Daily Meditations Published by IT Fellowship of North America & Europe Diocese of Mar Thoma Church
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Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Lent, A time for transformation: Return to Him
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 coffee, sugar or soda. Maybe we’ll have family prayer every day. These are all great ideas, but why are we doing these things? We’ve been taught that Lent is a time of reflection and preparation which ultimately leads to a glorious celebration on Easter Sunday. The one aspect we tend to forget about is the “return to Christ.” Too often Lent becomes an exercise of spiritual perfection or an opportunity to check off a box on my “divine actions list”.
In verse 22, the Lord says through Isaiah that he has swept away our sins, redeemed us and encourages us to return to him. The Hebrew word šū·ḇāh or “turn back” is used 8 times in the Bible. This is an invitation by God for us to return to him. Lent is an opportunity for us to spotlight the evil and sins which exist in us. This is the time for those struggles and bad habits to be magnified so that we can understand why we need God in our lives. I like to describe myself as a bad guy who would be a whole lot worse if it were not for the grace of God. Lent reminds me of why I need God and how sweet his redemption in my life is. Each day of Lent should be a constant reminder of our weaknesses and how dependent we need to be on Jesus. Lent is not about our sheer will or personal motivation, but a call to return to our master. After these 50 days, I pray you can celebrate your redemption because you’ve accepted the necessity of leaning on Him and returning to Him every day as a true spiritual requirement.
Dear Lord, we pray this be an opportunity for us to return to you EVERYDAY, not just at the end of the Lenten season. Thank you for your redemptive life, death and resurrection. AMEN
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
“Where sin runs deep Your grace is more, Where grace is found is where You are.” (Lord I Need You by Matt Maher) Dr. Ron Jacob, Long Island MTC, NY Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church
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…
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