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Showing posts from August, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

WISDOM AS WALKING WITH GOD Psalms 111  "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and all who follow his precepts have good understanding" -Psalms 111:10 As we look back in analysis of our lives, we need to reflect on the goodness that God has showered upon us. Often the blessings that we have, we take them for granted and many times forget to thank God for His manifold blessings. God has provided everything that we need and blessed us with numerous things that we want.
Walking with God is wisdom: The love and care that God provided for us is everlasting. God will provide with what we need and He will lead us to the right direction. The only thing we have to do is to walk with Him and submit ourselves to Him. This is the realization that we cannot be happy or fulfilled by doing things by ourselves, and we cannot move forward into this world on our own. We need to walk with the Lord. By walking …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

SECOND CHANCE
Jonah 2:1-10
"When my life was ebbing away I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. (Jonah 2:7) The beloved story of Jonah in the belly of the whale is a favorite with many a Sunday School child. Little, however, is known of the gem in Jonah chapter 2. Jonah's prayer which is in many ways a model prayer for all of us.
Right response in crisis situation:People respond differently to crises —either their relationship with God grows stronger and stronger with trouble, or they turn away from God completely, blaming Him for all their sorrows. Jonah's response to peril was to pray. Even when all seemed lost, Jonah cried out, "I will look again to your holy temple." Even in the darkest hour, Jonah was able to utter a poetic prayer, "a song of thanksgiving" (vs 9) to God for deliverance, quoting Scripture and psalms. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 instructs us, "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circ…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

WISDOM FROM HEAVEN
James 3:13-18
"Who is wise and understanding among you... "James 3:13 Wisdom is not mere knowledge. Today, we have more knowledge than before. But are we becoming more wise today?
Real wisdom comes from God. 'The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom'. King Solomon asked for wisdom, more than anything else, when he became king in his young age. His wisdom became known to the wide world. Wisdom comes from God. No reason can explain why Jesus, very God of very God, had to die like a criminal on the Cross. St. Paul speaks of it in 1 Cor. 1:20b. 'Had not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (v. 25). For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength (v. 30)'. Christ Jesus has become for us wisdom from God.
Wise man will build his house upon the rock. We have the teachings of Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount as we read in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5,6 and 7. Concluding…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

LIBERATING FAITH FROM CORRUPTION
Colossians 1: 24-29
We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.(Colossians 1:28)
First century Colossae was in an ideological upheaval with multiple philosophical streams flowing into it. The believers in Christ were in danger of syncretism — a term for the mixing together of various religions, ideas, beliefs and practices. They were fond of mingling the truths of the Christian faith with incompatible ideas of the surrounding non-Christian culture. The result was predictably devastating! Some believers were drawn into extreme forms of legalism. Others abused their freedom in Christ and slipped into sexual immorality. The Colossian congregation was mired by debates and divisions. The message of the Gospel was compromised and the witness of the Church tarnished. Paul's purpose in writing this letter from his prison cell in Rome around AD 61 was to refute and liberate…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

EDUCATION FOR LIFE
Proverbs 4: 1-19
Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. (Pro 4: 13,14)
Education as Knowing God: In the scriptural tradition of Israelites, God is not a rhetorical object; rather an embodied experience of liberation. It is a God of life who defeats the idols of death. Knowing God means embodying a liberative habitus. It is a life of listening, following and practicing experience of divine justice, freedom and peace.
Education as knowing oneself: Knowing God is not separated from the self understanding. Revelation of God, in biblical tradition, results the revelation of self. Realizing the human self as the divine self is the theological content of epiphany. Education today must lead us to new epiphanies.
Education as knowing the surroundings: Knowing God and the realizing self result the newer understanding of the social existence. Self is to be divine and th…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

DENOUNCE HYPOCRISY AND ACCEPT CHRIST
Matthew 23:1-12
" They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them" (Matthew 23:4) God through Jesus Christ intervened in the history in a particular historical time to mold, reshape and reconstruct it for the purpose of God. But the corrupted minds rejected him and branded him as a man of evil spirit and madness. When Jesus started to dismantle the corrupted religiosity they tried to annihilate Christ. Jesus confronted the corrupt practices of the religion, politics with a ministry which affirms life and human dignity. His powerful teachings shook the foundations of many corrupted system, including religion.
During Jesus' time corrupted spirituality, faith practices, teachings were legalized through corrupted systems and it was taught and brought into practice through Temple of God. Corrupted faith and its practices are as dangerous as corrup…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

