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Showing posts from November, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Word of God - “Double Edged Sword”
Revelation 10:1-11 Steven Tom St. James MTC, NY 2 He was holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, 3 and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke.     Our duty as Christians is not only to read and interpret the Word of God, but also to apply it in our daily lives. How can a book written so long ago, still be relevant in our lives today? Rick Warren says, “God's Word is your owner's manual for life. It contains principles for health, finance, marriage, other relationships, business, and much more.” The significance of the Bible is that there is no definite interpretation of its meaning. When we read the Bible with a true desire to receive God’s holy Word, the Holy Spirit enters us and interprets what the Bible is saying so we can apply it in our own lives. Whenever I come to a major decision in my life, I turn…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Birth of John the Baptist – Word of God, “Double edged sword” 1 Kings 19

Shaimi Jacob St. James MTC, NY
18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.
The birth of John the Baptist was shared to Zechariah by Angel Gabriel. According to Luke 1:17, Gabriel said to Zechariah, "He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.” John the Baptist was blessed as a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He was blessed with a special task which is to prepare the people of Israel for Christ. He was blessed with the spirit to convict the people of Israel with the word of God (metaphorized as a double edged sword). God has send John the Baptist to provide Godly wisdom to the people of Israel so they may understand and let the w…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
Luke 1:5-20 T. A. Mathew Trinity MTC, Houston “Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking “what then is this child going to be? For the Lord’s hand was with him.” (Luke 1:66) God promised His people in the book of Malachi that He would send a messenger. “See I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me.” (Malachi 3:1). After four hundred years of silence, He would send a messenger, a forerunner, who would prepare the way for the Savior. Zechariah’s son would be that promised messenger. God sent His angel to Zechariah, while he was serving in the temple in Jerusalem. The angel told Zechariah that God will give him and his barren old wife Elizabeth a son, who would be the forerunner to the Savior. Zechariah doubted God’s promise that God will give him and Elizabeth a son in their old age. So the angel struck Zechariah with muteness and told him that he would not be abl…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Birth of John the Baptist – Word of God “Double edged sword” Luke 1:57-66
Rev. Mathew Varughese, Vicar St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church, Kavungumprayar, Kerala
‘…and you will name him John’ (Luke 1:13c)
God Fulfilled His promiseThe birth of John the Baptist is the fulfilment of the announcement to Zachariah. Every element of today’s Bible portion shows fulfilling of prophecies regarding the birth of John the Baptist. ‘Every aspect of these events occurred following God’s design and led to the fulfilment of God’s redemptive work in Israel and beyond’ (NIB Vol.IX: p.59) For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth, it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose and succeed in the thing for which I sent it,. (Isaiah 55:10, 11. N R S V) When the neighbours and relatives heard tha…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Visitation of Virgin Mary to Elizabeth – Celebrating the Good News Luke 1: 39-45
Rev. Manoj Idiculla Carmel MTC, Boston Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Vs.45
The word "blessed" 'makarios' in Greek literally means "happiness”. It describes a kind of joy which is serene, self-contained, and independent from chance or changing circumstances of life.  But there is a certain paradox for those "blessed" by the Lord.  Mary was given the "blessedness" of being the mother of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  That blessedness also had become a sword which pierced her heart as her Son died upon the cross.  Anselm, a great teacher and Archbishop of Canterbury (1033-1109), said these words in a homily: "Without God's Son nothing could exist; without Mary's son, nothing could be redeemed."  To be chosen by God is an awesome privilege and responsibility.  Mary received both a crown of jo…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Freedom : Participation in Decision-making
Galatians 5:1-6 Daniel Thomas Orlando MTC 1. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Our mother country, India, gained freedom from British domination on August 15, 1947 by the tireless and peaceful resistance of Mahatma Gandhi, known as the Father of India.  Even though India is a free country today, majority of the masses do not experience the true freedom.  Let us hope and pray that the day is near, not far, for every citizen to enjoy his/her fair share of the fruit of freedom assured by the constitution of India.
People love their liberty, freedom from, as well as their freedom to - freedom to pursue one's dreams, freedom from a forced religion, freedom to live according to one's belief.  At the same time, how many of us understand the true meaning of freedom?
The New Testament presents true liberty as serving Christ, and emphasizes that we can be…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Helping Others
Matthew 12:11-13 Mereen Mammen   Carmel MTC, Boston 11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.  The book of Matthew talks to us about the great parables of Jesus. The Gospel according to Matthew presents our Savior to us in the form of many teachings through examples and life lessons. This particular verse in Chapter 12 describes the Pharisees questioning Jesus with the wrong intentions. This was a day of the Sabbath, where the traditional practice was to honor it as a day of rest.  This also meant that no healing would be done on that day. In verse 10, the Pharisees questioned Jesus whether the Law would allow it to heal someone on the Sabbath. Jesus …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Prayer of Thanksgiving and Praise
1 Samuel 2 : 1-10

