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Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

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MINISTRY OF WITNESSING
Acts 8:26-35
He replied, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. (Acts 8:31)
What is the imperative of witnessing? Definitely, it is the question of somebody around us, (most often which is unheard) 'how can I, unless someone guides me?' Really, there are many people in the need of some guidelines, encouragement, enrichment and orientation in their life. Through the ministry of witnessing we are taking the responsibility of orienting and inviting others to Christ and Christian fellowship. We see that, after the martyrdom of Stephen the disciples were scattered and went from place to place but they witnessed Christ there (v.8:4).The disciples were in a journey of witnessing Christ, tirelessly. They were engaging in the ministry of witnessing at every moment through every act in their life. The text of today challenges us to do meaningful witness in a multicultural situation.
Co-journeying with the O…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

GOD’S CALL AND HUMAN RESPONSE
1 Samuel 3:1-10

The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel! " Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening." (1 Samuel 3:10)
The call of Samuel is one of the dramatic incidents in the Bible. Samuel was an apprentice under the veteran priest, Eli to become a servant of the Lord who heard the cry of his mother. Samuel probably is in his late childhood stage and is very enthusiastic in learning and faithful in discharging his duties. It is also probable that Samuel succeeded in winning the love and affection of the elderly priest who was disheartened because of the wayward life of his own sons.
God's message to a Boy...?
In the adult world a boy is not considered capable of understanding serious matters having social, political and spiritual implications. In the categorization of religion, some people, like women, children, certain race or caste are not entitled to communicate with God. God her…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

FAITH OF THE OTHER IN BAPTISM
Luke 5:17-20
When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "friend, your sins are forgiven" (Luke. 5: 20) A faith that brings healing
The healing of the paralytic is a well known story in the gospels, which shows the power and authority of Jesus to heal and to forgive. In this incident, the sick man owes a lot to the four friends for his healing, because they brought him to Jesus. The faith of the four friends was admirable. They firmly believed that Jesus came to free us from all that cripples, bonds and enslaves. They also believed that if only could they carry this paralytic into the presence of Christ, he would be healed. The faith is found not in the assembly of scribes and Pharisees from all the surrounding villages, but in four unnamed neighbors. The confidence and determination of four friends resulted in the miraculous healing of the crippled man. The Bible says, 'When Jesus saw their faith - a faith that was not deterred by any difficulty he he…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

BAPTISM ON THE CROSS
Mark 10:35-39
"You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said. "Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?" (Mark 10:38)
This passage describes the request of James and John, which is related to power. Jesus gives a new interpretation to power and discipleship. It happens before Jesus' triumphant entry in to Jerusalem and the subsequent trial, tribulation and death.
James and John demand for them the most important place in His glory (vs. 37). It means they need a place above the other ten disciples and all the other human beings. Hearing this, the other ten disciples began to feel indignant with James and John. So the mentality of James, John and the other ten are more or less the same. They all need power and positions. But the attitude of Jesus is just the opposite of this.
Three years back both of them left their dear ones and all their possessions and followed Jesus without any demand. But now the…

Wordfor the day by Christian Education Forum

ONENESS — GIFT AND GOAL
Ephesians 4:1-6

"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all... through all and in all." (Eph 4:4-6)
Ephesians presumes that conversion leads to moral renewal. The exhortation to 'lead a life worthy of your calling' echoes Jewish understanding of divine election. Some interpreters treat vs. 4-6 as an independent liturgical fragment. The passage introduces a list of "one" expressions, which ends with the one God who governs and fills the entire cosmos.
God in Christ — the foundation of unity: The verse six has to be read to begin with. Oneness according to the Bible is not homogeneity; rather it is fraternity in God. God is the source, sustainer and sanctifier of the unity. The passage has to be read in the continuity with the previous one. Here the oneness is the oneness within the body of Christ. It is the collegiality in Christ. …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

SINLESS AMONG SINNERS
Matthew 3:8-12
"I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. "(Mt 3:11) This chapter elucidates the ministry of John the Baptist, in the Province of Galilee, where the ruler was Herod. John the Baptist preached repentance and summoned people for confession of their sins and forgiveness from God through baptism. He also emphasized the moral and ethical life of the people. He was preparing the people to walk in the way of the Lord and he raised hope and expectation to the desperate and despised people and thus leading the people towards the Kingdom of God, which is going to be initiated by his follower Jesus Christ. He also reminded the impending doom to those who deny his message. While hearing the ministry of John, Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John, though he was a sinless one. Why did the sinless Jesus take baptism from John as the sinf…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

