Vs 14 - The grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol was released on December 19, 1843, and has never been out of print. It tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a wealthy, sour, stingy man who says, “Every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas,’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding!” Yet, one Christmas Eve, Scrooge is radically changed into a generous and happy man. With great humor and insight, Dickens’ book captures the universal longing for inner peace.
As a young man, the apostle Paul opposed Jesus and His followers with a vengeful spirit. He “made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison” (Acts 8:3). But one day he encountered the risen Christ, and his life became a different story (9:1-16).
In a letter to Timothy, his son in the faith, Paul described that life-changing event by saying, even though he was “a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man . . . the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 1:13-14).
Jesus was born into our world and gave His life so that we can be forgiven and transformed through faith in Him. This is the heart of Christmas!
Dear Lord, change me in ways that will make me realize your love for me more and more each day, Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
A change in behavior begins with Jesus changing our heart.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church
Constant, patient and welcoming love of God St. Luke 15: 11-32 V.21: And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ The parable of the ‘Prodigal son’ is one of the most frequently quoted parables that Jesus told His disciples. The parable contains the rich mine of human virtues and emotions. This parable is lived and re-lived in progressing civilizations from time immemorial and continuing. It brings out in vivid detail the pathetic depth of human sinfulness and the glorious heights of God’s forgiveness. As a story of human nature, fathers are generally merciful to their children in any circumstance. They are very protective and are eager to provide for and secure the lives of their offspring. Jesus is telling this parable to underscore the superlative love of God to His children. The nature of such love is reiterated by Jesus in Matthew 7:11. Humankind who are evil by nature, give good gifts t
PRIESTHOOD: THE ANOINTED MINISTRY Exodus 40:12-16 Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting... wash them with water. Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest (Exodus 40: 12-13). Priesthood among the people of God was a divine command and initiation. God wanted some people to be separated for the special ministry among his people. God appointed Aaron and his descendants to take up this kind of ministry among the people of God. Priests are always separated and appointed as channels that connect God with his people. All throughout the history of Israel, priests played an important role in connecting people with God and to lead and guide them in the statutes of God. But there are incidents in the Bible where the priests failed in their duties and that led the people to go away from God. So the priests have a special and significant ministry to perform in this world among his people. Two important things
Revelation for Liberation Acts 27:18-26 Sherine Thomas Long Island MTC, NY 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest raged, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned. “After winter comes the summer. After night comes the dawn. And after every storm, there comes clear open skies” so said a Scottish clergyman from the 1600s. It’s been said, that hope can sometimes be the most dangerous weapon. However, it’s sometimes the hardest weapon to carry when you’re living with the loss of a loved one, something that almost feels like a terrible nightmare that’ll never go away. It’s a weapon difficult to carry when day in and day out no one seems to hear or see those tears that are shed or silent cries that are made during a heartfelt prayer. It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you see your loved one lying on that hospital bed. It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you search and seek out answers to tell a child as to why they’ve been a