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Showing posts from October, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Come Holy Spirit Renew Joel 2:28-32 Vs.28, 29 Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.  The book of Joel is one of the prophetic books of the Old Testament. This book not only speaks about God’s Judgement upon the Israelite community but also gives the hope of the glorious future that God’s people are going to experience if they return back to Yahweh.  The prophet sees the terrible drought, a massive invasion of locusts and the constant threat of enemies as God’s way of punishments. God the Creator uses nature and Israel’s enemies as His means of divine Judgement. However, this book also speaks about hope and restoration. God has not abandoned his people but all this judgmen…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

True Piety Matthew 6:7-15 Vs.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 world.  It involves words, silence, reciting,…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Forgotten Path James 5:7-11 James 5:7-8. Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient.  The word “patience” has become more than just a simple word in prayer circles. We have moved now to feeling as if the attribute of patience is a literal curse on our lives. And its easy to see why. Patience is difficult. In fact the root word for patience is patior, meaning “to suffer”. But we have done a great injustice by denigrating this necessary attribute. A W Tozer said about modern day Christians: “I am afraid we modern day Christians are long on talk and short on conduct. We use the language of power but our deeds are the deeds of weakness. We settle for words in religion because deeds are too costly. It is easier to pray, “Lord, help me to carry my cross daily” than to pick up the cross and carry it; but since the mere …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Honoring the Body as Temple of God Romans 12:1-8 VS. 1,2 “I appeal to you therefore,  brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. ….that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect”.  The first eleven chapters of Romans can be termed as a dogmatic treatise, a theological exposition, in which Paul defines in its depth and breadth the Gospel message.  And, the section starting from Ch.12 focuses on how to translate theology into actual practice in the lives of the faithful. Through baptism we are incorporated into the body of Christ and thereby we are set apart to belong to God.  It is in the light of this reality,  that Paul exhorts those who are called to belong to God, to present their bodies ‘as a living sacrifice,  holy and acceptable to God..’ What Paul calls…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Baptism- A New Life in Christ  Colossians 3: 1-11 Vs 2. "Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth"  Paul exhorts the Colossian Church to live a holy Christian life. This can be possible through acquiring heavenly wisdom. As far as church members are concerned, understanding and abiding in the depth of the word of God and meaningful participation in the sacraments are important. It helps them to grow in the wisdom from above. The church celebrates the sacraments as the means of grace. Sacraments help us to receive God's blessings and inspire the recipients to remain faithful and lead a committed Christian life. Through Baptism, one of the dominical sacraments, we identify with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Every image and metaphor used in the baptism liturgy and the symbolic actions in all the sacraments are profoundly meaningful. The modes of immersion, pouring and sprinkling etc depict various aspects of baptism. The spiritual m…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Baptism: Submitting to the Giver Judges 13: 1-14 Vs. 5 For you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor is to come on his head, for the boy shall be a nazarite to God from birth. It is he who shall begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines.”  The book of Judges tells us about Israel being in disarray. God’s judgement was upon them as they continued to persist in sin and moral failure. The book reminds us that the assurance of forgiveness and reconciliation, in a broken relationship with God, is given to us.  We have read about the birth of Samson. The angel of the Lord had spoken and assured a child for Manoah and his wife. They were looking forward in faith and hope, as they were childless. The angel of the Lord reminds them that the child born to them is to be a Azurite, that is, to be set apart for God’s service (Numbers 6:1-21). The parents received this message with faith. Samson led the people of Israel as a judge for 20 years, in the days of oppression by the Philisti…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Family-Space for Faith Formation - Christian Family Dedication Day I John 2: 7-17 Vs.17 ‘The world and its desires pass away; but whoever does the will of God lives forever’. I remember in my younger days, we had our family prayer before dinner could be served. It always started with two to three songs and then there would be a ten-minute catching up time where we kids and our parents would share how our day went at school or the work place. It was time when each person’s experiences would be restated from the other’s perspective. This would be followed by Bible reading, prayer and reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

In most homes, our day-to-day stories included experiences of success, failure, joy, disappointment, and so on. Being able to share these as a family and to see it in the light of the Word of God or through a faith perspective greatly strengthened our bond with each other in the family and with God. The First book of John is all about the Love of God and how our response should be. J…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Sacrament of Marriage
Mark 10: 1- 12

Vs.9 "What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.... "

This passage raises questions about marriage and divorce. The context of Jesus' discussion is one of many in the Gospels in which various authorities try to trap him by asking questions that had varying answers depending on the factions and schools of thought. This passage is used in the wedding liturgy as gospel reading and a source of Jesus' teaching about marriage and family. Marriage: Grounded in the creative love of God The sacramental nature of Marriage is in the fact that it is instituted by God, not by human. The basic understanding of family is given in the creation account in which the divine initiative is very evident. The wedding liturgy also affirms the unseen hands of God, which joins male and female through holy matrimony. Marriage is a divine call and whoever enters into it should accept the fact that the love of God is the basis of their union.…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Family – Space for Faith Formation Luke 2:41-52 Vs.52 "And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor."        Family is an institution ordained by God. Family is a divine plan and it’s the place where faith is rekindled, friendship is renewed, fellowship is re-fostered and life is rejuvenated.         Families have been and will always be the cornerstone of society.  In recent times, however, the concept of family is being increasingly misunderstood and has even been considered insignificant. Family is a place which defines the limits of each individual and a system that helps to perpetuate both individual and communal identity. Today, most families are struggling to be a ‘real’ family. The challenge for the contemporary families today is to live righteously, taking care of the children and raising them in the fear of God. Our life should be marked by righteous living; diligent and consistent obedience to the Word of God. Family should be a place whe…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

