Malankara World

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Church

Is there any criteria to be saved?

by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose

Sermon for Sunday before Christmas

Gospel Reading: St. Mathew 1:1-17.

"Jesus is called Christ." (Mathew 1:16).

Is there any criteria to be saved?

The name of Jesus means "Salvation" and Christ means "Anointed".

Jesus is the Lord for all. Salvation is by the anointment of the Holy Spirit. This is an all inclusive reality and non-exclusive experience. These 17 verses include 46 characters spanning over 2000 years. This genealogy includes all kinds of heroes like Abraham and David, then shady characters and alien people like Tamar, Ruth, Rehab, and Bathsheba, non-entity human beings like Herzon, Ram, Nahshon and Akim, and evils like Manesaha and Abijah…………….. And ended with Jesus, the one who saves and who is anointed - Jesus Christ.

Whoever calls His name, will be saved. Whoever needs salvation 24/7/365 days, Jesus is standing there to save you. This salvation is not for a chosen few, but for all. The angels announced to the shepherds that the birth of the babe is a joy for all (to the World). Isaiah prophesied that God will anoint and send His Spirit to all the people.

Are we keeping this salvation and anointment away from the millions of people who are in dire need in the name of economic status, racial superiority, ethnic differences, nationality, shady characters, intellectual differences and denominational divisions? We want compassion, love, goodness and non-defilement of the soul. We need saviours who can risk their lives and save those who are in the dangerous zone of sin, poverty, war, hunger and thirst.

Oscar Schindler was a Catholic who had out-witted Hitler and the Nazis to save the Jews from gas chambers in Auschwitz, Poland, in World War II. He rose to the highest level of humanity, walked through the bloody mud of the holocaust with great compassion and respect for human life, and gave the Jews a second chance to live. Earlier, he was a man full of flaws like the rest of us - the unlikeliest of all role models who started out by earning millions as a war profiteer and finally ended up risking his life and spending all his money to save the Jews. He saved 1200 Jews by employing them in his war factory under the pretext of supplying war items to SS. He spent millions to protect and save the Jews, and died as a poor man. But he earned the everlasting gratitude of the world.

Never forget the words of Martin in his speech delivered on January 6th, 1946, before the representatives of the confessing Churches in Frankfurt, West Germany - "They came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew, then they came for the trade unionist and I didn't still speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me and by that time, there was no one left to speak up for me." These are words that challenge us to the core. We need a savior. Could you be the one?

Be a saviour by the anointment of Jesus to your parents, friends and neighbours. Jesus Christ, help us save this sinking world filled with sins of genocide and non-care. Look around, there are teeming millions who are dying without a life boat. Be a life boat to all those who are in need.

See Also:

Hurting Love: The Real Message of Christmas
by Rev. Fr. Johney George

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