by Rev. Dr. Fe M. Torio
Text: Exodus 3:10, Deuteronomy 8:7-10, John 17:9-11,
I Corinthians 12:8-10, Romans 12:6-8, Ephesians 4:11
The celebration of anniversaries enable us to remember the times in the past, the accomplishments of the present, and the dreams of the future. It is then a privilege and honor to have been a part of the past here at KKFI from 1978-1982, in hoping to be of help for its goals at present, and to p articipate as long as I am able for its dreams in the future, with God’s help.
For our message in this 67th anniversary, I would like to invite you to be blessed and grasp the challenge of being honoured. When I asked about the theme or main topic, the first would strike the most, “Honoring.” I said to myself: I don’t deserve to be honoured.
However, the situation in the Roman state in the time of Paul reminded me about something” Menenius Agrippa convinced the lower class in earlier Rome that although they are less noticeable members (like the stomach), they were necessary; the upper and lower classes had different roles but equal importance; also, the Stoics said that the universe was like a body; and that, Paul referred to the unity of the body not to keep one group down but to tell all the Christians in Corinth to respect and appreciate one another.
Just a solitary eye or foot is useless, so is any member of a foundation or church apart from other Christians.
First, each member has a measure of faith. (Romans 12:6-8)
Second, each members is commissioned to carry out a mission (Ephesians 4:11)
Third, each member is sent to go. (Exodus 3:10)
Fourth, each member is to receive honor and be blessed (Deuteronomy 8:7-10)
Let us consider the points one after the other before you are invited by sleep. This hour is an holy hour. Just wake up when time comes for us to bond together for our favourite activity in our dorm events: Eating time. Yes, I remember fully that there is no activity without it. We always contribute for it.
First, each member has a measure of faith (Romans 12:6-8)
Each of us here has a measure of faith. Whatever then is our profession or has become of ourselves after we came from this institution, returning here to celebrate together again, is a measure of faith. We did what we can in proportions to our faith. What is faith? Faith gives us the important rules for life: to know ourselves, accept ourselves, to accept the gift that God gave us, and to use that gift as it is his or her bounded duty and his/her God-given privilege to make his/her own contribution to the common good.
We do not get very far in this world until we know what we can do and what we cannot do. An honest assessment of one’s own capabilities, without conceit and without false modesty, is one of the first essentials of a useful life.
We trusted this institution to help us fulfil our dreams. We have faith that we can make it, and we did! We have learned from our ups and downs in our studies, in our relationships with others – our fellow dorm residents, the staff and business office, our visitors, our school environment and all around us – how to handle them in connection to our daily needs, and in our growth towards maturity especially in stretching our time, cash allowances, as well as brains so that, we will succeed in our endeavour to finish requirements on time and if late, prevent ourselves away from failure, the least that we would like to happen to us in our stay in the dorm.
And most of us, we have faith in God who guides and gives everything we need during our stay her through its ministry to each and every one of us, remember?
When somebody celebrates his/her birthday, we pray and sing for them; when one is sick, a dorm resident officer will offer a visit or prayer; when one’s allowance is delayed, the staff shared a hand to lift one’s predicament. The faith of each one is measured by meeting each one’s needs, and to God be the glory. You have been a part of these activities, you deserve the honor today.
Second, each member is commissioned to carry out a mission (Ephesians 4:11)
There is a spark of God in every living creature. Thus, you are commissioned to carry out a mission, as God has mission to love the world. Paul is saying here that a man must accept himself; but even if he finds that the contribution he has to offer will be unseen and unknown, without praise and without prominence, he must make that contribution, certain that it is essential, and that without it, life and the world can never be what they were meant to be. Our families, our workplace, our churches, name it and you have it, without YOU and I WHO SUBMITTED TO A MEASURE OF FAITH IN GOD, each one of us, LIFE AND THE WORLRD will never be WHAT THEY WERE MEANTH TO BE.
Sometime, I marvel why people had charisma. It is because God gave the gift to you, and thus, you are called to be an instrument to use such gift for those whom He loves and cares. Don’t you like that? We are commissioned to carry out a mission. Such mission is for you to discover and uncover. Maybe, some of us had been nearing the end of the fulfilment of such mission. Others maybe are still starting while still others, they are on the process of the full blast of accomplishing what had been entrusted to them. Whichever we belong, we are to be faithful in carrying them out.
Brothers and sisters, we share a common focus and basis of authority as bearer’s of Christ’s message, out mission. We are therefore sent to go.
Third, each member is sent to go (Exodus 3:10)
Paul is really saying that whatever gift a man has, that gift comes from God. He calls the gift charismata. In the New Testament, a charisma is something given to a man by God which the man himself could not have acquired or attained. It is a personal, individual gift given to him by God. In point of fact, life is like that. For example, a man might practice for a lifetime and yet never play the piano like Kentner or Pouishnoff. These men has more than practice; they have the something plus, the charisma which is the gift of God. Do you have that something plus? If you have, what would you do? We are sent to go! Our skills was not so much achieved as given. We owe it to God, and we need to use it. The motive to use such something plus should not be by our own personal prestige but the conviction to go and share to others in need, our neighbors.
Daily, we can share Christ to others so that they can know Him in their hearts. Daily, we can be bringers of service to our fellowmen in whatever way we can. Daily, we can spur others on to the joy of life in Christ by our encouragement. Daily, we can be simple and generous, delights in the sheer pleasure of giving for giving’s sake, without desire of gold or promise of self-satisfaction. Daily, we can have sense of responsibility and zeal in their hearts. Daily, we can give grace through forgiveness, based on love and kindness.
Yes, daily, we go about our life as usual, but with a measure of faith, we are commissioned to carry out a mission to go. Ultimately, we are motivated and developed to go and be responsible daily.,
Fourth, each member is to receive honor and be blessed (Deuteronomy 8:7-10)
Were you able to watch MISSION POSSIBLE from 12 midnight to 12:30 last July 18? Yes, after sharing her experience of being widowed twice at the age of 19 and left with four children, and moved on with the help of ABS-CBN. What about that? What have we done this past 67 years or so? We do receive honor and be blessed by God.
Let us review the promise of God to the Israelites:
- A land of wheat and barley, vines and pomegranates and fig trees, olive trees, and honey
- A land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper
- You shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land He has given you.
These promises will be ours also as we continue to obey the voice of the LORD our God. What is the voice of God? Therefore, Go:
You and I should have a feeling of indebtedness to God. The more we recognize our indebtedness, that we are blessed and received honor, the deeper should we desire to share for that service, even if it meant death. In Philippines 1:21 Paul said: For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
My dear friends, fellow former dorm residents, brothers and sisters in Christ, we are endowed with the privilege to stay and be a part of this institution. We left successful with the courses we took and the life to chose. Now, we returned not only to reminisce and celebrate, but we are commissioned to carry on, keep on going, doing faithfully whatever had been entrusted to us to do by God.
With high technologies at present, still I believe we have a role to play in pursuing our dream for a better world. Let us have a share and participate for this goal. Our prayers, talents, resources, time and gifts – let us use to honor God above all.
Congratulations to one and all! May God continually bless us all, dorm residents and KKFI Family without them, we are helpless. Thank you again for giving yourselves unselfishly for us whom our parents entrusted to your care. May God empower you more, now and in the years to come.
Happy 6th anniversary.
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.