LIFE WITH KINGDOM VALUES
Matthew 5:13-16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Mt. 5:16)
"Why are young people leaving the church?" This was a question posed to Tim King, a contributor to CNN. His response was that "The exodus (of young adults) stems from hypocrisy [of Christians]."  But what is it that we are called to do? Matthew succinctly portrays it in chapter 5, vs. 16: "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven
Let your light shine!:  Let's split the verse into two sections. Section one commands us to let our light shine before others. How do we define this 'light'? We can look light at the beginning of God's Word, when God first said that light was good. (Genesis 1:4) In prayer, Samuel identifies this light source as the Lord, Himself. (2 Samuel 22:29) David's much-quoted poe…

Word for the day byChristisn Education Forum

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Shine amidst the ashes Isaiah 60:1-2 "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you". (Isaiah 60:1) Isaiah spoke for the Lord to the people of Judah during the reigns of four of the kings of Judah. Isaiah warns the people that God will punish them if they keep on doing wicked things. However Isaiah also promises that God will comfort His people after punishing them if they repent. God wanted them to understand that idols have no power and that He alone is the true God. God promises a bright future for those who are faithful to Him.
Light makes all the difference: The returned exiles faced severe problems. Part of the reason was that they had allowed sin to pervert their mission as God's people. In chapter 60, the prophet renews the promises of a new day for the community of faith. "Arise, shine, for your light has come" is an appeal to Zion. This is not a mere admonition, but a word of power, which puts new life, a word of encourag…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

THE EXAMPLE OF CHRIST
Philippians 2:1-11
"In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus..."(Phil.2: 5)
This second chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the Philippians is one of the most poignant expressions on the nature of Christ and the immensity of the Incarnation. St. Paul urges the Philippians towards unity and "Christ likeness" in their relationships. He emphasizes that faith in Jesus Christ should be emulated through His character in all our interactions and relationships.
Haying the Mind of Christ: Towards True Relationships
St. Paul envisions the life of the community being formed by the mind of Christ. In other words, a community of faith, which is characterized by a spirit of humility and loving service to one another rather than competition and seeking power. Thus, having the mind of Christ ought to change our perspective and thereby shape our relationships with those in our community and the world. In so doing, we are to sur…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

GOD — THE STRENGTH OF THE RIGHTEOUS
Psalms 31:1-5 Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. (Psalms 31:3,4) The most prominent feature of Psalms 31 is its frequent alternation between petition and trust. The petitions are accompanied by reasons that indicate the severity of the psalmist's plight. Verse 1 contains an appeal to the Almighty. 'Deliver me in your righteousness'. The Psalmist has taken refuge in God, about which he is not ashamed of.
Strength of the righteous is in total dependency: The Psalmist through a strong entreaty, demands the Lord to be a 'rock of refuge' and 'a strong fortress' for him (verse 2). As his life depends on God, he appeals to Him to deliver, rescue or save him. The words 'rock', 'refuge' and 'fortress', emphasize his dependence on God. Some of the words contained in this verse are repeated in Ma…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Let God be the First Choice
Ephesians 5:15-21
Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5: 15,16)
Growing up, much of my parent’s conversation with me was about making the right decisions in life. Whether it was about the friends I made, the college and career I chose, whom I married or what I did with my money and time, my parents constantly reminded with me to make those decisions keeping God number one in my life. As a child, I listened, became annoyed, said "yes mummy" and walked away. Now as a young adult, those same conversations have become part of what shaped me and continue to play a role in my decision making each day.
Make the best use of opportunities: Paul here reminds us of the world we live in He gives us guidelines to living, instructing us to not be foolish, rather to live according to the spirit of God. He reminds us to use every opportunity we are give and make t…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

