Saturday, May 11, 2013

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Jesus Christ strengthening his disciples for the ministry

 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.”

This Chapter is a continuation of Christ’s discourse with his disciples after the Last Supper. Through these verses, Jesus tells his disciples that tragedy awaits Him, that one of them will betray Him, and that there will soon be a time when He is not with them in the same way He is now. The disciples were sad on hearing what He said about leaving them. Jesus comforted them saying that they will not be abandoned and that He will send a new advocate who will help them and the future generations to discern the will of God.

Jesus, in concluding His mission on earth, indicated the coming of the Holy Spirit as a special gift. The Holy Spirit is one of the trinity. Holy Spirit is closely associated with the Father and the Son in the work of creation, providence and redemption. The Holy Spirit’s presence among the believers is an eternal presence: Holy Spirit does not come as an overnight guest or weekend visitor. The Holy Spirit is the voice of God and will be with the believers always as God’s presence. The Holy Spirit empowers the believers to witness and to share boldly with others the reality of their faith in God. Christ advises two things here to comfort his disciples.

They should be under the providence of the Holy Spirit.

The disciples, with their limited knowledge, cannot understand the significance of what Jesus has done, not until the Lord is risen and glorified. Holy Spirit shall be their  tutor. Holy Spirit shall not teach a new gospel but it will reinforce in their minds that which they had had been taught, by leading them into a fuller understanding. Holy Spirit will enable them to truly relate and record what Christ said unto them. Holy Spirit always helps us to live according to the word of God, relating it to our present context. Jesus promised the disciples that the Holy Spirit will sustain them in all trials and tribulations, through the dark and gloomy days ahead. This Holy Spirit empowered the disciples to come out from the ‘secure’ closed rooms and witness  Christ in ‘unsecure’ places, loudly and courageously to the world “Christ is risen”. The same Holy Spirit helped Mrs. Gladys Stains witness the love of Christ in the face of the cruel murder of her husband Graham Stains and two sons in Orissa (India). It is the same Spirit that sustains us and helps us remain faithful followers of Jesus Christ.

They should be under  His Peace

Jesus offered Peace to His disciples. The peace which Jesus gives is infinitely more valuable than that which the world gives. The peace given by the world benefits only the body but the Christ’s peace enriches the soul for eternity.  It begins in grace and continues into ever lasting peace. Jesus offered ‘My Peace’, throughout his ministry. This heavenly peace strengthened Jesus in Gethsemane to pray, “Not my will, but yours be done” and face the cross. Jesus offers this peace to us, Peace in the midst of darkness and disappointments. He has promised us: “Don’t be afraid I will be with you”.
 
Prayer: Loving God helps us to understand the true meaning of the gift of your Holy Spirit and Peace, strengthen us to be true witnesses of your resurrection
 
Thought for the day:  Don’t be afraid I will be with you”.
 
Rev. Biju K. George, Calgary, Canada