 Family Should Overcome Selfishness
Genesis 13: 1-18

Vs. 8 “Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me……..” Life is full of conflicts, and people handle them in many strange ways. But how do people of faith who depend on the Lord handle the conflicts that arise in their relationships? In Genesis 13 we can see how Abram, a man of faith, resolved a conflict he had with his nephew, Lot.
Both Abraham and Lot are blessed with an incredible amount of livestock and flocks, so much that the land could not support them both. This put a strain on the land and caused strife between the herdsmen. So Abraham takes the initiative, telling Lot, “we should not be fighting, we are family so let’s separate. Look about you and take what you want and I will take what is left over.” Now this is extremely generous of Abraham. He is the elder family member who had the rights to first choice. This is also the land God promised him, but Abraham had learned that God could be trusted to pro…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Hope in God
Titus 2:1-7
VS.1 "But as for you, teach what is consistent with sound doctrine".  The English word “hygiene” comes from the Greek word that is translated as “sound” in this verse.  Paul here is telling Titus to teach doctrines that will create a healthy church and a healthy family.  A healthy church consists of both young and old members.  While there are plenty of   challenges when ministering to people from various ages, there also is a great blessing.
People from different ages are to minister to each other.  In this passage it deals with older women encouraging younger women to live the proper Christian life (Titus 2:4-5.)  In other parts of the bible we are told of how the widows were taken care of by the whole community of disciples (Acts 6.)  The Bible shows that God does not show partiality (Acts 10:34-35.)  In Christ not only are the barriers between race and sex removed (Galatians 3:28), but also the barriers between age are removed.  People of all ages ar…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Family - Space for Faith Formation Luke 2:41-52 As a faithful Jew it was customary to Joseph and family to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem temple during the feast time with other members in the community. It was quiet natural to lose track of a young boy with such a large group of travelers.  His parents returned to Jerusalem to search for him. They find him as the one who sits among the teachers in the Temple. Hearing and asking questions is the symbol of a thirsty student who searches for God’s wisdom.
This passage clearly tells us that Jesus was adequately nurtured and equipped in the home that helped him to have profound knowledge about the scripture. This truth also reflected in Jesus’ affirmation, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mounth of God.” Faith formation in the family happens when we maintains a balance between bread (physical and mental needs) and Word (spiritual needs)
Mary asked, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father a…

Word for the day by Christian Educator Forum

Just Keep Standing!!!
St. John 5: 1-9 Dr. Rick Rigsby, a motivational speaker shares how his Dad, a third grade dropout and a cook who inspired him all his life especially during the death of his beloved wife due to breast cancer. He comes to him when he was stranded near the casket with three words, “Son!, Just keep standing!” . Our Savior mentions to us this morning that whoever are, stuck, struck, stranded and saturated in certain painful/miserable circumstances to “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” It could be abandonment, bitterness, betrayal, depression, disappointments, frustrations and many such as these.  In this beautiful miracle narrative, A paralytic man was waiting near the pool as a disabled person for the last 38 years, looking out for able people to help him to have an experience in the pool of healing formulated by blind beliefs and attachments. The name of the pool is said to be derived from the Hebrew languageBeth hesda , meaning either house of mercy or house of grac…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

"Youth is to be with the Creator” 1 Timothy 4: 7-16 Vs. 12 "Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity".       St. Paul prescribes Timothy, a young leader of the church at Ephesus a number of ways to overcome hurdles and despite his age Timothy was willing to take on the task. Paul advice on leadership apart from the many entrepreneurs and falls advertising we see today. His struggles can resemble ours as youths which we face a great deal of trouble. Paul instructs Timothy to practice holy living only then are we true to what we say and teach others. This is probably one of the hardest tasks youths face, especially today when so much in life entails manipulating or getting away with something so you avoid trouble or embarrassment, but God gives us countless opportunities to prove our loyalty to Him.               Paul also says trouble is inevitable, even when we try to…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Sanctification of the Church  Matthew 23:1-12 Vs 12 All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.                  Jesus criticizes the scribes and the Pharisees, the custodians of law. In this context Jesus warns His disciples to keep themselves away from the danger of hypocrisy and pride. He reminds them that the way of discipleship is the way of humility and servanthood. 1.     Craving for honor  – a bad example
The passage opens with Jesus’ recognition that the Pharisees and the Scribes sit at the seat of Moses, the original lawgiver. He never questions their authority but expresses profound regard for their position. They are the teachers and interpreters of the law in line with Moses. But Jesus criticizes them mainly on three grounds, which indeed challenge us to examine our lives and priorities. a.       They do not practice what they teach. b.      They impose upon the people their own additional interpretations without considering human nee…