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Showing posts from January, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Sing praise to the God of Salvation Exodus 15:1-21 Manju JohnSt John’s MTC, NY “In your steadfast love you led the people whom you redeemed; you guided them by your strength to your holy abode."v.13
Moses’ song of praise describes God as powerful and victorious, destroying the enemies who are against His chosen people and His ‘unfailing love’ delivers them from 300 years of bondage in Egypt. From the previous chapters of the Exodus, one can witness the power of God from the 10 plagues he sent to Egypt and the final defeat of their army by covering them with the waters of the Red Sea. ‘The bestof Pharaoh’s officers and their pride were crushed by the Lord, ‘thewarrior’. Moses gives full glory to God after he along with the Israelites cross the Red sea.   Just as Israel was redeemed, became a new nation from bondage, Christ came to this world to redeem us from the bondage of sin, freed us to become a new creation, a people chosen by God for His holy purpose.“But you are a chosen people,…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Singing praise to the God of SalvationEphesians 5:15-20Melvin JohnSt. John’s MTC,NY 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,….be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,
This passage is taken from the broader context of Ephesians 4, 5, and 6 where Paul, in essence, is laying out a ‘Code of Conduct’ for a Christian’s daily life.  These chapters collectively emphasize on living a life worthy of our calling as Christians; highlights the qualities of love, humility, patience, gentleness (slow to anger) and unity that reflect outward (to Christians and non Christians) our identification with Christ; an explicit call for Christians to be wise (filled with heavenly wisdom) reflecting a higher standard of intellectual discernment and moral standards; to face struggles with the armor of faith and encourage one another. Perhaps some of us live our daily lives being ful…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Sing praise to the God of Salvation Luke 8:26-39 Rev. Thomas JohnVicar
St. Andrew’s Mar Thoma Church Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him. Luke 8:39In this passage we see how Jesus and His disciples reach the region of Gerasene and come face to face with a demon-possessed man. When Jesus enquires his name, this man gives his name as Legion because he is possessed by numerous demons who are tearing his life apart. He does not have any other identity or name. We could very well imagine that this man would have initially had a name, a family and people who cared for him. Also this passage mentions that this man had immense physical strength. But it is sad that because of his inner demons, he has now run away from his family and community. He has used his great strength to break away from them and hurt himself. He had become a nuisance to himself and others. His dwelling…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Called to Unity Ephesians 3:1-7
Dr. Aleena Cherian St.Thomas MTC, NY
"the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel." (Ephesians 3:6)

The concept of unity is unique in the context of our Christian faith. The world may think of  unity as being joined together under a common purpose or with common interests or a common background. However, the unity amongst believers in Jesus Christ calls together individuals of diverse backgrounds under a common faith. The source of our unity is not in a number of factors that we may have in common, but in the single most critical uniting factor- Jesus Christ and His  redeeming work on the Cross.   The second and third chapters of Paul's letter to the Church in Ephesus talk about how as part of God's household, we stand with prophets, saints, Gentiles and with Christ himself. Paul opens Chapter 3 by speaking of a "great mystery" revealed to him by re…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Called to Unity Psalms 133:1-3
Jebin Yohannan St. Andrews MTC, New York How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!

Today’s passage encourages us to be a body of believers that take care of each other. It reminds us that it is only when we experience true unity amongst ourselves that God's blessing will be in abundance. When we are unified, the primary blessing we need has been met, which is being a part of the Kingdom and the fellowship of the Triune God with His people. With this blessing met, all other blessings can flow into our lives. While we are in true unity, this state of blessing is  constant even though the various conditions and situations in our lives will change. Thus, even in times that appear to be difficult, He will provide for His people.

    Our type of unity should reflect the unity within the triune God. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit do not clamor for attention or have arguments between them such as who is the holiest, and most …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Called to UnityEcclesiastes 4:7-12Jesse Samuel St. Andrews MTC, NY Verse 12, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”If we want to understand the immense tension surrounding the words in this passage, we must start at the beginning. The book of Ecclesiastes was written by the great Solomon, as he was looking back on his life, much of which was lived apart from God. We remember how he became king, and asked God for wisdom, and became the wisest man in the world. However, we tend to forget how he failed to heed his own advice and started a downward spiral. Much of this book is written as a reminder to us that everything apart from God is empty, hollow, and meaningless.     How well do we work with another peer? Do we like to work alone or collaborate and work with a partner? Solomon reminds us that working together has its advantages. Life is made for companionship, not isolation. Our lives are made for intimacy, not loneli…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Called to Unity Ezekiel 37:15-23
Stacy Daniel St. John's MTC, NY
They will be my people, and I will be their God.”
Ezekiel is given a prophesy that unites Israel and Judah.  The people of Judah and Israel strayed from God and lived in sin.  This lack of God led to their exile under the Assyrians and the Babylonians. Now God is ready to bring the two nations into one and speaks through Ezekiel. God shows His unconditional love by promising to bring the Israelites back home.  He will cleanse them from all the sins they have committed and finally states " they will be my people and I will be their God." He reclaims them with this covenant. One of the many examples of God’s love, that is seen in the Bible. The prophecy continues to the New Testament in Paul's letter to Ephesians (2:19-20). “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God's people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Called to Unity Ephesians 4: 1-6 
Gracious John St. Andrews MTC, NY I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called,

