Thursday, June 21, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Mark 10:32- 34
"We are going up to Jerusalem," he said, "and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles." (Mark 10:33)
 As parents of a two year old little girl, one of the lessons we learned very quickly is the fact that no matter what, most suggestions and warnings we give to our daughter must be repeated, and too often, repeated multiple times. Parents of older children have said this often gets worse as they get older. Not only do we repeat ourselves, but the degree of seriousness in our explanation and tone increases. For example, if our daughter is doing something that may cause her to fall we'll say, "Don't do that, you'll fall." Then our next line will be, "Stop doing that, you're going to fall and get hurt." Finally, out of frustration we'll walk over and stop her and say, "You need to stop doing that because you're going to fall, get hurt, cry and then we'll have to take you to the doctor or emergency room." Unfortunately, our child is just that, a child, and doesn't understand the seriousness or depth of all that she does. Nor does she grasp the concept that the things we warn her not to do is for her own best interest. She just doesn't get it.
Jesus repeatedly predicts his passion: In the gospel portion we read, it illustrates Jesus predicting his own death a third time and his willingness to discuss the eventuality of the cross. As we read this, we wondered to ourselves, what necessitated Jesus to repeat himself three times? We came to a quick conclusion, the disciples simply did not understand, they just didn't get it. During the first prediction, Jesus said he must suffer, be rejected and must be killed while rising three days later. Peter's reaction was to rebuke Jesus. That means he criticized sharply and reprimanded Jesus! During the second prediction, Jesus repeated the same thing but added that he would be betrayed. The disciples simply "did not understand" what he was talking about. Finally, during his 3rd prediction he added that he would be mocked, spat upon and flogged. The disciple's reaction was to argue among themselves who would sit at each side of Jesus. The disciples didn't understand because they just didn't get it.
Does the repeated hearing make any effect in our life? The truth of the matter is, too many of us have been raised in the church, attended Sunday School, Youth meetings, conferences, conventions and now even serve as leaders without fully accepting or understanding the life and purpose of Jesus. The gospel story has been repeated hundreds, if not thousands of times, but do we get it? Have we embraced all that Jesus has said and shown to us? Have His repetitions gone in vain or has it engulfed our hearts, character and attitudes? Jesus walked ahead to the cross and has invited us to do the same, but are we following?

Dear Heavenly Father, We thank you for your constant and repetitive love. We thank you for all you did on that cross. Work in us to follow you to the cross and empower us to accept your invitation to carry it. Amen.
Cross bearing is the vital sign of a disciple.

Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church