Showing posts from August, 2015

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Exodus 2:1-10
 Rev Sam T Panicker 2 The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him three months.

When a new Pharaoh who did not know Joseph, came to power in Egypt, he introduced many regulations over the immigrant community to restrict their mobility and progress. But God's providential care was upon the Israelite families.The given text dealt with such a divine concern upon his people. Moses’ Levite parents Amram and Jochebed and, pharaoh's daughter disobeyed the king's edict, as did the God fearing hebrew midwives. 1   God's nurturing care upon the child. The given story was a struggle of a family to protect their child and his survival. Here God protects the weak and victimized. In every baptismal service we declare God's nurturing care at conception, childbirth and infancy.

Baptism is one of the dominical sacraments , instituted by Jesus himself. Children are a gift from the Lord. Th…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Baptism: Commitment to a New Cause
 Acts 8:9-24 Rev. Abraham Kuruvilla Princeton Theological Seminary17 Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Recently when I was taking a VBS class at a Church, a father and his daughter approached me and asked me to pray for the daughter by placing my hands on the daughter's head. The daughter was going to begin her new career in education and this spiritual gesture was one of seeking blessings. At this moment, as I have done many times before , I wondered “Who am I”, or am I worthy for God to use me so that the blessings should be imparted with the imposition of my hands. Imposition of hands and anointing with holy oil is done in Baptism as the confirmation of receiving the Holy Spirit. Rather than thinking that the Holy Spirit is given through symbolic gestures, we must understand these ceremonial acts as the expression of Divine intervention. God is at work, and it is God, out of His grace and mercy, who f…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Baptism: Dying and Rising up with Christ
John 12:20-26
Rev. Jameson. K Switzerland MTC
24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit”.

As one of the Dominical sacraments of the Church, the holy baptism stands as a pillar of Christian life, its identity and mission.  The baptismal liturgy of the Mar Thoma Church affirms that, through the holy baptism a person identifies with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Further it embodies sign of new life in Jesus Christ and participation in the life giving mission of Christ. The meaning of baptism includes ‘the invitation of God to share in His divine life, union with Christ, the beginning of a new life in Christ, the reception of the Spirit, and admittance to the community of the faithful’.

The selected passage draws our attention to the importance of self-sacrifice and the willingness of painstaking in Christian life.  Through baptism, …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Marriage: Blessings that Overflow.  Psalm 128 Alex Thomas & Dr Susan Alex
Atlanta Mar Thoma Church
1.Happy is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways.
  Psalm 128 is a family hymn, a song for marriage and is used usually whenever a happy household meets to praise the Lord. A life of blessing starts with the fear of the Lord. Psalm 128 gives a blueprint for a happy home. God’s blueprint for a happy home begins with a God-fearing man, supplemented by a fruitful, faithful woman, and eventually fruitful children. Personal and National well being are the result of homes where God is feared. A man who fears God will be content, his joy is in the Lord, he will walk in His ways, he will use his time wisely and he will lead his family by example. The problems we encounter in our Nation can be traced back to the problems in our homes, as the family is the building block of the Nation. The proper fear of the Lord stems from knowing His holiness and power and it results in obedience to …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

MODELING CHRIST IN MARRIAGE Ephesians 5:21 – 32 Dr  Thomas Philip
Orlando MTC, FL
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Apostle Paul starts his epistle to the Ephesians with God's plan to save the world from its sinful condition through Jesus Christ and the resulting new faith community (the church).  This community is called to live by Christ's standard, not by the world's standard.  It should exhibit unity and peace in Christ.  This is possible only through mutual respect and submission among its members.  The passage for today's devotion is a practical application of this principle.
The NIV Bible has placed this passage under the title “Instructions for Christian Households.”  Marri…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Marriage: Enriched through forgiveness in Love.         1 Cor. 13:1-14:1
Dr. Elsy Mathew Los Angeles Mar Thoma Church. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1. Marriage is a Divine plan with a purpose

In Genesis 2.18, The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable helper for him.” So we can see that it is the divine plan to bring man and woman together in marriage. Verse 20 says, “They will become one Flesh!". Thus, marriage is a covenantal relationship with a man and a woman with God as the third and central part of the relationship. God continues to bless marriages and expects marriages to be fruitful, fruit that lasts.