Many resolutions were made for 2017. Decisions that this year, we will change, evolve, or become better in certain aspects of our life. However, at day 20, many have already forgotten or quit on these resolutions. Today’s passage is motivating a new resolution: “…Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”

In order to live a worthy life, we must first recognize that we only qualify because of Grace. Grace is God’s gift to us through the blood and sacrifice of Jesus (God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense). We are so used to earning our worth through deeds and actions determined by the world. However, the Cross enables us to be worthy of our calling. Next, we must understand what our calling is. We are all called to take part in our God-given birth right as sons and daughters of God. We are His ambassadors…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Call to Unity John 15:1-12 Rev. Baiju MarkoseLutheran School of Theology, Chicago I am the vine; you are the branches (v.5)
What a ‘green’ imagery! The image of a vine tree. The tree always triggers imaginations about life and its patterns. In a special way, the imagery represents the web of life. It reminds us that ‘life is possible only through connectivity.’ From the uncharted pattern of the roots to the flowering branches and the nerves of the leaves, it is interconnected and interwoven. The micro and macrocosm are obviously interwoven. Such deep sense of constant connectivity provides us new imaginations, new perspectives, and new initiatives.
Continuity ‘I am the vine and you are the branches,’ by saying this Jesus proclaims a divine-human continuity. The main thrust of John’s Gospel is exactly this argument which counters the neo-platonic idea of gated divine-human realms. In the very beginning, John dismantles such a fundamental separatism, between divine and human world, through th…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

True PietyMicah 6:1-8
Mary Varughese (Aswathi). St. Thomas MTC, Lombard, IL
“O my people, what have I done to you? In what have I wearied you? Answer me!

Micah, one of the twelve Minor Prophets, whose name means "who is like God?” urged the people to remember the Lord who delivered the Israelites from slavery.  
The passage deals with the controversy between God and Israel. What were God’s requirements of Israel? Deuteronomy 10:12 spells out the requirements that Moses placed before the Israelites, “ 12 And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees”. It is evident that Israel has fallen short of following these commands. God, through the prophet Micah, reminds the Israelites of His deeds of love and care for them- how He sent leaders like Moses, Aaron and Miriam to lead them out of sl…

Word for the day by Education Christian Forum

True Piety Matthew 6:7-15 Rev. K. E. GeevargheseAnaprampal MTC, Kerala. 7 “When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words.

In the gospel of Mathew, particularly in the Sermon on the Mount, Kingdom righteousness demands a reform of inner attitudes. ‘Hypocrisy’ is a root perversion of discipleship. When we use spirituality for human reputation, then we betray our deepest loyalty to God. Dividing our loyalties between God and humans also erodes our ability to carry out disciple’s duties. Disciples are to love Jesus and to expect persecution. One way to make sure that we are not using our religious exercise to show off is to practice them in ‘secret’. Here this passage under reference is Jesus’ moral critique on false piety and hypocrisy. It talks about how we should observe ‘true piety’ in relationship to prayer life.Prayer is an active way of participating in the working out of God’s plan for the wor…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

True Piety  1 Corinthians 3:10-19 Dr. Julie VinodSalem MTC, New York 16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)The passage from 1 Corinthians 3:10-19, is about Paul’s conversation with the Church of Corinth. In Verse 16, where Paul refers to the body as a temple, he was referring to the Corinthian Church as a whole, and as the temple of God, the Holy Spirit rested on every one of us. Paul makes a strong appeal to these worldly believers to remember the serious truth, “you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you”. We are God’s temples where God wants us to be His agents of change. In order to fulfill God’s will, we need to have the power of Holy Spirit. God is our refuge and strength and we need a firm foundation to build that temple in our lives, and this is possible only through Jesus Christ. Our foundation must be solid and strong in faith and God’s Word. This leads to discipleship as God…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Moving Forward:  Stay in Faith, Even when you don’t see it Psalm 42 Dr. Asha Sarah EapenChicago MTC, Des Plaines, IL “Why, my soul, are you downcast?Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,for I will yet praise him,my Savior and my God”. Psalms 42:5 As a Child of God, it is important for us to lead a life of victory and abundance to fulfill the destiny that the Lord has intended for us.  For us to achieve that, we must surrender to the Lord not just in times of trials and tribulations, but also in times of joy and happiness.  We may have gone through some difficulties and disappointments in the past years. The Bible says, “If the Lord is with you, who can be against you”.  Let us stay steadfast and seek the Lord first, and see how He will unfold marvelous things for us in our life. We need to understand that everyone, that is around us, is planted by the Lord intentionally to fulfill our destiny.  God’s plan for us may be much bigger than we have ever prayed or imagined.  We need …