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
Community Formation Around
Resurrection ExperienceActs 23:1-10 Vinod JohnsonCarmel MTC, Boston,
MA6 When Paul noticed that some were Sadducees and others
were Pharisees, he called out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son
of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the
Sometimes, the only thing that keeps you going through a brutal winter is
the hope for the spring. It may have been a hard hope to hold on to this
particular year in New England - a year in which Boston considered dumping not
tea, but the ever growing mounds of snow into its harbor. And yet, the waist
deep snow has dissolved away. White desolation has given way to increasingly
visible green shoots of spring. A resurrection is at hand!
this passage, Paul tries to defend himself before the Sanhedrin Council. He
seeks to drive a wedge between the Pharisees who believed in resurrection and
the Sadducees who did not; even though neither believed in the resurrection of
Revelation for LiberationActs 27:18-26 Sherine ThomasLong 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 abused, abandoned, and …
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 from thi…