Daily Meditations Published by IT Fellowship of North America & Europe Diocese of Mar Thoma Church
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Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
What is a prosperous Family? Psalm 128 Sony Cherukara
St. Stephens MTC, NJ
"Happy is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways."
An oft cited recent study on prosperity by the Legatum Institute indicated that Scandinavian countries are the most prosperous (top 5) whereas the US came in at number 10 ( India was at 102). These studies looked at a number of measures, many of them related to the physical and emotional well-being of individuals. Whereas there is merit to their findings, the case can be made that American society has distilled the holistic approach to prosperity down to the mere satisfaction of physical desires. This bent to satisfy the ‘desires of the flesh’ has resulted in a number of ideas wholly endorsed by a number of Christians who are unwilling to stand counter to the tide of ‘popular religion’. The prosperity gospel is a palpable symptom of this phenomenon, one that elevates material wealth over all else.
On the other hand, Christian prosperity as described in Psalm 128 is quite different. It is portrayed as a confluence of spiritual, mental, physical, material, interpersonal, familial and social well-being that is the outcome of an act of worship. The psalm at the outset delineates the ‘fear of the Lord’ as the key to unlock all the other aspects of prosperity. Proverbs9:10further states that the “fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”; wisdom being an integral part of making effective decisions. The logical outgrowth of making wise decisions is that our labor and hard work will be fruitful. Prosperity begins in the individual’s spiritual and material realm with worship.
A family continues to be blessed with the right relationships between its members and fruitfulness in their spheres of influence. Wives are compared to a vine that continues to mature and become fruitful through the years, both in the sense of having children and with nourishing and nurturing them beyond that. Children are compared to healthy olive shoots which eventually develop into hardy trees. They are a blessing to the family as they mature through the initial years under the care of parents and others. A worshipping individual adds to their prosperity by being a blessing to their society and nation. The psalmist indicates that such individuals will continue to see the land prosper not just for their peers but for generations to come.
That is the prosperity that God wants each human being to have; a full experience that encompasses our being, from the physical and spiritual to our family and society. The psalmist presents a simple recipe for a lasting prosperity, one centered on the act of worship.
Dear Lord, help us to worship You in spirit and in truth. Let Your Spirit guide us to a richer relationships with our families and our peers. Let our worship lead us to a wholesome life in You, a prosperous life in Your sight. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Community Formation Around
Resurrection ExperienceActs 23:1-10 Vinod JohnsonCarmel MTC, Boston,
MA6 When Paul noticed that some were Sadducees and others
were Pharisees, he called out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son
of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the
Sometimes, the only thing that keeps you going through a brutal winter is
the hope for the spring. It may have been a hard hope to hold on to this
particular year in New England - a year in which Boston considered dumping not
tea, but the ever growing mounds of snow into its harbor. And yet, the waist
deep snow has dissolved away. White desolation has given way to increasingly
visible green shoots of spring. A resurrection is at hand!
this passage, Paul tries to defend himself before the Sanhedrin Council. He
seeks to drive a wedge between the Pharisees who believed in resurrection and
the Sadducees who did not; even though neither believed in the resurrection of
Revelation for LiberationActs 27:18-26 Sherine ThomasLong Island MTC, NY 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small
tempest raged, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.
“After winter comes the summer. After night comes the dawn.
And after every storm, there comes clear open skies” so said a Scottish
clergyman from the 1600s. It’s been said, that hope can sometimes be the most
dangerous weapon. However, it’s sometimes the hardest weapon to carry
when you’re living with the loss of a loved one, something that almost feels
like a terrible nightmare that’ll never go away. It’s a weapon difficult
to carry when day in and day out no one seems to hear or see those tears that
are shed or silent cries that are made during a heartfelt prayer. It’s a
weapon difficult to carry as you see your loved one lying on that hospital bed.
It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you search and seek out answers to
tell a child as to why they’ve been abused, abandoned, and …
Exodus 40:12-16 Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of
Meeting... wash them with water. Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments,
anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest (Exodus 40: 12-13). Priesthood
among the people of God was a divine command and initiation. God wanted some
people to be separated for the special ministry among his people. God appointed
Aaron and his descendants to take up this kind of ministry among the people of
God. Priests are always separated and appointed as channels that connect God
with his people. All throughout the history of Israel, priests played an
important role in connecting people with God and to lead and guide them in the
statutes of God. But there are incidents in the Bible where the priests failed
in their duties and that led the people to go away from God. So the priests
have a special and significant ministry to perform in this world among his
people. Two important things from thi…