Vs. 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of
blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against
the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces
of evil in the heavenly places.
There were once two parents who
used to cover the eyes of their only child whenever there was a fight,
quarrel, or action-oriented scene in the movies they were watching
together. So, according to the child, movies had no struggles, no fights,
no bad times, and everything was happy and good all the time. Growing up,
this child always compared his life to the movies and thought that there
would be no struggles in life. Similarly, he grew up to believe that
everything in life was going to be one smooth ride with everything ending
When we read and study the Word of God, we are taught
that while we are in the world, we will have to face various types of
struggles which may include those which are physical in nature and those
which affect us spiritually. We also learn from the Bible that God also
promises to strengthen us through such challenging times. St. Paul even
reminds us in Ephesians 6 that we can put on the full armor of God which
enables us to stand our ground in the midst of the stormy experiences of
life. We can be at peace even when the storm around us is raging.
I am also reminded of a painting by Jack E. Dawson,
in his “Seek and Find” series, titled “Peace in the Midst of the Storm.”
This painting includes an image of a bird which rests peacefully in its
nest in the cleft of a rock while thunder, lightning, the roar of the
ocean, and other things that cause restlessness surround it. The
comforting message of this painting is that in the midst of the intense
storms of life, we should take refuge in Jesus Christ, our rock. Although
we know that we are not promised a life without storms due to the
presence of evil in the world, through the cross, we can overcome and
through our trust in God, we can be at peace.
Dear Lord, as the song reminds
us, when the storms of life are raging, tempests wild on sea and land,
help us O Lord to seek a place of refuge in the shadow of Your hand.
Safely hide us, O Lord, where no harm can ever betide us and turn what
seems to harm us into everlasting joy. In Jesus’ mighty name, we pray.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Peace is not the absence of the
storm but the calming strength God provides in the midst of it. Mrs. Neethi Prasad, w/o Rev. Christopher Daniel
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