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Showing posts from February, 2020

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Cleansing Christ Mark 1:40-45 Vs42 b,  “ I am Willing” he said “Be Clean”  immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.
There was a culture followed in North India where a person diagnosed of leprosy had to leave his family and go to a mountain called Rishikesh, where they would spend their remaining life. Their wife had to live the life of a widow wearing white clothes. Their children would accompany the fathers till the valley and then come back. It was a similar culture followed among Jewish people, where a leper was considered unclean and was ostracized from the society. People threw rocks at these lepers so that they do not come in contact with any person. If anyone comes in contact with a leper, they would also be considered unclean as per the law and be declared unfit to participate in religious and social activities.
In the passage for today’s meditation too we see an encounter between Jesus and a leper. During those days, all skin diseases were considered as a form of lepro…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Lent: A time for transformation Psalms 6:1-10 Vs 1-3 LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint; heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in deep anguish. How long, LORD, how long?
Lent often draws the question “what did you give up?”. A large portion of time is spent trying to determine what we can abstain from as a form of fasting. From dietary restrictions to social media use and so on, there are a number of things that can be selected. As we persevere with these personal sacrifices, how much time do we spend in meditation and reflection. Complacency  as Christians is a pitfall that we can all fall into. Lent reminds us of the active relationship we should be pursuing between ourselves and God. Part of this journey requires that we must reflect upon on our lives and be able to openly ask for forgiveness for our sins. Psalms 6, known as one of the Penitential psalms reveals to us David in a position of great d…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Lent: A Time of Transformation Ezekiel 18:25-32 Vs 31 - Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. It’s not uncommon that our family “name” carries weight in society. Think of the great names in United States history (e.g., Kennedy, Carnegie, Ford, Rockefeller). Each of these names carries a history and with it, a set of expectations. Our names are no different. I recall often for my cousins when there was a potential marriage proposal, everyone wanted to know as much about the “family” as they did about the specific individual that my cousin could be marrying. There is some clear benefit in this. One can understand something about the principles, values, and potential of an individual given their family. Our family name carries significance. Interestingly, we also rely on our own Christian heritage to support our place in Christian society and in God’s eyes. However, can we stand on the shoulders of those gone before us in the eyes of Go…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Lent: a call for us to believe in Him Romans 11:13-24 Vs 17 -If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root.   We have now entered into another season of the Great Lent.  The Lenten season is a time where we commemorate on the ultimate sacrifice; when the Son of the Most High, gave Himself up for His bride, the Holy Church.  By His divine plan, the Lord sent His son to redeem us by giving Himself on the cross, thereby giving us eternal life.  Saint Paul is bringing this divine invitation to all gentiles, so that they can turn away from their ways and ask for mercy, in order to receive the precious gift of salvation.  We have to make sure that our hearts aren’t hardened, and that we don’t become rebellious just as the Israelites did in their journey. 

As it is recorded in the passage, it is vital for us to not consider ourselves superior to others or allow ourse…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Unity in God Psalms 133 Vs 1 - How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity.  We can see in Psalm 133 that how good it is when God’s people get along. This is a theme that shows up in New Testament as well. In John 13:35, Jesus says “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Psalm 133 is a song of Ascents; a song for going up to a high place. In ancient times, Jewish people travel to the Temple in the city of Jerusalem. They express their joy in coming together for worship at the Temple, where God promised to meet them. The Psalm conveys blessing and life to God’s people and it proclaims oneness in faith. We should live together harmoniously as friends, having one teacher, one authority and each one of us should carry the burden of the other.

We can see two comparisons; anointing oil, which flows from Aaron’s head over his beard and robes; the dew which falls from mount Hermon onto mount Zion. Moses ordained Aaron to the pr…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Shubkono: Service of Reconciliation Mathew 5:21-27 Vs 24b - “First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift." Today as we meditate on the second day of our fifty-day Lenten period, we focus on the theme of Shubkono which means to reconcile.  In today’s passage we meditate on, we see Jesus teaching about anger.  He mentions the law of Moses in reference to Exodus 20:13 that says you should not murder.  Jesus goes on to say that we should not be angry enough to even have the idea of murder.  In doing so, we would be committing murder in our hearts.  The phrase that Jesus used in v.22 “but I tell you…” should not be misunderstood of as Jesus changing the laws, but rather, He was giving a deeper meaning behind the law.  Although it is obvious that murder is a terrible sin, we must also acknowledge that anger is a great sin as it violates God’s command to love.
In looking at vv. 23-24, we must recognize who God is, although it is simple to acknowledge, that God is Love,…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

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Lent, A time for transformation: Return to Him Isaiah 44:21-28 Vs 22 - “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” It is the end of February, beginning of Lent and I have a very important question. How is your New Year’s resolution going? 45% of American adults make resolutions each year. Have you been able to lose that weight or get into better shape? Are your more disciplined in your prayer life and spending more time deepening your faith? Have you been able to save more money or quit bad habits? How much of a better person are you today than you were on December 31st 2019? Full disclosure, my resolution was an utter failure. We shouldn’t feel too bad; a study shows that by the second week of January, 25% of people have abandoned their resolutions and only 8% actually keep them for the whole year.

Too often, Lent feels like our New Year’s resolution. Should we give up meat again this year? Perhaps I’ll cut out c…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Lent: A time of transformation John 2:1-11 Vs 2 - Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding Coming Sunday, marks the beginning of the 50 day Lent, also called as the Great Lent or Valiya-nomb in Malayalam. The Great Lent is a time for Realization-Repentance-Return. As in the story of the Prodigal son, when we realize our sins and repent from it, God gives us an opportunity to return to Him. This closer walk with God brings about a transformation in ourselves and through us, in the society. Lent is a time for such a transformation.

