Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Love of Yuhanon Thirumeni

Rev. Abraham Kuruvilla
Princeton Theological Seminary, NJ
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

During the tumultuous years of the Mar Thoma church, when the church was rocked with controversies of the K. N. Daniel case, the church was led under the stalwart leadership of Yuhanon Mar Thoma Metrapolitan. It is been often said that, even amidst all the problems, Thirumeni cared and loved K. N. Daniel as a father would love a son. How could Thirumeni love a person who divided the Church into two factions? It is through the Spirit of love (vs 15, 21; Gal 5: 22).

Jesus said “whoever has my commands…” (vs 21) and the greatest commandment He laid down was one of love (Matt 22: 36 - 40). Love is the first and the greatest fruit of the Holy Spirit. When we are in love with somebody we bear, tolerate, persevere, and endure in that love. It is the way the Holy Spirit works towards perfection in love. But alas, the Church is divided over the working of Holy Spirit. We can argue that wherever there is truth, divisions are inevitable. That is where we do not get the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit in revealing the truth (vs 17) reveals diversity, not to be divided, but rather to be distinctively united. Moreover, truth is unchangeable and rock solid. It will sustain and endure forever.  If the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, then the Holy Spirit will not change depending on circumstance. We are called to love even when the Spirit of truth reveals differences and wrongs. I will change, my likings will change, my inclination will change but the Holy Spirit loves forever.

However, wherever there is truth there will be a struggle with whatever is not true because the world cannot accept the Spirit of truth (vs 17). With this unacceptance comes friction and struggle. The Christian life is to live in this friction with the faith of Jesus. Within this friction the Holy Spirit helps and supports us to be with Jesus forever (vs 16). How? By living with us and in us (vs 17). 

As you walk and drive down the road know this: you are not alone. Can we grapple with this enormity? The Lord and Giver of life lives within us. If the Spirit lives within us that means we are worthy. Our body is made holy to be a holy offering (Rom 12: 1). It changes the way I look at myself. I will start loving my body because God loves it so much that He dwells in us (1 Cor 6: 19). Are you being let down by your loved ones whom you thought would look out for you? The Word tells you that you are not orphaned (vs 18). You are owned and belong to the Holy Spirit. You are related in the blood of the Spirit to God.  It is a relation in which we are in the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Spirit (vs 20). We are related to the Triune God in the Spirit of love.  Let us live that love. 


Oh! Holy Spirit help me to comprehend your incomprehensible love so that it would be tangible in my actions. Oh! Holy Spirit discipline me to be shaped by your refining love so that its warmth would be felt through me. Amen.

God’s love is not a love in vain or for gain but a love of pain 

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