Word for the day Christian Education Forum - August 18
‘The word was God’
“You shall have no other gods before me”
The third Sunday in August is set apart for celebrating the authority of the Holy Scriptures and its bearing on the reformation of the Mar Thoma Church. The reformation of the Church in the 19th century was based on the firm commitment that ‘the Church should have its authority for its fundamental doctrines on the clear teachings of the Bible which consist of its present 66 books.’
We often do not realise that the commandments in Exodus Chapter 20 were never written on the stone tablets but were only recited by Moses. The Ten Commandments, as written on both the first and the second set of tablets, can be found in Exodus chapter 34 and in Deuteronomy chapters 5, 9 and 10. These laws were given to man to maintain an intimate relationship with God and worship him because he is the creator, sustainer and redeemer; and he is worthy of worship. There are various gods and goddesses worshipped in various traditions; in addition, we create gods in our own understandings and images as well. We read in Isaiah43:10 that “I am the only God. Besides me there is no other god; there never was and never will be.”
The Bible is considered to be book that God breathed and its authority comes from this understanding; it is indeed the central element in Christian faith and life. However, history of Christianity littered with examples of interpreting the Bible in independent, deconstructed, ways with intelligent arrogance for creating power complexes and divisions; everyone uses the Bible to fit in with their own purposes. Some even worship this book instead of God.
The Bible is primarily concerned with God’s revelation of Himself to man. No clear distinction is drawn between what God says and what He does. As Emerson rightly remarked, ‘Words are also actions, and actions are a kind of words.’ God speaks and it is done; by His word He created everything. He says ’Let there be light.’ and there is light. The first words of Genesis were ‘In the beginning God’; the prologue of John’s Gospel opens with ‘In the beginning was word.... and the word was God’. The English expression of ‘the word’ does not carry the mystery of the Greek Logos. It reveals word of God not only as an attribute of God, but as a distinct person within the Godhead, and acting as the divine agent in creation. To the Greek the word Logos also meant the mind and purpose of God. The source of man’s spiritual perception, his conscience as well his consciousness, is the divine word. Christianity is not obedience to a legal framework, but devotion to Jesus the Christ.
Prayer: Dear Father, help us to have the desire to listen to Thy word; in the name of Lord Jesus we pray. Amen.
Thought for the day: A person’s moral views are reflected in his word.