Saturday, August 25, 2018

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 conducts and behavioral patterns. So a faith community needs to keep an ethical ground of love in their mindset and life settings. Then only a community would be a kingdom-oriented community to establish redemptive justice to all. .
Servant Lordship - a counter image for a better world: After his denunciation against hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees, Mathew introduces a different image in Jesus Christ. He says that "the greatest among you will be your servant" v11. The real way to go ahead for a new order of life in one's own life or a transformative world, one need to accept a servant Lordship in Jesus Christ. When we consider the act of Jesus Christ, vulnerability and humiliation are key characteristics of his servant hood by which he articulates his life and witness. Mathew reminds us to be a servant, having a deep humility, need to serve others as our spiritual premise rather boasting our pride, self righteousness, selfish ego or even our great religiosity. The redemptive dimension of the servant image of Lordship is a counter image against the existing false authority of kingship or any position which keep on maintaining a corrupted status quo. But the counter image always reveals the pain of God, love, service and sacrifice for a better world of just, egalitarian and harmonious kingdom.
When we move towards God's interest as our best interest and the best interest for others, we can make part of a meaningful vocation in our life. God wants us to be great by doing what God wants us to do. Meaningful ministry is related to the servant Lordship of Jesus Christ and a continuation of His ministry in and through our life. Serving others is the key notion of the discipleship.
Oh Lord help us to be your servant as you wish, to do your will in our life. Amen.
Faith in Christ, justice has to be lived in our life in this world.

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