Worship shall be a place where we can meet and converse with our Lord. It need not be within a framework of four walls of a building. It can be anywhere we can spent some time concentrating and free of other distractions. If we can come to His presence on a one-to one basis in our loneliness, in our moments of despair and freely talk to him and listen to him, that is true worship. Many a times we may think that God has forgotten us since we have drifted far from him due to increased worldly attachments resulting from our inability to worship him in truth. But the truth of the matter is that we have a God who sees us as we are and where we are and he is all the time ready to listen to our supplications and answer. No matter how deep the stains of our sins are loving God assures that he can make it clean as a freshly fallen snow. Restoration is always possible with our God only on one condition that we have to be in his presence with a contrite heart and tearful eyes. When we are able to meet God in the worst of our situations and establish a contact with Him, we have succeeded in our act of worship and there is room for celebration. The world is going through a rough period now due to Covid-19. We don’t have lot of reasons to be happy but we have every reason to worship the omnipotent God with joy. Paul is exhorting us to be rejoicing always in Him. He is compassionate, merciful and faithful. His love towards us never runs out even if our situations are bad and look bleak. Jeremiah 20:13 says, "Sing to the Lord! Praise The Lord! For though I was poor and needy he rescued me from all my oppressors." Paul in his letter to Thessalonians is giving the final instructions in today’s portion for our meditation. He is encouraging them to be faithful and joyful always. He is asking them to pray continuously and give thanks in all circumstances as this is God’s will for us. When we worship the Lord in spirit and truth there will be warmth and glow. Paul opposes all kinds of loafing, immorality and other sins of the Thessalonians. He warns them against a mechanical, artificial attitude towards worship that denounces and discourages all expressions of the gifts of the spirit. Celebration of our faith is worship. Everyone in life is faced with failures and mistakes. But the resilience that comes out of faith gives us the ability to see God and praise Him at all times. Worship shall be our choice irrespective of the circumstances. Paul was able to sing and praise in chains in the prison cell. Habakkuk says even though the fig trees does not bud, olive crops fail, no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will praise the Lord.
PRAYER Lord enable us to come to your throne of Grace always and worship you in all our circumstances.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He will never fail us.
Annie Jose, The Mar Thoma Church Staten Island. Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church
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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