Sunday, March 4, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Cross- New Model to Discipleship
1 Corinthians 1:18-23
Vs. 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe.
When I was growing up, I had an uncle who would always keep us engaged with his "magic tricks". He would pull quarters from behind our ears, swallow grapes and bring it back up, make things disappear and re-appear right in front of us - it was all so fun! Of course as we grew up, those tricks wore out as we began to see the secret behind those tricks. I watched him play these tricks again recently with my five year old niece, and it is amazing to see how those simple, old magic tricks were just as entertaining to her as they were to me at her age.
           Since we are often brought up in a Christian home, the premise of Christianity can easily lose its shine in our lives. The message of the cross, which was exciting when we first learned about it, can now seem redundant after we hear about it Sunday after Sunday. Paul was facing a similar audience when he wrote to the church of Corinth.
 The Corinthians were wealthy people who were influenced by the Roman culture and the many transient visitors and their teachings. The Gospel was just one of the theories that they were exposed to, so they did not fully dedicate their beliefs to it. They continued to fall into sexual sin, love for wealth, and a lack of eternal hope in Christ. Paul addresses these people to remind them of the simplicity of the message of the Cross, and how that is essentially the power of the gospel. Salvation comes through simply believing that Jesus is the way to forgiveness of our sins. There is absolutely nothing we can do to earn salvation. This is a hard concept to understand for the early church, and also for us today, because we do not live in a society that is operated by grace. We often try to extend that to our religious beliefs and strive to pray better, read more, and do good to other people, in hopes that it will gain us a good life and a spot in heaven. We must understand that it is not by our actions that we are saved, but it is by accepting Christ into our lives that influence our actions and cause us to act like we are saved. And this is the best news ever!
Father God, help us to never forget how easy You made it for us to be Your children through Your Son Jesus Christ. Help us to be bold to share the power of the Cross - the simple message of redemption - to everyone around us so that they might be able to partake in Your Glory and become Your children. Amen.
How you live does not cause you to be saved, but how you are saved causes you to live.

Pearl Rajan, St Paul's MTC Dallas
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church