Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Re-reading of Scripture with the Risen Lord
Ezra 7:11-26
Vs. 23 Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done with zeal for the house of the God of heaven..
 In Ezra chapter 7, we see the Temple in Jerusalem had been rebuilt and consecrated after many years of Babylonian rule which had left the temple destroyed and the Israelite community scattered.  There was a struggle to rebuild, but God had put it in the hearts of King Cyrus, and Darius and now King Artaxerxes to help the Israelite community rebuild Jerusalem,  the temple and rebuild the community .  The physical structure had been rebuilt with the best resources of the land but now God wanted more than the physical structure, He wanted the fabric of the Israelite community to be established.  Ezra is being sent along with other priests and Levites to go help in re-establishing and teaching the Law of the Lord to the Israelites.  
Today we as believers have a different temple even more grand and exquisite than the temple rebuilt in Ezra’s time.  1 Corinthians 6:19 says “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God.” The physical body needs proper diet and exercise to be kept strong.   On top of the needs of proper diet and exercise we also care about our external appearance and then we focus on finding ways to de-stress our bodies at spas and wellness centers.   According to data from SRI International, the Global health and wellness market was projected to be approximately $3.4 trillion in 2015* .    It seems many products and services are available to take care of the physical body, but like Ezra we are called also to establish the laws for our temple that we will follow in our hearts, and to teach it to others.  In Mathew 22: 36-40,  the Pharisees asked Jesus for the greatest commandment in the law, and Jesus responds “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is  ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ .
How much effort are we taking in establishing these laws in our temple where the Holy Spirit dwells? 
Father God, we praise You for sending Your Holy Spirit to dwell in us, we thank You for Your grace and mercy that You showed us through Jesus Christ and we ask that You forgive us for our shortcomings.  Help us to glorify You by sacrificing our will to Yours today and every day. Amen
Today we need to ask ourselves how much time, energy, money are we spending on learning and establishing the greatest commandment. 
 Shibu Mathew, Epiphany MTC, New York
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church