Daily Meditations Published by IT Fellowship of North America & Europe Diocese of Mar Thoma Church
Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Be well prepared
Vs 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
The present day Lady with the Lamp is considered to be none other than The Honorable Health Minister of Kerala State, Shrimathi Shailaja Teacher. She is very successful in encountering the Corona Virus that is plaguing her state. The country of South Korea is also credited with success in handling the pandemic COVID-19. How come the state of Kerala is so successful? They all learned their lessons the hard way. Kerala had a history of fighting the diseases like: Dengue fever, chikunguniya, H1N1, Nipah virus etc. They also had the terrible flood, which has never happened to that intensity. The lessons learned from those incidents and the preventive measures they took made them well prepared to meet the challenges of COVID-19. What happened in other places during this pandemic? It is reported that whistle blowers who warned about a mysterious pneumonia like virus were arrested and jailed, Reporters were deported, and there was scarcity of supplies like face masks, gowns, virus tests, test equipments, hospital beds, and life supporting ventilators. A state has been reached where none of the essential supplies are available in the market place. It is further reported that in certain countries hospitals are running at 200% capacity, dead bodies are getting accumulated, relatives cannot even say good bye to their loved ones, immigrants who got inflicted did not seek medical help, and there was a toll on hospital staff. Jesus used many parables to teach his people about the Kingdom of God and the Son of Man. He taught the need to be “well prepared” at all times. He used the parable of the wise and foolish virgins for this lesson. He compares the coming of the Son of Man to the arrival of a bridegroom to his own wedding. In North India the arrival of a bridegroom with his wedding party is called a “BAARAATH”. The Baaraath normally arrives during the night. The whole house hold of the bride will come out to welcome the bridegroom and his party. Young maidens will have lamps in their hands, and they use the lamps in circles to bless the bridegroom. The lamps are of olden times, where one end of the wick is allowed to immerse in oil (olive, coconut etc.) and the other end is lighted with a flame. Similar customs would have been prevalent in Jesus’ time also. In the parable of the Virgins, we read that the wise ones carried extra oil in another container, and the foolish ones did not. While the bridegroom tarried all slumbered and slept. When it was announced that the bridegroom has arrived, they all lighted their lamps. The foolish virgin’s lamp went out. They have no way other than go to the merchant to buy more oil. The wise ones used their reserve and kept their lamp going. They could welcome the bridegroom and attend the wedding. The foolish ones wasted their time. They could neither participate in the moment of joy nor attend the wedding. In the believers life same story happens. Matthew, Chapter 25, Word 31 reads “when the son of man shall come in his glory and all the holy angles with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory”. Like the wise virgins, those who are well prepared will participate in the joyful events, and others will be left out. How will a believer be well prepared? What is the oil that one has to keep in reserve? The answer to the first question is given in words 34-40 of Matthew chapter 25. The oil in the lamp and the container stands for the word of God. It is written” Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”.
Merciful father we humbly seek Your mercy at this moment of pandemic, where millions of people are at peril. Some of us were not well prepared to meet the challenges ahead of us, especially for Your second coming. We are still in sleep and slumber. Awake us and give the wisdom as given to the virgins who welcomed the bridegroom. Please heal our nations. Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
The son of Man tarries, but we should be prepared to receive him.
Joseph Kurian Ph. D, Immanuel Mar Thoma Church, Virginia, USA Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church
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
Community Formation Around Resurrection Experience Acts 23:1-10 Vinod Johnson Carmel MTC, Boston, MA 6 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 dead.” 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! In 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 resur
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