To Be Liberated From Corruption 
Matthew 23:1- 12
"He who is greatest among you shall be your servant."( Matt:23:11) Gospel according to Mathew was written around AD 80 to a Jewish Christian Community by engaging to differentiate them from Pharisaic legalism. It was corrupted by its precedence and loosing righteousness in the context where Mathew and his community lived.
Ethical ground for redemptive justice:Scribes and Pharisees represent Sanhedrin the governing body who were usually setting the goal of the community. They "sit in Moses' seat" v2 as public teachers and interpreters of the law. Being a sinful conditioning their judgment would also be corrupted by their interest. Here Matthew Introduces "one master in Jesus Christ" v10 who reveals a new identity in the cross as mandate to practice love, kindness and justice for a better world. A just society can flourish only when its members acknowledge the justice of God as the prior basis of their condu…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

TERRIFIED, YET MIGHTY
Judges 6:11-16
The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, "The Lord is with you, you mighty warrior." (Judges 6:12) The passage illustrates the call of Gideon as the judge of Israel. The angel appeared and spoke to Gideon at Ophrah under the Oak. Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press to hide it from the Midianites assuming that the Midianites will not come to the place of wine press because that was not the season of grapes.
God meets the terrified Gideon: Now the angel addressed him as a mighty warrior. Gideon was not a mighty warrior but was a terrified normal human being. That is why he was beating the wheat at the wine press in order to save that from their enemies. In Gideon's attitude of mind a human observer would have seen nothing but weakness, and yet God saw "might." The Divine eye penetrated to the very depths of Gideon's spirit and character, and saw in his seeming weakness the very qualities out of which s…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

WHO SHALL DWELL ON THE LORD'S HOLY HILL?
Psalms 15
Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? (Psalms 15:1)
Psalm 15 is considered to be a didactic psalm that is intended for teaching. Psalm 15, although short, is compacted with a message and imagery that every Christian should reflect upon to understand what a faithful believer is and how we can abide in His Holy presence.
This short psalm begins with a question, ends with a promise, and the verses in between answer the questions illustrated in the first verse. The questions "O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill?" are figuratively asking who can come in the divine presence of the Lord?-an important question for sill Christians. In verses 2-5a, it lists outwardly actions that can be done that represent an inward faithfulness and truthfulness to the Divine One ( vs. 2b). This is seen as a "righteous man" or faithful believer. The psalm is closed with a…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

LAW OF SIN VS. LAW OF GOD
Romans 7: 15-25
For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin (Romans 7: 22,23)
Why does faith community need to be liberated from corruption? Apostle Paul addresses this issue in the epistle to the Romans, especially in our selected passage. And, as we begin our meditation, I beseech you to avoid the two possible extreme interpretations of this passage. Libertinism or antinomianism is one of them, which is based on the concept that the best law is no law at all. The other is the error of legalism, which seeks to produce godliness through a set of regulations and prohibitions. While legalism violates the principle of Grace, antinomianism repudiates the truth and moral absolute.
A struggle within: Paul begins the chapter by decisively establishing that the law has been fulfilled on the cross and no longer has authority or jurisdiction over us. …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

RESOLVING CONFLICTS
James 4:1-10
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts. (James 4: 7-8)
Silence is an opinion. Inaction is an action." This is a common saying in the conflict resolution arena. When we are confronted with decision making processes of life we often resort to these kind of decisions. However, in this passage James is giving us a new insight about resolving conflicts in our lives. The book of James is known as an exercise in Practical Christianity". James describes a conflict between two opposing forces, rather called "spirits," one spirit inclined toward evil and the other toward good. When we find conflicts in the family, in the city, in our nation, between nations, where do these conflicts, disputes, disagreements, differences, and quarrels come from? James is saying, "Do they not come from your cravings that a…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

