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
is an active way of participating in the working out of God’s plan for the
world. It involves words, silence, reciting, responding, or listening.
In our spiritual growth prayer is a necessity and it enables us to know
the divine will for us. But many a time people see prayer as a means for
personal gain and publicity. Prayer should enable us for self-examination,
repentance and surrender. The Lord’s Prayer as taught by Jesus (v. 9-15),
clearly explains one’s existential personal relationship to God. It doesn’t
have any extrinsic or instrumental desire to gain social recognition or to
achieve ends other than relationship with God.
In true spirituality,
engaging in Prayer is not for social effect. Prayer should not be tied up
with our deep desire to be recognized in the community. Prayer should never be
a channel for us to be seen by the people around us. By teaching the Lord’s
Prayer, Jesus is transcending our needs into an intrinsic form of spirituality,
into a true, unadulterated desire for God. It is expressed in phrases
like, “your name”, “your kingdom” and “your will”. Usually we try to elevate us
and our desires through prayer and attempt to get God’s approval for our agenda.
Food for nourishment, forgiveness from our sins and protection from temptation
are also included in the Lord’s Prayer. It ends with acknowledging God’s
kingdom, power and glory. Therefore prayer in true spirituality challenges us
to seek the face of the living God ‘in secret’ and try to discover what it
means to live in authentic, unpretentious relationship with others and with
Gracious God, help us to be genuine
in our spiritual walk and to seek You and Your will through our prayer life.
PRIESTHOOD: THE ANOINTED MINISTRY 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
Revelation for Liberation Acts 27:18-26 Sherine Thomas Long 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 a
Community Formation Around Resurrection Experience Acts 23:1-10 Vinod Johnson Carmel MTC, Boston, MA 6 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 dead.” 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! In 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 resur