The Great Lent stretches over 7 weeks, each Sunday expounding on a miracle of Jesus. Every miracle is not an end in itself, rather it has a message of the kingdom of God as seen in Jesus. The Apostle John calls miracles as signs of the Kingdom of God that shows Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God (John 2:11; 20:31)
The Gospel portion for the coming week talks about the miracle at Cana of Jesus turning water into wine.

Two factors that bring abo…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Fall - Violation of purpose of Creation Genesis 3:14-24 Vs 22 -“And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”  In the above passage we see how the snake, the woman, and the man were judged by God for their transgressions. Each of them received a punishment specific to their situation, and they each had a vital relationship altered.
The snake was cursed to crawl in the dusty ground and this denotes humiliation and defeat. God’s judgement falls on the woman’s unique role of child bearing and on her relationship with her husband. The woman will have desire for her husband and he will rule over her. The judgement on man was that he must labor and toil to work the ground but with decreased productivity. God clothed Adam and Eve and banished them from the Garden of Eden.
Here we see that human sins have broad effects on creation. In verse 22, we see…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Fall: Violation of purpose of Creation Psalms 32:1-11 Vs 2 - Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. What is my purpose? This is a question we have each considered amidst our struggles and lowest moments of life. Lord, why I am here? In Genesis when God creates man in His image, He intends to have fellowship with His creation. But very quickly, sin and deceit destroy that connection. We see God tries to reaffirm this relationship many times throughout the Bible. He wants to be our God and for us to be His people. He tries to seal this connection through the covenant with Abraham and then again through the Messiah.

Sin is Destructive
This Psalm 32 discusses the weight of sin. Sin breaks the connection between God and man because it separates us from His love. In Genesis, Adam and Eve hide from God out of shame and guilt. In Psalm 32, verses 3 and 4, it says “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Fall: Violation of purpose of creation Genesis 3:1-13 Vs 4 -You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. In today’s portion we are meditating on the fall of creation. God created us with a beautiful entity called ‘free will’. We have the freedom to choose anything and everything in life. In the Garden of Eden, He created Adam and Eve with this potential and a command - not to eat from the tree of good and evil (Gen 2:17).

What made Eve take this grave decision, which lead to the fall of human beings and of all creation? Eve could have spent much time with the serpent. Bible says that God walked with them in the Garden during evening times. How was she spending her time the rest of the day? In any case, she came to a point where she has some agreement with the serpent, and they might have had few leisurely conversations even prior to this. How we spent each second of our life has long lasting consequences?

Secondly, Eve slowly started believing Satan instead of God’s promis…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Yielding to the divine purpose of creation Romans 7:14-25 Vs 25 “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”  “I didn’t want to do it, but I could not help myself”. We hear this when a person makes a mistake knowing that it was not the right thing to do. It is reasonable to say that all mankind has a basic knowledge of what is right and wrong, either through the written law of God or through the law of conscience embedded in the human heart, regardless of which race or religion they belong to. (Rom.2:12-16)

Genesis 1 talks about the divine purpose of creation for mankind, which was to live in the will of God in harmony among themselves and the rest of creation. Adam and Eve lived truly in the will of God when they depended on God’s knowledge. But the acquisition of the knowledge of good and evil for themselves led them and mankind to self-dependency for discerning good and evil and exercising it within the mortal limitations.

In the text for today’s meditation, Apostl…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Fall: Violation of the purpose of Creation Romans 5:12-21 Vs 20-21“The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” In Romans 5, we read the contrast of characters between Adam and Christ, love of God against the sin of man, the man of sin Adam to the God of love Jesus and how Adam brings death while Jesus brings eternal life.
There are 5 main contrast characters of Adam and Christ in these verses. Adam brought sin into the world and Christ gives people victory over sin. (Vs 12)Many die because of Adam’s sin and many live because of God’s grace through Christ.(Vs 17)Adam’s sin results in condemnation and Christ’ death results in justification. (Vs 16)Adam’s disobedience brings sin to many and Christ’s obedience brings righteousness to many.( Vs 19)Adam’s sin reigns in death and God’s Grace t…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Noah walked with God Genesis 6:1-13 Vs 8 - But Noah found favor in the eyes of God  I have heard the story of a disobedient boy who used to do the opposite of what he was asked for. Once the family went for an outing. They reached the top of a hill and the boy started running towards the edge of the hill which was dangerously steep. The parents panicked at first. Then his dad called out to him. ‘Son! Run!’ The boy suddenly stopped. The dad caught up with him and held him safely. Can the boy’s behavior be compared to that of the people of Noah’s time or our own time?

 When God created the world, He saw that it was good. Of course God can create nothing but good, for God is good. The free will that God gave man caused him the Fall. But God foresaw this and promised Redemption of man through the offspring of a woman who would crush Satan’s head. To prevent this Satan has been messing with the offspring of man ever since. In the passage given today we see a method Satan used to pollute the ge…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Fall: Violation of purpose of Creation Matthew 7:15-23 Vs 21 - “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."  The purpose of creation is to bare good fruits. The reference to the tree and its fruit is meant to be applied to the teachers and their works. Here Jesus warns against the dangerous influence of bad teachers. The words and deeds must be complimentary in a person of integrity. In this portion Jesus explains about the people who are going to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

1. It is not the external appearance, but the inner attitude that is to be discerned. Jesus gives an indication that there are people wearing the garments of prophets and teachers without any merits. If the genuine prophets had left everything for the glory of God, these people were wearing the cloaks of the prophet for selfish ends and livelihood. In the New Testament times, there were people keeping away from the v…