Friday, December 9, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Annunciation to Joseph
Bindhu Abraham
Wife of Rev. Abraham Skaria
Chicago Mar Thoma Church
14 He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
Alok Sagar, an IIT Delhi student, who after completing his Bachelor and Masters in electrical engineering came to Houston University, Texas, completed his Ph.D. and went back to the same institution and became a teacher.  But after two years he left that profession and is now living with the tribals in a village in Madhya Pradesh.  His vocation is to protect the environment. As part of his mission, he planted 50,000 trees since 1982.  We can say Alok Sagar offered himself for the cause.  There are a few who have dedicated their very lives for their respective vocation.  We forget, that the road they traveled or they are moving on, is very challenging, because those are the roads less travelled.  But for many of us it’s just a news item or information or something to be forwarded and shared on social media.
The two books, Timothy and Titus, are known as “Pastoral Epistles” because Paul uses these to guide them in pastoral care.  Paul through these books reminds us of the sacrifice Jesus offered for the whole of mankind.  He gave Himself to redeem us from wickedness and to set apart for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good. We take this salvation very frivolously. The great sacrifice of Jesus calls for godly and self–controlled life.  If we examine ourselves, neither we fail to say “No” to the worldly passions nor do we feel any obligation or commitment towards our community or society at large.  If we are able to meet our basic need we are happy and gratified.
We should keep in mind that through the Holy Spirit, we have the power to live as a Christian.  God has given us strength and understanding to do good and live according to His will.  Jesus Christ has set an example before us by leading a self-controlled life.  We have to decide to personalize the salvation and should be eager to do good for ourselves and to our brothers and sisters around us. Alok Sagar devoted his life for the upliftment of the tribal and for the protection of the environment.   What is our response towards the sacrifice Jesus did for us on the cross?
        “Must I go, and empty-handed,
        Thus my dear Redeemer meet?
        Not one day of service give Him,
        Lay no trophy at His feet?
                        Charles E. Luther


Lord, give us the wisdom to understand the great redemptive work You have done for us through Your only son, Jesus.  And give us the eagerness and courage to do good. Amen

Christ did His part. Are we ready to do ours?