phone. When he got to the counter, he handed the cafe employee a piece of paper with his order and said, "I'm on an important call." So is it just me or is that completely rude? Doesn't the person behind the lunch counter deserve just an ounce of respect? I think so. Next time Mr. Important, hang up or at least put your caller on hold.
Take it outside
I'm also in favor of taking your phone outside, or at least away from the table, when you get a call in a restaurant. No one around you, much less your tablemates, care to hear what you have to say. That is, unless your guiding someone to your table in a cavernous eatery. And if it's really important, you could always text. But even that has a limit, as well.
Use your inside voice
I'm always fascinated how people's voices (me included) automatically go up a few decibels when they get on a cell phone. I can understand when you're using your phone in a crowd, near a construction site, or next to your local airport runway, but it happens even in quiet rooms. I just don't get it.
You're welcome
Have you ever held the door for someone who's been on the phone without them acknowledging your presence? It happened to me last week. Remember folks: Even though you're on the phone you still exist in this world to other people.
Drive to distraction
I know I'll open a whole can of worms here but please, when you're driving with a phone use a headset. And whatever you do, don't text while driving. Yikes.
Yes, they're talking to you
I don't pay $10 to hear your cell phone ring during a movie so turn it off. But if you absolutely have to keep your phone on, please turn it on vibrate. And please don't start talking until after you've left the theater. It's just being polite. The same goes for weddings, funerals, and other milestone events. Every time I went to my college's graduation, they'd ask people to turn off their phones before the ceremony. And every time, someone's phone would ring and they'd slink out of the building. Remember that when they ask you to turn off your phone, they're talking to you.
Work out your body, not your mouth
I don't care how important you think you are, the gym is no place for a cell phone. Don't talk when you're doing cardio and don't take up space on equipment so you can sit and catch up the latest dish. If you're bored while you spin, read a magazine.
Not in the bathroom
Don't use your phone in a public restroom. That's just gross.
Remember the people around you
If you're out with a group of friends, it's fine to answer the phone for a few minutes. Just don't make that conversation more important than the one you're already having. Granted, I know I'm throwing stone from a glass house, but be courteous and keep it to a limit.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007