Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
One Church: Transcending the Boundaries
V29”I wish that all the Lord's people were prophets and that the Lord will put His Spirit on them.”
With all its statistics, population counts, and figures, the book of Numbers records the long wandering of Israel in the desert.
In today’s reading, we see Moses gathering 70 elders in a tent and God taking some of the spirit from Moses to bestow on the elders. The elders who were in the tent, prophesied at that time. Eldad and Medad, who were supposed to go to the tent, but remained in the camp, also prophesied along with those who were in the tent.
When it was reported, Joshua, who was in the tent, demanded to stop them. For him, the working of the spirit of the Lord should be confined to the tent. Those who were in the tent obeyed Moses and hence gathered. But, Eldad and Medad, remained in the camp, breaking the norms set by Moses. Joshua could not accept the fact that God gave His spirit to those who were, in a way against Moses; so the response.
Moses’ startling response, displays his quality as a spirited and open minded leader. He doesn’t cater to the undue support offered by Joshua and addresses the tone of insecurity, jealousy and intolerance in his words. Moses is open enough to acknowledge the divine activity, even in those who do not follow his order. Moreover, he proclaims his vision. He expects the whole of Israel to be filled with the spirit and prophecy. He thus displays himself as a leader who wants all his people to rise to his stature.
The Church, as the body of Christ, lives in this world with varied history, traditions and worship patterns. She can remain united only when each tradition is able to acknowledge and accept the working of the spirit outside their traditions and boundaries.
Dear God, help us to be united as your body, accepting the working of the Spirit outside our norms and traditions.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Rigidity, intolerance and feeling of insecurity hinder unity.
Subi Rachel Mathew w/o Rev. Denny Philip Keezhillom Nazreth MTC, Ernakulam.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church