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Showing posts from August, 2020

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Sacrament of Holy Qurbana: Celebration of Salvation1 Corinthians 10:15-17v17 “Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.”Since the pandemic, most of us have not been able to have our “typical” Sunday morning services. As the service starts, you have your Ammachis and Appachans getting in nice and early to get those “good” seats or “their” seat, where your young families are struggling to get their toddlers to get inside the church, and where the Sunday school students are hanging around trying to prolong their time, before they have to commit to the 2.5 hour service. And so the Holy Qurbana service starts, with a diversity in the generations that come to worship, with a diversity in the genders that come to worship, with a diversity in professionals that come to worship, a diversity in the nationalities that come to worship, and so on. Just within the congregation itself, even as a predominately Malayalee congregation, there is a great de…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Sacrament of Holy Qurbana: Celebration of Salvation1 Cor 11:23-34 v26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.C.S Lewis described the communion table to be a paradox between physical and spiritual life when he writes the following in his book Mere Christianity, “When they speak of being ‘in Christ’ or of Christ being ‘in them’, this is not simply a way of saying that they are thinking about Christ or copying Him. They mean that Christ is actually operating through them; that the whole mass of Christians are the physical organism through which Christ acts-—that we are His fingers and muscles, the cells of His body. And perhaps that explains one or two things. It explains why this new life is spread not only by purely mental acts like belief, but by bodily acts like baptism and Holy Communion. It is not merely the spreading of an idea; it is more like evolution—a biological or superbiological fact. There is no good trying to be mo…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Sacrament of Holy Qurbana: The Celebration of SalvationGenesis 14.17-24I really enjoy good movies.  The good ones unravel their stories well. At the end of any action movie, the hero/heroine is rewarded with the “fruits” of his/her labor.  In today’s passage, our hero Father Abraham rides in like a cowboy with his cavalry after saving his nephew Lot.  He has defeated evil kings and kingdoms.  Today’s scene takes place after all the action is done.  We see that God Most High delivered Abraham’s enemies into his hands.  We should never take credit for the innumerable ways God delivers us from evil.  We see the king of Salem coming to meet Abram. His name is Melchizedek (King of Righteousness) and he is one of the most amazing people we meet in the Old Testament (and later in Hebrews).  Verse 18 is absolutely stunning; what does this king bring to Abram? Bread & Wine!  Before the first Holy Communion with Jesus and his disciples, before the Mosaic law, before any priesthood is set in…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Holy Communion: Celebration of SalvationMark 14:12-26Vs 22 While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” As a pastor to my parish, I cherish the opportunities of sharing a meal with parish members at the parsonage or in their homes. In the Indian culture, sharing a meal is not only a mark of hospitality but also an invitation to a closer relationship. It is an invitation to partake in the life of that person or family who shares the meal.

In today’s reading, Jesus shares the Passover meal with his disciples. This would be his last meal with his disciples. For Jesus, it is a solemn occasion that should be meaningful to his disciples then, and a message to his Church in the future. With this supper, Jesus institutes the Holy Communion for the Church to follow. 

Every Holy Communion is a new opportunity for us to experience God. In the passage, we see Jesus sharing the bread and the wine as his own bo…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Feast of Transfiguration-Glorification of our Lord
Exodus 24:12-18

v16-17 “The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day, he called to Moses out of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel”.
Here in these verses we learn -
Lord himself writing the laws and commandments Divine invitation to Moses for fellowshipMoses’ willingness to “climb” the mountainLord’s transfiguration and revelationMoses unconditional faith and submission
The love and ownership of the Lord manifested in its greatest form when He says to Moses “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” Our Lord reveals his nature, his willingness to have communion and fellowship with his people. Here we see Lord setting the place and inviting Moses to b…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Feast of Transfiguration - Glorification of our Lord
Luke 9:28-36

v28”About eight days after Jesus said this; he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray”.

Prayer was the way of life for our Lord Jesus Christ. We see numerous references in the scripture. Jesus teaches us that Prayer is not only asking God for blessings but it is the way to relate to God our Father. The whole chapter is a beautiful scenario and great example for us to learn and relate to God Jesus Himself.

