Posts

Showing posts from August, 2014

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Lord who pushed boundaries to construct a Universal ChurchActs 10:9-20
Dr. Mary Jacob Mathew
Horeb MTC, Los Angeles

19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Look, three men are searching for you. 20 Now get up, go down, and go with them without hesitation; for I have sent them.”
Today’s passage talks about Peter’s vision while he was praying. This passage has a lot of things going for it. It is set in a background where Christianity was an exclusive offshoot of Judaism (The early Christians were Jewish Christians). First, we see a Peter who took time to pray in a situation where he probably would have had other pressing ministry related matters to attend. This, if you look at the course of events, leads to Peter listening to the voice of God and drastically changing the course of his ministry. It struck me that in our busy schedules, how many times do we stop to pray let alone give Him an opportunity to speak to us?
In his vision, Peter sees the cle…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Sacrament of Holy Qurbana: Who May Be Invited to the Table?Matthew 5:13-16
Rev. Biju P. Simon
San Francisco MTC

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.

“Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life,” the title of a book published in 1989, continues to be one of the most discussed interpretations of modern American society. This book uses case study method to clearly show how the crisis is generated by the disintegration of traditional community, relations, marriage and religion. The values enshrined in them are being rejected by the pressure of an industrial society which is primarily governed by a strong sense of individualism and scientific rationality. Now, when we look at our present world we can see that this is not simply the case of America, rath…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Sacrament of Holy Qurbana: How hungry are we?John 6:41-59
Jeeva John 54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day;
In our faith and practices we believe and proclaim that the God created us. We believe that we were created for the sake of companionship for God. We also believe that when we were created we were created ‘immortal’ in nature, but through sin we all fell short of the glory of immortality and death became a part of the human story. This passage of scripture helps us to remember that sin was already paid for and that intimacy with God should be our main focus of our journey through life.  

Through John 6:41-59 Christ brings to light that God the Father has always desired unity and intimacy with mankind and that this no longer is a challenge. He also warns to not take light of the fact that our debt of sin has already been paid for. In verse 44 he says “For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Sacrament of Holy Qurbana:More than a RitualIsaiah 24:4-12
John C. Thomas St. Thomas, MTC, NY Therefore a curse devours the earth, and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt; therefore the inhabitants of the earth dwindled, and few people are left. v. 9

Why do you take Holy Communion?  Seems like an odd question, but it may be one of the most important you are ever asked.  For many of us Christians, we take Qurbana as a habit or ritual.  Maybe our parents make us, maybe because our friends take it, maybe we are so used to taking it every time we go to church - that it is part of our rote.  Unfortunately, none of these reasons are good reasons.

Today’s passage from Isaiah 24:4-12 tells us of the devastation that the Lord had planned for the Earth after God’s people had disobeyed laws and broken the everlasting covenant (verse 5). Thankfully, today we do not have to suffer the same fate as the disobedient. As prophesized in Isaiah 53:4 and onwards, Jesus took on our suffering, was pierce…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Sacrament of Holy QurbanaJohn 6:26-35
Swithin Titus
St. Johns MTC, NY

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

As a child my favorite part of service was always the sermon.  I was always fascinated by the people who would stand every Sunday morning and talk about how amazing God was. They would share their stories of how God saved them and turned their lives around.  As I grew older and I began examining my faith - I got sad.  Why didn't God reveal Himself to me the way He had to everyone else? Desperate for a sign I often found myself questioning God.  

Then one day, God decided to reveal himself to me.  I was elected lay leader in my parish. To say I was ready would be disingenuous.  Like most teens, I viewed service as a ritual. Something we did over and over again until it became so ingrained into our muscle memory that every Sunday whether we were at church or not, we found ourse…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Sacrament of Holy Qurbana: The Table of the Lord1 Corinthians 10:15-17
Prijo Thomas
St. Andrews MTC, NY

16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? 

It was a sunny, yet cool and pleasant day in this small desert Israeli village when Kushi opened up the door to his home and invited us in. The strong and somewhat overwhelming ​aroma​ of morning coffee immediately brought our senses to high alert. Our eyes were bombarded by colors of the most vibrant nature, flowing from the beautiful rug to the tapestry that lined the walls to the pillows that were arranged on the floor. We took our seats on those beautiful pillows, with reluctance, as they seemed far too lavish for our rears to rest upon. That morning we had a wonderful time eating snacks and sipping strong Arabian coffee in this beautiful tent, speaking what little Arabic and Hebrew we knew. It was a first-time for all of us, in t…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Sacrament of Holy Qurbana: The Most Significant Meal. 1 Corinthians 11:23-24
Mathew Samuel “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
–I Corinthians 11:26
Pastor J.C. Ryle in his book, Practical Religion wrote, “Right reception of the Lord’s Supper has a ‘humbling’ effect on the soul. The sight of the bread and wine as emblems of Christ’s body and blood, reminds us how sinful sin must be, if nothing less than the death of God’s own Son could make satisfaction for it, or redeem us from its guilt. Never should we be so ‘clothed with humility,’ as when we receive the Lord’s Supper.”

