Saturday, May 9, 2015

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

An Unexpected Encounter


Abraham Mattackal
Los Angeles MTC, CA
21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 

It's evening time on Resurrection Sunday and the disciples with mixed emotions and a feeling of fear are huddled together in a room. The door was locked to safeguard themselves from Jewish attacks against them due to their association with Jesus. Suddenly, without any warning, Jesus appears and says in verse 19, "Peace be with you". For many reasons, the disciples were guilty of betraying the confidence of their Master. The disciples were probably expecting some sort of rebuke or expression of dismay and despair, but, instead he utters in the gentlest way "Peace be with you."

Many a time, we too are like the disciples locked in our own comfortable settings, unable and unwilling to face the reality of our numerous sins and omissions. That same Jesus who extended "Peace be with you" to the bewildered and fearful disciples, wants to extend peace to us as well. He is well aware of the mistakes we have made, our sinful nature and our continued rejection of of His teachings. Yet, He still extends peace. Peace is a gift from God. Jesus said, "My peace I give it to you." During the occasion when the storm lashed out at the disciples and the boat was about to be tossed out in the Sea of Galilee, Jesus woke up from his sleep and said, "Peace, be still. He brought peace into that situation.

Even if we feel we don't deserve it, our Savior Jesus Christ offers us peace today. Gods peace and forgiveness is extended to us by His Grace. But just as the disciples locked out His presence with them in time of fear and confusion, we too try to lock Him out of our lives when the Savior wants to be with us and guide us through our difficult times. In Verse 21, "As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." Here we see the transformation that takes place in the disciples. Until that moment, Jesus disciples were petrified with fear. But after Jesus appeared before them, they became convinced that death is not the end. Jesus shows up in our lives when things seem hopeless, when we are confronted unexpectedly with overwhelming struggles and pain. In Verse 22, "And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them Receive the he Holy Spirit." In this passage the power referred to is the Holy Spirit.

As it relates to our mission, Jesus knows that fear keeps many of us from sharing the good news with others, especially those who never experienced the presence of Jesus with them or even heard about Jesus. If we are truly Christs' ambassadors, we must tell others about the message of the gospel. Time is a constraint that we often use as an excuse for not working as a servant of God among the community we live in  and particularly among the unfortunate and downtrodden. We have to overcome the gravitational pull towards self-centeredness and work towards fulfilling our mission of spreading the gospel among the non-believers and idol worshipers. We are not to sit back and wait for others to come to us. The Holy Spirit gives us power to live a victorious Christian life.


PRAYER


Our Almighty loving Father, we thank you for giving us one more day in our lives. We thank you for keeping us safe under your protection in our going out and our coming in. Many a time in our lives your presence with us helped us to overcome difficult and unbearable situations. We pray your continued presence with us will help us to lead a victorious Christian life... Amen

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cant change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to make difference between them.” Robert H. Schuller