2.  Enrichment of Marriage.

Ephesians 5:21: (a)-Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.22. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submi…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

BRIDE OF CHRIST Song of Songs 4: 9-15.
Dr. N. P. John Orlando MTC, FL 9.You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride, you have ravished my heart with a glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.

Solomon was not only a king with wisdom and knowledge but also an enthusiastic, blessed, and   prolific writer who “spoke 3000 proverbs and 1005 songs.” (1 Ki. 4:32)  The wisdom books he authored include Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs. While the first two books proclaim the futility of life without God the last one does not even mention the name of God in it.  Solomon wrote this book in his youth bringing out the depth of the divine gift of love experienced in the man-woman relationship. The book has been interpreted metaphorically and allegorically.  It is an epithelium of his nuptial thoughts about the love and emotion between a bridegroom and a bride.  The Old Testament people see this book as a picture of Jehovah's immense love towards His people – the Israel.  In t…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Vow to Sanctified Life    Hebrews 13: 1-6
Sheila Chandy Mar Thoma Church San Francisco
5 Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

In this passage, the author is telling the Jewish Christians to live a life free of money and be content with what they have. It is true that we need money for the basic necessities of life. However many times we get distracted by the desire to “accumulate wealth”. We toil day and night to attain “earthly treasures”. We want the six figure salary in order to buy the dream home and go on exotic vacations. It is not wrong to own nice things, but we cannot let greed consume us so much so that we lose sight of what is important.

John D. Rockefeller was the world’s first billionaire. For several years he was suffering from health ailments which were attributed to his constant worrying about his empire. When he finally started sharing his wealth with others, his health im…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Marriage: A Covenantal Relationship  Malachi 2:13-16 Mrs. Lisha Thomas, Wife of Rev. Kurian Thomas Oklahoma, MTC15 "Did not one God make her? Both flesh and spirit are his".

A marriage contract would say, “I’ll keep my end of the bargain, if you keep yours. If not I’ll leave you and find someone else who’ll make me happy.” The biblical concept of marriage is that of a covenant much more than the aspects of contract. The Covenant, which is sanctified by Almighty through Jesus Christ on the Cross, reveals the blending of obedience and sacrifice. It is different from Contract as it is totally independent of performance and irrevocable. The best instance of the most awesome covenant relationship is that of Almighty God making a true relationship and responsibility with the humankind. Thereby committing all ‘He is’ and all ‘He has to’, demonstrating it powerfully in the death and the resurrection events, which is an irrevocable Covenant promise. As Jesus continues to be committed to…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Honor the Bond of Marriage! Mark 10: 2-9
Rev. Denny Philip Carmel MTC, Boston
8 "and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
What I have read about the bald Eagle, the symbol of United States, is that they stay with one partner until one of them dies. Being loyal to one partner for life is intrinsic in the created order. God, in the beginning of creation, endowed humanity with the wonderful experience of marriage. When God found “It’s not good for man to be alone” that does not merely mean woman was created as an assistant to cater to the needs of man. But the creation of man attains fullness only with the creation of woman, whom he takes as ‘flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone’ which is an affirmation and acceptance that one is incomplete without the other. A wedded life together, between a man and a woman, is what God intends, as expressed in Genesis and here quoted by Mark. So the i…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Wisdom for Renewal ! Ecclesiastes 9:13-18
Nikita Thomas  Phoenix Mar Thoma Church, Arizona
17 The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouting of a ruler among fools.

In our society these days, people care more about money, fame, and other superficial, materialistic things. Yet wisdom is such a greater advantage but is often unrecognized by the public. God’s wisdom can turn what seems like a defeat into a triumphal victory. However, what God says may be rejected by today’s world. But just because it is looked down upon by others, does not mean it is wrong. The world will not approve of how Christianity exposes the sins and illusions of the world and humbles it. So we should not expect the wise words of God to be accepted in this culture. So do not become discouraged but trust God to lead the way.

Romans 12:2 says “Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Renewed Relationship in Love 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Katherine Philip St. John’s MTC, NY
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.”

As humans, we all have our definitions of love, whether it may be through biology, chemistry, or mutual interests. We are quick to say that love is when one person is attracted to another or that love is when we would do anything for others to keep them happy, but is that what love really is?

            We have heard this passage of 1 Corinthians 13 over and over again but have we really taken the time to understand what it truly means? As written, we can see the qualities of how love should reflect in our relationships. “Love is patient, love is kind” is one …