Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

 Hudos Eetho - Renewal of the Church

Luke 10:1-9
v1  After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go.

After Koodosh Eetho (Feast of cleansing of the Church) last Sunday, the second Sunday of the liturgical year is observed as the Feast of Hudos Eetho, which in Syriac literally means Feast of Dedication of the Church. This Sunday focuses on dedication and renewal of the Church which has been cleansed by Christ.
The gospel portion describes the sending of 70 (or 72) disciples by Christ with the message of the Kingdom of God. We can infer three elements from the passage that are essential for renewal and dedication of our Church community today.
1. Our person

Jesus sent 70 ordinary people who had followed him and learnt from him. There ordinariness is seen from the fact that their names are not mentioned. Yet they had imbibed Jesus’s teachings and Jesus deemed them fit to do the work of his kingdom. That’s why he sends them to the towns where he himself intended to go. Ordinary as they were, when they submitted themselves to do the will of God, God used them mightily to fulfill his intentions.
2. Our personality
Jesus emphasizes that his disciples are sent like lambs into the midst of wolves. They are to remain vulnerable, yet pure in their lives just as lambs are. When they are amidst wolves (which signify the harsh people and realities of life), they are not to become like wolves themselves and devour other gullible people. But rather through their sacrificial and exemplary life, they are to show the way to the Good Shepherd Jesus.
Also they are asked to take no purse, bag or sandals. That means they are to go for their ministry with little or no resources other than the presence of Christ himself. They are to rely on God alone. Reliance on anything else would become a distraction or liability for their ministry. So that they do not lose their direction and passion for their ministry, they are asked to take no other resources but trust in Christ alone.
3. Our proclamation
Jesus tells his disciples that regardless of people’s reception for them, they have a message to proclaim. Whether welcomed or unwelcome they are to proclaim two things:
  1. “Peace”
  2. “The kingdom of God is near”

The disciples are to announce peace in all the places where they enter. Their peace would bring peace, justice and healing to a hurting world. If the people do not share their peace, Jesus promises that the disciple would not lose his peace. It would return back to him. Also, whether they receive a friendly or hostile reception they are to proclaim the undeniable news that the Kingdom of God is near.
Jesus embodies the Kingdom of God. As the Body of Christ, we the Church are to be the visible presence of Jesus in the world. Each of us is required to be a person who will be the witness where Christ wants to speak and work today. Our personality and proclamation are highly valued by God and highly visible to the world. When people of the world look at us, let them see the Christ in us. And let our proclamation bring peace and healing to those around us.

Lord, mold me, my personality and my proclamation in such a way, that people see You living and working in me always. In Jesus name, Amen.

A church’s vitality is not measured by how many people fill the pews, but how much the people are filled with Jesus. Mark Wilson

Rev. Thomas John, Carmel MTC, Boston

Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church

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