BAPTIZED TO THE NEWNESS OF LIFE
Romans 6:1-10

Do you know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death... (Rom 6:3) Baptism is the entry point to Christ. God's initiative and people's positive response leads one to partake in salvation. Salvation is a gradual process and a faith journey. "We have in our own selves a lifetime of work." (Luther) Through baptism one dies to sin and lives in the new life of grace in Christ.
Baptism : To die to Sin with Christ
Through baptism one joins into Christ and identifies with Him. Jesus' death was to abolish sin. One, who identifies with his death, should die to sin. Paul says: "we were buried with Christ." Burial certifies the completion of death. No one can live in sin and in Christ simultaneously. The corrupt nature called the old man is crucified with Christ. Culmination of Jesus' baptism was the cross. So Jesus asked …

Word for the day Christian Education Forum

CHOSEN TO WITNESS
1 Peter 2:10-12

Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:10) First Peter has the appearance of being a real letter because of its profuse use of baptismal liturgy. It has been considered as a homily preached on the occasion of baptism. This letter is addressed to the "exiles of the Dispersion" and the "elect." They live in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. The believers to whom Peter writes are clearly undergoing sufferings. They have to face various trials, which test their faith, they are being spoken as evildoers (2:12); enduring pain while suffering unjustly and even they were abused.
Peter in its broad frame speaks about the Church as God's Household. Church as God's Household signifies the consciousness of a "new Israel." For Peter, the Church bearing the new identity of Israel is now the "chos…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

DISCIPLE, A SERVANT
John 13:1-11

After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. (John 13:5)
When we look into the context of the passage, the end of Jesus' ministry on earth is very clearly portrayed. The last night of Jesus' earthly ministry was eventful. He taught many valuable truths to His disciples and observed Passover with them. Before he started the events of the evening, he took some time to teach these men a lesson in servant hood through washing their feet. In the New Testament the Greek word used for minister or disciple is "Diakonia". Jesus has shown to us the value of Diakonia ministry. The greatest model ever we see for the servant hood ministry is the service of Jesus' washing the feet of the disciples. In those days in Palestine there was a custom and practice among the people that a servant was appointed to wash the feet of the guests who came to their hous…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

THE CARING SHEPHERD
Psalms 23 "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me". (Psalms 23:4) We live in the world, which gives us more tension and pressure. Meditating on the theme caring shepherd in psalm 23 gives us more comfort and delight. The caring and loving presence of Jesus empowers and strengthen us to confront our problems.
The caring shepherd teaches the lesson of kenosis.
In Israel the shepherd imagery is used to depict a King and Lord. David wrote this psalm instilling his experiences of caring and loving guidance of his 'great shepherd'. This whole psalm declares the provision and protection of great shepherd Yahweh. This psalm defines the relationship between the shepherd and sheep, highlighting the eagerness and concern of a shepherd towards his sheep. The Lord leads his sheep to green pastures and creates a flourishing life for his flock. He gives the water that provides r…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

CALLED AND EMPOWERED

Jeremiah 1:4-8
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." [Jeremiah 1: 5] There is no obligation in this world like the obligation of being trusted. It is impossible to fail or let down someone who trusts us. God put all his trust in Jeremiah, even when he was in the womb of his mother. It is a rare moment, which shows God's commission of Jeremiah for His mission, even before Jeremiah's age of discernment, over against the human reasoning. For him, the journey to become a servant of God was long and challenging, but the call for ministry was rewarding and fulfilling as it directly came from God.
Mission from God's Call and Commission: The way we see God's call and commission to do His ministry shapes our perspective to God's call and mission. How we define, these — God's call and commission - determine our response to God's call and mission. Paul…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Beware of false teachers

2 Peter 2:1-7
"Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping." (2 Peter 2:3) As a college mathematics educator, it is my responsibility to ensure that the lessons I prepare are accurate and presented in a way that leads to a more complete understanding of the subject. It would be silly, irresponsible, and unethical of me to teach incorrect mathematical concepts to my students. Improper and incorrect teaching lead to detrimental effects for further student learning down the road; in other words, significant roadblocks in the advancement of a student learner arise that can stunt the intellectual growth of the learner because of the unpreparedness or maliciousness of an unsound teacher.
Consider how much more seriously God treats false teachers of the gospel! Whereas I may get fired for poor or improper teaching of mathematics (which, in and of itself, is not good), the scripture outlines specific, dire cons…