Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Witness of Death


Rev. Abraham Kuruvilla, 
Princeton Theological Seminary
46 Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts,

He obtained a PhD at 21 and at 24 he started teaching at the University of Berlin. Soon, he was put in prison by Hitler. On April 8, 1945 on the request of the prisoners, he celebrated communion and spoke on Old Testament text "by His wound we are healed.

On April 9, 1945 he was stripped naked and hanged on a wall and was left to die.
Who was he? He was a pastor, a theologian, a writer, but above all he was a witness of Jesus Christ. He was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was willing to die for what he believed, and he believed in Jesus.

We all believe in Jesus, but how many of us are willing to die for Jesus. Witnessing involves death.  The early believers understood this. To have a sincere heart (vs 46) means to be true. True to what or more specifically to whom? The early Christians were true to Jesus. It means to have the values of Jesus before ours. Surely, when we see other people we would have our prejudices against them based on whatever grounds. But, when Jesus' values takes priorities, then we have to die, our prejudices have to give away.

The early believers used to do this every day. When do we do something every day? When it is either obligatory or essential. For the early believers, it was neither obligatory nor essential, but rather it was in built. To be obligatory and essential is basically a condition that has to be met. We can say it is a prerequisite. To be built in means that it was a part of their spiritual, mental and physical DNA. How? Through death. When one dies in Christ by baptism in death and rises in new life (Rom 6). We have to rise up in new life if we have to witness for Christ.

The early believers, even before they were called Christians, used to break bread in their homes. Their home was the place where Qurbana was celebrated. Think about this for a moment. What all will change if our home was a regular place for celebrating the Holy Communion. First, we will begin with cleaning; second, discarding; and thirdly, reordering the things. The same applies to us and our witness in the world. Have we been silent in our witness? Let us speak up in our actions which will reflect Christ. Start with where the early believers started. They considered others better than themselves. Why? How? Because they saw the other person as one for whom Christ had died.

The day prior to his hanging, Bonhoeffer could speak of healing only because of this deep conviction. Every day is the day of our death, everyday is the day of our life and in this life there is witness, for it is the life of Christ.


PRAYER


Lord, may we see others, not to see them as themselves or us as ourselves, but rather to see You as Yourself. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
WITNESSING BLOOMS WHEN DYING AND RISING WITH CHRIST THRIVES IN OUR LIFE