Sunday, November 11, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Renewal of the Church
Mark 5: 14-16

Those who has seen what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine reported it ( Mark 5:16).
In the New Testament, church means "people," not "buildings." According to John Stott "The church lies at the very heart of God's eternal purpose. God's purpose is not merely to save isolated individuals. God's purpose is to build a church, to build a redeemed people for his own glory. In fact renewal does not involve any doctrinal changes or new practices. It can be described as a refreshing of the Holy Spirit in the everyday life of the believer who thereby through his life brings renewal in the church and society as a whole. Thus the question is how do we bring this renewal?
Jesus talks about the renewal of God's people using two analogies and that of Light and salt. How does this object become a tool and a paradigm for renewal?. Let us look qualitatively at the transformative changes that light and salt bring.
One of the things we can learn from the analogy of light is that even if the darkness is very severe a small flicker of light from a candle or lamp can bring about light and remove darkness. Many a times people think that they are very insignificant and that they have no roles to play in the renewal of the church. Let us in our own simple ways try to shine and be a witness in the midst of dark forces thereby paving way for people to see God' s glory and his transforming power through our life.
Secondly, both salt and light act in a silent way. It does not proclaim loudly about the benefits of each other. But wherever they are placed or used, they silently transform the context qualitatively. Today what has happened is that we live not qualitative lives but lives based on quantity - the property that we have, the riches stashed in the bank and so on. How has the gospel message transformed us qualitatively? If yes we can bring about qualitative changes in the life of ourselves and in the church.
Lord help us to be like the salt and the light who shines and transforms wherever they are placed. Give us your power so that we become agents of change, renewal and transformation, Amen.
Renewal and dedication is a process that should happen daily in the life of the church.

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