Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Ecumenical Sunday

Endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace 

V- 38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop , because he was not one of us.”
John, the disciple, was not happy to cast out the demons by the ministry of others. 
There is a note of frustration in John’s comment, apart from their frustration in their own earlier failure to perform an exorcism.  (Mark 9: 18)
John reports to Jesus that the other people are not in their inner circle and John believed that the man should be forbidden from performing the miracle in the name of Jesus because he does not follow "us."

The apostles were being territorial and trying to protect their greatness in their ministry. The man they saw was not one of the twelve and he was not a part of their company and he must not be allowed to work in Jesus name.

1. Jesus calls the disciples to an inclusive ministry and vision 
Jesus says that even though the man was not in the immediate company, the work was consistent with Jesus' authority and purpose. He was doing the work of God and should have been encouraged and not hindered.
The Apostle John wrote, If anyone says, I love God “ and yet hates his brother, he is a liar. (1 John 4: 20)

2.Jesus states, anyone who is not against us is for our part. (Mark 9: 40)
Here comes the ministry of Ecumenism, and the goal of Ecumenism is to see Christ in others and over time learn to recognize, trust and working through our theological understanding and difference, bring the fruits of joint communion, healthy relationship and joint Mission.

3. Jesus prays for all believers- that they may all be one (John 17: 21) 
Christian unity and ministry are shared life in Jesus Christ.
These are the objectives of the World Council of Churches;
They are the visible unity of one Faith and one Eucharistic fellowship, to promote their witness for mission and evangelism; to engage in Christian services by serving human need and to foster renewed in unity, worship, mission and service.
Almighty Father pardon our sins of disunity through pride, sins against our brothers and sisters of other faith, cultures, people those whom we have oppressed and excluded. Pardon our apathy and blindness to other Christian denominations. In Jesus name we pray Amen.

                               Promote reconciliation and build peace.                                           
                                             Rev. Dr. Philip Yohannan
                             Episcopal Diocese of New York
                         Christ Church Danbury, Connecticut, USA

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

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