Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Thanks again for many of your good wishes for my birthday. I can’t believe I am entering into the golden age. My body certainly shows it; I have less energy than before; I can’t carry heavy load; I easily loss my short-term memory but clearly remember the good old days. Lately, I have developed some itchy rashes on my two arms and gradually spread to my shoulders and legs. It should be a kind of allergy but no medicine helps so far. I guess this is part of aging. I learn to accept it with thanksgiving. It reminds me to focus more on daily renewal of my mind, even though my body is deteriorating, which is a natural cycle of life. Praise the Lord I am still alive!
"You call me Master and Lord: and you say well; for so I am" (John 13:13). To have a master and to be mastered is not the same thing. To have a master means that there is one who knows me better than I know myself, one who is closer than a friend, one who fathoms the remotest deep hole of my heart and satisfies it, one who has brought me into the secure sense that he has met and solved every perplexity and problem of my mind. To have a master is this and nothing less - "One is your Master, even Christ."
Our Lord never enforces obedience; He does not take means to make me do what He wants. At certain times I wish God would master me and make me do the thing, but He will not; in other moods I wish He would leave me alone, but He does not.
"You call me Master and Lord" - but is He? Master and Lord have little place in our vocabulary, we prefer the words Savior, Sanctifier, Healer. The only word to describe mastership in experience is love and we know very little about love as God reveals it. This is proved by the way we use the word obey. In the Bible obedience is based on the relationship of equals, that of a son with his father. Our Lord was not God's servant, He was His Son. "Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience . . ." If our idea is that we are being mastered, it is a proof that we have no master; if that is our attitude to Jesus, we are far away from the relationship He wants. He wants us in the relationship in which He is easily Master without our conscious knowledge of it, all we know is that we are His to obey.
Since our Lord does not force us to obey, we have a tendency to ignore Him or even indulge in our own desire to rebel against Him. God respects the freedom that He gives to mankind as a token of His love. He will not make us His slaves. He wants to be our friend, “I no longer call you servants or slaves, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15). A servant does not know his master’s plan let alone participating in his plan. A servant just follows instruction or command. But this is not the way God treats us. He wants us to have a say in His master plan – that’s why sometimes we choose an easy way out or give excuse not to do His great commission and greatest commandment. Have mercy on us O Lord…help us to be your faithful servant and friend –willfully do your will to please you.
Love you according to His new commandment,