First lesson is Jesus developed a group of praying partners who are willing to go with Him, any time He chooses and anywhere He chooses. When we face sufferings or anxious moments of various kinds, either it be sickness, poverty, failures we surely need to share our agony, pain and grief with someone. Church is the family of God where we could develop prayer partners. Jesus modeled it for us. Peter, James and John were the privileged prayer partners under training in this passage.

Second les…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Gospel for all people (Mission Sunday)
Ephesians 3:1-13
V6 “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.”In this verse, we can see the word "together" is mentioned 3 times, which itself indicates God’s plan was for the whole universe. Paul was the preacher to the Gentiles. God’s grace to Paul was to reveal the mystery by divine revelation. Mystery is the wise plan of God for the church which is the unification of believing Jews and Gentiles in the new body. It is the plan of God actively working out. This mystery is revealed by the Holy Spirit to the holy apostles and prophets. Paul was the recipient of this revelation and was given a significant responsibility in the execution of this plan. God used Paul to take this gospel message to the gentiles and God’s hand was at work in this universal plan. Paul understood the sovereignty of God and his administrat…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Mission Sunday: Gospel for all people
Acts 10: 34-43
v43 “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
One of the missions of the church is to preach the gospel that God offers sinful people eternal life irrespective of their status in the society. Even though we live in an egalitarian society, people are discriminated based on race, cast, gender, color, age, wealth, etc.  Recently in US, George Floy’s dying words “I can’t breathe” have become a rallying cry at demonstrations around the world amid a reckoning with systematic racism. In today’s context, Peter’s statement that “God doesn’t show favoritism” is more meaningful than ever.

God sent his begotten son, Jesus, to save not just Jews, but also Gentiles – not just whites or blacks – not just men or women – not just rich or poor – not just American or Europeans or Africans or Asians. In this passage, Peter is telling a Roman centurion to affirm that Jesus is the “i…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Gospel for all people
Isaiah 55:1-5
   Vs 1” come, all you are thirsty, come to the waters”Isaiah prophesies in Judah from 740-681B.C that God would send a Savior to deliver all his people from sin and to set up God’s kingdom on earth.INVITATION TO THE THIRSTY verse(1-2)         The Lord invites all people who are thirsty to come to the living waters, without money and without cost all is free by the Lords Grace. Money and labor for all worldly things is in vain on what does not satisfy. Eat the heavenly food by reading, studying the Bible so our soul may be delighted in the richest of fare. INVITATION FOR AN ETERNAL LIFE verse(3)           Lord invites all the people to give ears to his words that our soul may live and not run around to the worldly hearing gossips and worldly role model. By hearing the Lord’s words and walking in his path Lord will make an everlasting covenant with us as he promised to David. INVITATION TO BE A WITNESS TO THE PEOPLES verse(4,5)
           Lord invites us …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The beginning of 15 days Lent
Matthew 5:38-42
vs.39 “But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also”.We live in an age of tit for tat and the so-called hate campaign. What looms every where is the language of hate and revenge. Even within the Church, we are not able to vindicate the claims we make for ourselves such as a community of faith that is called and set apart for a holy function in the world. Let us highlight two thoughts from the text.The futility of revengeIn the life and teachings of Jesus, we have both continuity and discontinuity with the Jewish tradition. For example, when Jesus says: “I have not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill”, its continuity. But when he says:” You have heard that it was said, “Love your friends and hate your enemies. But I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you “(vs.43), its discontinuity. This ought to be the norm for our life and ministry in the Ch…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Manifesto of the Kingdom
Luke 4: 14 – 23

vs. 18a “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me… “
This passage tells us that Jesus is at his home town, Nazareth. It was his custom to attend the synagogue on every Sabbath. Jesus was asked to read from the book of the prophet Isaiah. He purposefully selected the portion and concluded with the saying, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” These words make the passage more meaningful and it creates different responses from the congregation.

The reading starts with the announcement that the spirit of the Lord is upon him.  The movement of the spirit in the Gospel of Luke is evident. It starts with the annunciation to Mary and continues throughout the gospel. Jesus was anointed with the spirit at the time of His baptism at the River Jordan and a voice from heaven declared: “You are my son, the beloved; with you I am well pleased,” and with the same spirit He moved to the wilderness where he was tempted by Satan and He conquered Satan.…