Monday, August 15, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum


Maria Thomas Benjamin

Long Island MTC, New York.

1 Peter 1: 25: “but the word of the Lord stands forever”
In the aforementioned passage, Peter is writing to Jewish Christians who were driven out of Jerusalem during the reign of Emperor Nero.
Peter draws upon Old Testament texts; familiar to Jews (Psalm 118:22, Isa 8:14); to remind them that the church does not cancel the Jewish heritage, but fulfills it.   By doing so, he reminds them of the importance of the Word.  The Jewish Christians that were driven out of Jerusalem are newborns in their faith and needed to “grow up in their salvation”.  Peter guides the outcast to rely on God’s word for spiritual maturity.  Imagine being homeless, losing all that you have saved up for, and roaming in search for shelter.  Most of us would become depressed, dwelling on our loss or perhaps burdened by the effort it would take to rebuild a safe home and community.  In times like that, solace is found in knowing that everything is temporary.  All material possessions, accomplishments, human bodies will fade away.  Only God’s WILL, God’s WORK and God’s WORD can transcend time.  John 1 refers to the word becoming a human being full of grace, glory and truth.
To be a representative of Christ, not only must one be free from malice, hypocrisy, slander, envy but also be capable of altruistic love.  We need to arm ourselves with the Word of the Lord when we are being persecuted, shield ourselves from the ways of the world when we are tempted and weak and stand firm in our commitment to Christ.  Relying on God’s word (not a devotional) and meditating on it daily brings us closer to Christ and better understand His mission for His creation.
In chapter 2, the afflicted are enlightened about the importance of forming a church community.   This community of believers are a chosen people that belong to God.  God calls upon His people to be interdependent, to multiply individual efforts by working together with fellow Christians.  The church community must be founded on Christ and Christ’s word.  Both Paul and Peter portray the Church as a community.  Paul refers to Christ as the head of the body and Peter refers to Christ as the foundation and cornerstone.  In both depictions of the church, the most important part of the church is Christ himself.   If the teachings of the church do not cover the Gospels, they fall short in their focus on the Holy Word.  Post resurrection, we are all granted a “priesthood”.  We, not just the priests, are all mutually responsible in bringing others to Christ and instilling a discipline of relying on God’s word.


Father God, we humbly bow down to You on bended knees with a heart of praise.  We yearn for spiritual nourishment; for discernment when we study Your Word; for a community that works together in fulfilling Your will; and an ability to selflessly love as You did for us.  Amen

"The Gospel is Good news, not good advice.  Advice = what we should do, News = report of what was done for us. "– Rev. Tim Keller, NY