COMMUNITY FREE FROM CORRUPTION
Isaiah 1:10-20
Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. (Isaiah 1:16- 17) Isaiah was quoted more in the New Testament than any other prophet and no other biblical author is remembered for his vivid imagery. He was a man who God equipped with a vision, and he accepted the call, "Here am I. Send me." (Isaiah 6:8)
What the Lord rejects: Isaiah lived during a critical time; civil war had split the Israelites into two kingdoms, the Northern (Israel) and the Southern (Judah) the more religious kingdom where Isaiah lived. Soon after Isaiah commenced his work, he began to see dangerous behaviors from his neighbors who used their power to harass the poor and cared less about others and more about themselves. They began to express their religion in their outward appearance but never deeply showed their love to God. He tried to warn his people that God could …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

SALT AND LIGHT
Matthew 5:13-20
"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden." (Matthew 5:13,14)
The Sermon on the Mount is the essential teachings of Jesus focusing the disciples in particular and the ordinary crowd in general. These are the principles of practical Christian living. Jesus uses two metaphors to describe and prescribe who his followers are and what they do for and in the world.
Youare the Salt of the earth: As disciples, Jesus gives them a distinctive capacity to elicit goodness on earth. Like salt, which is used to enhance or alter taste of food, the disciples are called to bring about remarkable change in the society. Apart from the obvious role of salt in flavoring and preserving, in the ancient world it was seen as a purifying or cleansing agent. (Exodus 30:35) In some connection it was a required addition to sacrifices, sometimes spok…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

UNDEFILED LIFE AND POWERFUL WITNESS
Daniel 1: 1-21
But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way." (Daniel 1:8)
The book of Daniel contains stories, that recommend a 'lifestyle for the diaspora'. It can be seen as stories of resistance to cultural and spiritual assimilation of a minority by a dominant foreign power.
Resistance against enslaving forces: In this text we read about the captivity of king Jehoiachin by Nebuchadnezzar who took not only the king but the temple elements as well. And followed by that a selection is made from among vibrant, young, handsome, intelligent Jews of royal and noble families without blemish. They are chosen with specific plan and they are selected for specialized training in Babylonian language and culture. The king is keen to change all their ways of life. Their names are changed into Babylonian names. Name changing is a prominent biblical…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

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CHURCH – AGENT OF CHANGE
Acts 13: 17-39
Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. (Acts 13:39)
The Book of Acts is an accurate historical record of the early church with lessons and living examples of the work of the Holy Spirit, the implications of grace and the law of love. The second half of Acts is focused primarily on Paul's missionary journey to many countries north of Mediterranean Sea. Paul's missionary adventure shows us the progress of Christianity. This gospel could not be confined to one corner of the world. This is a faith that offered hope to all humanity.
Renewal for a reforming community:While acknowledging the customs, traditions habits and practices stressed during the reformation period, it has become imperative to come up with new interpretations and texts fitting for the current socio- economic environment. The tenets of reformation were manifested through worship, word of …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

REFORMATION WITNESS AND HERITAGE
Deuteronomy 11:1-28
Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always. (Deuteronomy 11:1)
This is part of an address by Moses to Israelites. Heritage is passed on from generation to generation; witness is the authentic expression of heritage; reformation is a means of making witness effectual at a particular time.
Heritage: here, is based on God's covenant with Israel; their election and liberation history are part of their heritage. Living out this heritage is their witness. 'Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the Lord your God (Deut. 11:2). God's covenants with them included divine promises, as well as their obligations. They were a 'covenant community;' it was God's own covenants and based on God's gracious initiatives. The Abrahamic covenant is an unconditional promissory covenant, but the Mosaic covenant on mount Horeb i…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

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LOVE SO AMAZING
Matthew 5: 38-42

"I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5: 44)
Today we are celebrating India's Independence Day. We also observe the end of the 15th day lent. We must always remember that we received independence not through guns or through our mighty hands but through non-violent (ahimsa) religious and cultural movement led by Mahatma Gandhi and his followers, which is the age old spirituality of Indian civilization. In many ways the teachings of Jesus "The sermon on the mount", greatly influenced Mahatma Gandhi especially he was inspired by the spiritual value of ahimsa i.e. non-violence.
Selfless Love crosses religious boundaries and man made laws: Jesus teachings go beyond the teachings of Pharisees and the existing practices. In Mathew 5 verse 20 onwards, we notice in Christ's teachings, he says "You heard that, but I tell you" in fiv…