Abraham Mammen  Long Island MTC, NY
My heart rejoices in the Lord; In the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.”
Hannah is still apparently at the tent of God with Eli and Elkanah her husband. Hannah is about to leave her only son with Eli the High Priest, and is certainly going through a lot of emotions, so what she does is pray --- and it is a magnificent prayer. And what she prays about is interesting. She is concerned about her only son; she may be concerned about having other children, but her prayer deals with the character and power of God.     Although the saying is crony- I don’t know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future. One might expect some prophesy with regard to Samuel or words respecting his future. But that is not what Hannah prayed, her psalm of praise is Jehovah, the God of Israel and His greatness. Hannah does not remind God of her vow or how s…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Visitation of Virgin Mary to Elizabeth - Encouraging One another  Hebrews 10:24-25 John Pazhayidathu Long Island MTC, NY The letter to Hebrews was written to believers who were skeptical about their new found faith. The writer was trying to sustain the community’s faith by establishing the fact that Jesus’s death and resurrection was above their preconceived notions of religion- they were no longer bound by the practices of the past.  Chapter 10:24-25 states that as believers we have to create a community with one another in order to stir up love and good works. The book of Hebrews is commonly known as the book of exhortations as the writer asks believers to come together encouraging one another. As it is said, no man is an island; fellowship with fellow believers fosters compassion, encouragement, and a helping hand. 1.Compassionate heart The ability to have a compassionate heart is the quality of a true believer. We cannot be idle at the face of pain and suffering. One of the shortest but…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Visitation of Virgin Mary to Elizabeth
Luke 1: 26-45
Koruthu Mathew, Long Island MTC, NY
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1: 45

Mary believes and accepts the Lord God when He told her that she would have a child, and she will be highly favored.  
But, Mary knows that this birth is going to be surrounded by controversy – as her child has been conceived outside of marriage. Mary had to talk to someone. Elizabeth was exactly the right person for Mary to talk to. Elizabeth also is experiencing a pregnancy. Elizabeth’s pregnancy was also a miracle. She had become pregnant in her old age.
It is wonderful that the Lord God led Mary to Elizabeth. Elizabeth had so much to offer. She had the wisdom and experience of old age. She had experienced a lifetime of struggle over her barrenness. The Lord had prepared Elizabeth to be a blessing to Mary.  Elizabeth was a woman of faith. She had already experienced God’s wonderful power. And now the Lord wa…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time. Luke relates the story of Zechariah not as a timeless legend, but as a historical event. "Zechariah" means Yahweh remembers.   "Elizabeth" means God is my oath, that is, a worshipper of God. Once when Zechariah's division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside. For the offering of incense, two priests had to help the officiating priest who was chosen in this above manner for the office.
Are you sensitive to what God would say to you? It is not your religious qualifications that matter, but your heart's openness to God that counts. I believe this spiritual seeking is an importa…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Annunciation to Virgin Mary 
Luke 1: 26-38

By: Rev. Shibu Samuel, Vicar The Canadian MTC, Toronto. 
31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High,
Attitude is a mind-set that triggers a person’s situation specific, views and perspectives. We should always realize that with a positive attitude, every opportunity may have difficulty and every difficulty may have opportunities. At the end, what we have harvested in our life is directly related to our attitude of approaching any challenge and mission ahead.
                             In today’s Gospel (above reference), we hear the words spoken by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary of Nazareth who was betrothed to Joseph, of the house of David.  The annunciation to Mary was not a simple thing. Her attitude, complete submission and surrender to the divine call equipp…