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Showing posts from January, 2013

The Musings 20 by Rev.Dr. Joe Joseph Kuruvilla

Read: Joshua 24                       Indian Christians especially those belonging to church's founded by Apostle Thomas, will always remember the Coonan Cross Oath.  This oath was taken on January 16th, 1653, at Mattanchery and this is considered as a  historic declaration of faith  by the early church believers in Kerala. The way the oath was taken was very unique. The believers came together and they held together a rope tied to a Cross, and declared in unison that they will not be bound nor will submit to the ecclesiastical authority of Rome. This was because a number of faith practices of the Catholic Church was being subtly incorporated into the faith living of early church believers in Kerala. This marked the beginning of the Independent Malankara Church. When the church faced a crisis at that particular time of history, in terms of faith and faith living, the believers came together to affirm and uphold their faith convictions. This week another significant declaration of f…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Disobedience for a higher good Exodus 1:15-21
“But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live.” (Ex.1:17)
In the Bible we see certain individuals who disobeyed the human laws for the sake of justice. This is the first instance in Scripture of what today we call "civil disobedience," refusing to obey an evil law because of a higher good. Passages like Mat. 20:21-25; Rom 13:1; and 1 Peter 2:11 admonish Christians to obey human authorities; but Rom 13:5 reminds us that our obedience must not violate our conscience. When the laws of God are contrary to the laws of man, then "we ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).
Risking life for saving others: Were Shiphrah and Puah lying to Pharaoh? Probably not. The babies were born before the midwives arrived because the midwives had told their assistants to be late! God blessed the two leading midwives for putting their own lives on the line in order to save the J…

The Musings 19 by Rev. Dr. Joe Joseph Kuruvilla

Read: Isaiah 6:1-9                              Marthoma Church and Chris Tomlin. What is the relationship between Marthoma Church and Chris Tomlin. There is unique relationship between Christ Tomlin and our Church. With praise and worship now becoming an integral part of worship now in almost all the Marthoma church's in this part of the continent, it is Chris Tomlin who has who has now become very synonymous with our worship and the songs used for worship. On any given Sunday, I believe there may be a number of choirs or praise and worship team who would be singing this Christian songwriter and artiste songs. Chris Tomlin is in the news again this new year. Last week he created a record of sorts. His new music album "Burning Lights" is now on the top of Billboard 200 and this is only the fourth time in history that a Christian music album has entered the chart at No. 1 position. More than 72,000 units of Burning Lights have been sold last week itself and with the huge s…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Divine Nature in Our Human Life. 2 Peter 1: 3-11
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by His own glory and goodness” (2 Pt. 1:3)
There are amazing truths in this epistle of St. Peter to Christians being threatened by false teaching from within their own.  This truth, we must embrace daily. Partakers of Divine Nature:  The Holy Scripture affirms that we are partakers of the divine nature as the children of God. This does not mean we become divine, but that we have received God’s own Spirit and are now sons and daughters of God (Jn. 1.12).  We are being conformed to the likeness of Christ and the image of God in us is being renewed in true righteousness.  How amazing this is. According to St. Peter this status is to escape from the corruption in the world caused by evil desires (v. 4).  There is nothing good in us from the day we are born, and yet, God’s love is so great, he bestows upon us His Spirit to make us H…
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Read: Galatians 2: 11-13                    When does life begin? Is it when a person is born or can we assume that life begins in the womb?. These are questions that are being raised by Jeremy Stodghill to both the Catholic Church and also to Supreme Court of the State of Colorado. A very strange case where a Catholic Health Care Company has argued in the court that an embryo is not a person until it is born alive,  is being reported by the CNN news agency today. This tragic story is about a couple Jeremy Stodghill and Lori Stodghill of Canon City, Colorado.  On new year eve of 2006,  Lori Stodghill was rushed to the emergency room of the St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City. She was 28 weeks pregnant and as she was rushed to the emergency, she collapsed in the lobby itself due to cardiac arrest. Along with her death, her two unborn twins also died. Jeremy sued the hospital and the Catholic Health Initiatives for the wrongful death of his wife and his two unborn children. The litiga…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Consequences of Disobedience Genesis 3: 1-14
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.  She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (Genesis 3: 6)
When God created the world He saw everything was very good. There was no evil at the time of creation, but by the time of Genesis chapter three we find that Satan in the form of a serpent was tempting Eve to sin.  Influence of Evil: In ancient days, the snake was marked as a symbol of evil and disobedience.  The serpent was the shrewdest of all the creatures and asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?”  Through the conversation the woman was convinced.  She looked at the tree and found the tree to be beautiful; the fruit looked so fresh and delicious.  She thought it would make her so wise, so she ate the fruit and gave some to Adam, who was with her.  He ate it as…
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Read: John 4, 20                        These days every organization, political party or other institutions are bent on promoting safety for woman, to communicate to everyone the steps that they are taking for protecting the rights and dignity of woman. Thus you have number of news items coming up in the newspaper where you find news item of people from holding candle light vigil, to street play, flash dance so as to bring the message of highlighting the rights and also the plight of the woman today. But it was two news incidents about woman empowerment, incidents that happened thousands of miles apart that caught my attention. Last Thursday, the US military leaders formally lifted ban on woman serving in combat positions. This meant that from now onwards woman who serves US military would be allowed to be part of the front line military roles like engaging in combat war. This was announced by the Defence Secretary Leon Panetta who stated that woman have become and integral part of mi…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Consequences of Disobedience Genesis 3: 1-14 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.  She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (Genesis 3: 6)
When God created the world He saw everything was very good. There was no evil at the time of creation, but by the time of Genesis chapter three we find that Satan in the form of a serpent was tempting Eve to sin. 
Influence of Evil: In ancient days, the snake was marked as a symbol of evil and disobedience.  The serpent was the shrewdest of all the creatures and asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?”  Through the conversation the woman was convinced.  She looked at the tree and found the tree to be beautiful; the fruit looked so fresh and delicious.  She thought it would make her so wise, so she ate the fruit and gave some to Adam, who was with her.  He ate it as…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Disciplining in Christ way Hebrews 12: 3-17
“Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.  Hebrews 12:12-13 The Book of Hebrews is one of the most complex epistles. One complexity revolves the authorship of the epistle. Another complexity revolves around the underlying philosophical presuppositions of the text. The text is filled with rich imagery derived from the Hebrew and Greek philosophical traditions. These traditions inform the author’s understanding of “Christ.”
Discipline based on the Worldview of Christ: This particular section revolves around Christian discipline. Discipline is centered on accepting a rule of life based on a world-view. The world-view that the author underscores is discipline in light of “Christ.”  Christ, as Paul notes in the book of Romans, is the Second Adam who truly imbibed the essence of being made in the image of likeness of God.  Althoug…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Arise and Shine Isaiah 60 “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.  see, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
 and his glory appears over you." (Isaiah 60:1,2)
Chapter 60 carries the words of the Prophet Isaiah on behalf of God to the total community of Israel.  “Arise, Shine; for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you” (vs 1).  The intention of God is expressed.  God will remember Jerusalem.  Salvation is the theme.  The text is speaking about the exaltation of Zion and carries an apocalyptic message.  The remnant people of Israel need not feel lonely, desperate or rejected.  God will act for the marvelous transformation of Zion and the community of Israel.

It is a wakeup call for the forsaken Zion. (Vs. 1-7.) The city with the people has to rise up.  God would come to Zion as the redeemer.  If darkness and gloom characterized Zion, the prophet is giving a clari…