Thursday, April 30, 2015

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Community Formation Around the Resurrection Experience


Chacko Varughese
Epiphany MTC, NY
17 For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.


A community is a group of people living in a specific geographical area and sharing the same benefits. Christian communities share the same free gift of salvation through faith in Christ and Christ alone. We were lost and dead in our sins, but now we are found and made alive in Christ. The curse brought by sin is completely reversed. Now we live in newness of life.  We can grow together in our spiritual journey as a community plugged into His power outlet. Resurrection is the exhibition of God’s power and sovereignty. 

God called Abraham out of his father’s house and increased him and formed a community and nation out of him.  The nation of Israel strayed away from God and God scattered them all over the world. Here Isaiah is prophesying the restoration of Israel as well as God’s people in the coming days. He talks about the creation of a new heaven and earth and restoring the whole creation into its original intention. This chapter in Isaiah describes the millennial Kingdom of Christ.

Apostle Peter, who denied Jesus three times due to fear, became bold after the Lord’s resurrection and spoke out in the day of Pentecost.  3000 believed and a community is formed.  The first century Church was a true community.  They were the eyewitnesses of the risen Lord.  The resurrection of Christ gives us a living hope that encourages us to take risks knowing that even if our earthen vessel is destroyed, the power that resurrected Christ will resurrect our mortal bodies to a glorious eternal living. 

In the book of Revelation, the apostle John writes of the new heaven and earth.  He was taken back in vision to a garden setting reminiscent of the Garden of Eden at the dawn of human history. What was ruined by sin in Eden is now fully restored.  The tree of Life, representing never-ending physical life that was denied humanity because of sin, is now readily available and accessible.  The greatest blessing will be the unhindered fellowship with God Himself.


PRAYER


Heavenly Father, thank you for redeeming us at the high cost of your beloved Son’s life.  Empower us to experience the power of Christ’s resurrection.  May your kingdom come.  Come soon, Lord Jesus. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
A day is coming, when the whole world will be united as one community in Christ.