Saturday, August 11, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

John 8: 31-42

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (St. John 8: 31,32)
They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?"
Poisonous life situations — result of mental bondage: A very relevant topic for modern man's life situations, where many are knowingly or unknowingly living under forms of various bondages! Although free to move around, many individuals feel that they are trapped in vicious cycles and poisonous life situations that there is no way out but to continue. This is another reason for many to become irresponsive to the needs of the surroundings or show any compassion for fellow humans. The recent school shootings and similar localized acts of terror have prompted authorities and Americans alike to rethink aspects of peaceful coexistence. While some acts are based on hate, the others may be related to identity crisis. In other words, these are all acts of retaliation based on mental bondages. To a certain extent, I believe that even today's radical Christian movements are under some bondage that can inflict on unselfish proclamation of the word. Such radical Christian followers are focused on preaching God's blessing in acquiring physical wealth and comforts.
Freedom in Christ — experience of sanctified existence: The awareness of the truth, which Christ is referring to, is not just intellectual knowledge. It's an understanding of the divine aspects of one's soul that will result in sanctified existence. It is rather the maturing in the soul of the seed of divine exposure. Human nature is well depicted here in verse 33, crowd's response to Christ's statement on setting free - we have no bondage, being Abraham's descendants. For most of us, it is our second nature to deny that we have an issue. When we were growing up as children, we were taught, not to lie, not to steal, and not to hurt others. These values were instilled in us with Bible verses as background reinforcements. But, when we did commit small mistakes, we tried our best to hide it from our parents and elders, fearing consequences. Realizing our pitfalls and asking for God's divine intervention is what we need today. For the truth to set us free, we have to be true to ourselves. This takes commitment and devotion to our family, our friends, our church, community, leaders and fellow humans.
God, enrich me with thy wisdom to realize my shortcomings and strengthen me to break out of my bondages that prevents me from being a true human and a true Christian. Amen.
Life is meaningful when it is in relationship with Christ.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church