When we look at the context, we know that Paul is writing to the Corinthian Church, a church that did not have much sense of morality, and clung to the ways of this world, more than they did of Christ. Yet, the point that Paul makes here applies to each of our churches, and more importantly, to each of us.

Paul begins by saying that what has been given to…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Reformed by the Word of GodGenesis 14:17-24
Jibu Abraham

Long Island MTC, NY 21 Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the Lord, God Most High, maker of heaven and earth, 23 that I would not take a thread or a sandal-thong or anything that is yours, so that you might not say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ 


re•form
riˈfôrm/
verb

1. Make changes in (something, typically a social, political, or economic institution or practice) in order to improve it.

synonyms: improve, better, make better, ameliorate, refine; alter, make alterations to, change, adjust, make adjustments to, adapt, amend, revise, reshape, refashion, redesign, restyle, revamp, rebuild, reconstruct, remodel, reorganize

"a plan to reform the system" bring about a change in (someone) so that they no longer behave in an immoral, criminal, or self-destructive manner.


During our lives, how many of us at one time or an…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Sacrament of Holy QurbanaMark 14:12-26
Rev. Larry Varghese
Horeb MTC, Los Angeles 22 While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 

24 He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.



Jesus gathers his closest friends together and shares a meal with them. Under normal circumstances this would be just another meal. There was bread and wine, and almost certainly other food as well being served. But during this meal Jesus did something that was very unique. Some time after the meal had begun, Jesus took a loaf of bread that was likely set aside from the beginning of the meal and he also took a cup of wine and he said something very interesting about them. He said that the bread is his body and the wine is his blood of the new covenant. It obviously was not meant literally; so then in what way are his words to be understood?

It’s a call to be with him. There are hints of th…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Reformed by the Word1 Timothy 4:1-10
Ginu Abraham
St. Andrews MTC, NY

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving; 

The most difficult challenge we face as Christians is to live in a world that is accepting of our beliefs. We meet all types of people with their own "views" on right and wrong. Our God is a God who is just and merciful simultaneously. The blessings we've received are solely from Christ alone and it is for Christ alone to take back what is rightfully His if he pleases. All we can do is continue to pray that we can be the best we can in a world that is full of disaster. My firm belief is that The Almighty will always keep His watch over us and it is our responsibility to keep watch over our neighbors.
If you put these instructions before the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound teaching that you have followed.

As…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Reformed by the Word2 Timothy 4:10-17
Benny Philip 17 But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.


In today’s passage, Paul was basically giving his last will and testament to the church. If you knew your days were numbered, what legacy would you leave behind that would benefit the body of Christ?

A key part of discipleship is sharing what you are learning with a fellow believer. It’s very important that we know how to be disciple-makers. When we are truly reformed by the Word, our lives will show it by our lifestyle and actions. Many people might read today’s passage and come to the conclusion that it’s specifically written for pastors/achens/bishops as church leaders. I believe this is for each and every believer as well. We are the church and we carry the word with us wherever we go. One of the greatest gifts you can give to someone is to touch their li…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

What Next?Matthew 6:1-4
Rena Titus
St. John's MTC, NY “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. v.1 


Recently, my social media newsfeeds have been “flooded” with children, friends, coworkers and celebrities who have accepted the ice bucket challenge. This movement has swept the nation to raise awareness for ALS research. However, one of my closest friends simply stated, “I’m just going to make the donation and skip the ice water.” My husband echoed the same thing when he stated that he’d rather see someone post their donation rather than the ice water.

Too often, something, even if the intention is good, can lose its meaning once it goes mainstream. Sure, its fun to see our friends pour ice water on their heads, and some of the videos have been quite entertaining, but what happens after that? I do not doubt that these individuals have also made donations to charities of their choice, but what is t…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Josiah Renews the Covenant2 Kings 23:1-6
Shibu George
Trinity MTC, Houston He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right or to the left. 2 Kings 22:2

Many married couples decide to renew their vows after several years of marriage to celebrate their love, and to remind them of the pledge and covenant that they made to each other when they first got married. It often sparks new life into their marriage.

A young King Josiah from our passage today, decided that it was time for God’s people to renew their covenant with God. During the reign of King Josiah, the Book of the Law was found after having been lost and forgotten. King Josiah was stunned and terrified of what he read would be the consequences of not following the words of the Book of the Law, and tore his robes in despair because the people that came before him had been disobedient. But the Lord God saw the genuineness of his dismay and offered grace …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Reformed by the Word of God1 Peter 1:13-25
Charles V. Abraham 23 You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.

If we ever take the time to watch children interact with their environment, we would be taken aback by how easily they are distracted! Often, they start with a toy that holds their attention for a few minutes, before they are onto their “next project.” When we read the above portion from Peter’s first epistle, he is telling his audience, to “prepare [their] minds for action”. This entire portion is about refocusing our attention on the journey. In the original Greek, it meant that Peter’s audience should literally gather up their garments and be ready for physical action. For many of us, we are satisfied with a lethargic religion, instead of a zealous, physical, action-oriented relationship with Christ.

Peter goes onto say that we need to focus on what is above, on what is good and holy, instead of our former lus…