Friday, May 16, 2014

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

"The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!" (V.23)
Psalms:50 is a prophetic exhortation through a liturgical sermon. Most of the words in this Psalm are framed in the divine first person. It means the prophetic preacher delivers the word of God. God calls the people away from self-centered life to have proper communion with Him. This Psalm addresses two problems in the worshiping community- 1. Misunderstanding about worship & 2 Hypocrisy. Worship is the communion with God. To have a proper relationship with God we need to know who God is. We have to understand ourselves and the world we are living in- in relationship with God.
Right Attitude towards God determines True Communion
V.7 is the reflection of the Shema, "Hear O Israel", in Deuteronomy 6:4, which follows the greatest commandment, "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your heart." Like the Deuteronomist, the Psalmist calls for the renewal of covenant with God. People does not understand the proper meaning of worship and it leads to the misuse of sacrifices. Many Prophets and Psalmists criticized the attitude of worshipers. Isaiah says, "Bring no more vain offerings."(Isaiah 1:13). Worship and all our offerings to God should be emerged out of our gratitude to God. Worship is not a means of asserting one’s own merit and self-sufficiency. God is self sufficient and needs nothing from us. As the people in diaspora God blessed us with so many gifts and possibilities. We may face a temptation to project our own merit and self sufficiency in the worship and other church activities.
Proper Understanding is necessary for True Worship
If we understand God properly, we get a proper vision about ourselves and about the world we are living in. When we understand God as one and the only creator, we get a true picture of ourselves. God has created us and the universe we are living in. "For every wild animal of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills."(V.10) When we understand the universe more we become more humbled before God. Albert Einstein says: "The more I study science, the more I believe in God." True understandings about ourselves and our surroundings will enable us for  a true worship.
Prayer: O God the creator! Open our eyes to see your glory in the universe you have created and help us to keep an attitude of gratitude always in our life. Amen.
Thought for the day: "Our knowledge of God is made larger with every discovery we make about the world." (Joseph H. Taylor, Jr., Winner of Nobel Prize in Physics)

Rev. Joe John, St. James MTC, New York