Wednesday, October 15, 2008


There are two large lakes, often called ‘seas’ in Israel. The Sea of Galilee (Genneseret, Tiberias or Kinneret) is full of fresh water and an abundance of fish and other living forms. The other sea is the ‘Dead Sea’, formed from the Biblical Cities of sin, Sodom and Gomorrah. The water of the ‘Dead Sea’is about nine times saltier than the oceans and does not support the survival of aquatic animals and plants. These seas differ in an important attribute: The Sea of Galilee receives fresh water mainly from the River Jordan flowing from the ice-clad mountains of Hermon but the water flows out from the sea continuously through the Southern Jordan River. The Dead Sea receives all the water of the Southern Jordan River into it but has no outlet streams. Water escapes only by evaporation into air. This makes its water highly salty and unsuitable for survival of ordinary aquatic organisms.
Like the Seas in the story, we receive gifts from our generous God. We are expected to share our possessions with others. That will make us loving and lovely, like the Sea of Galilee, full of life and fresh water. If we keep God’s gifts for ourselves without a willingness to share with others and if we do not give our love and care to those in need, we will be like the ‘Dead Sea’, which does not support life. Let us learn to give to others what we received free from God
St. James reminds us, “Suppose there are brothers and sisters who need clothes and don’t have enough to eat. What good is there in your saying to them, “God bless you! Keep warm and eat well!” – if you don’t give them the necessities of life? So it is with faith: if it is alone and includes no actions, then it is dead” {James 2: 16, 17}.
In his farewell speech to the elders of Ephesus, St. Paul says, “I have shown you in all things that by working hard in this way we must help the weak, remembering the words that the Lord Jesus Himself said, ‘There is more happiness in giving than in receiving’” {Acts 20:35}.
“Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it. Never tell your neighbour to wait until tomorrow if you can help him now” {Proverbs 3: 27}.

By Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.
This is Story No. 3 in this site. Please click ‘Older Post’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Post' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.

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