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 “is the Lord of all”. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that WHOEVER believes in him should not perish but have eternal life “(John 3:16). Jesus commanded his disciples to preach to all people, not to a few selected group of people. God shows no partiality. He offers salvation through Jesus freely and fully. Social boundaries and ethnic differences are no obstacles to the gospel. In the eyes of God, all of us in our wonderful particularity equally receive the invitation to receive God. People who are from every race, background and nation who believe in God are welcome in the family of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Fearing God and doing what is right involves coming to God in repentance and faith in Jesus.
Mar Thoma Church was commissioned with the vision of mission. Christ is the center of our Church and its mission. “Every Marthomite is a missionary” was the message of the late Abraham Mar Thoma thirumeni. “You are the light of the world”. We should try to comply with God’s intention of including every human being in our effort to extend the Kingdom of God.
Jesus, help us give out fragrance to the world like lotus. As the lotus grows in swamps, we live in a sinful world. But as the lotus flowers stand above the water, help us rise above the surroundings and to remain holy in our daily lives. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
“Were we to compress our faith, what theological elements would remain as most essential? Where we to tell a simple story of Jesus’ deeds, what would we say?” (Eric Barreto)
Samuel K. Samuel, St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church, New York
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church