Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Theological Education: Preparing the people of God
“Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise for yourself” (V.16)
“The aim of theological education is to cultivate an integral and holistic spirituality that would enable the people of God to be sustained in their commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to be committed to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their living out the truth and values of the gospel that would help us become fruitful and effective servants in and through the church”.(Teaching Theology in Context, Ed. Wati Longchar). On the basis of the scripture portion let us examine three major emphasis of theological education.
Theological education is for the Re-Reading of the text: Jesus’ criticisms towards the temple authorities are depicted in this passage. When the chief priests and scribes heard the children crying out in the temple “Hosanna to the Son of David”, they become angry. In order to counter the dominant discourses of religious authorities, Jesus is quoting Psalm 8:2 “out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies, you have prepared praise for yourselves”. Here, Jesus re-reads the scripture for defending the children’ action and voices who are marginal in their context. Theological education helps us to re-read the scripture in the present scenario.
Theological education is for the Reconstruction of the people of God: The purity-impurity codes of the Jewish community always created marginalization in the society. They consider themselves holy and others unholy. Therefore they hesitate to accept others to the main stream of the temple. But Jesus by cleansing the temple, comments that “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations”. Thus Jesus criticizes the narrow parochial views of Jews and reconstructed an all inclusive community irrespective of class, caste and gender barriers.
Theological education is for Rejuvenation of Mission: The cursing of fig tree symbolizes the cursing or the judgment on the temple and the religious leaders for its fruitlessness. The absence of fruit describes the lives of the religious leaders which is not pleasing to God and failure in their mission. The presence of the people of God should be a meaningful one in the community. Theological education prepares us for witnessing Christ today.
Prayer: Lord prepare us to engage in theological education meaningfully and witness Christ fruitfully in our society......Amen
Thought for the Day: Is our theological education is adequate enough to prepare the people of God for witnessing Christ?
Rev. Bobby Mathew, E. J. Institute , Kompady, Tiruvalla.