Daily Meditations Published by IT Fellowship of North America & Europe Diocese of Mar Thoma Church
Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Lent: Transformation of Creation Romans: 8. 16-25 Verse. 23. b “the first fruit of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adaptation of our body”.
One of the most profound New Testament expressions of God’s plan for the natural world is in Romans 8:19-23. It powerfully depicts the apocalyptic expectation that at the end of history, God will reverse the damage from the fall, not only to humanity, but even to nature itself. There is a popular misperception that apocalypses are world-denying and pessimistic about nature. For the average person, the word “apocalypse” brings to mind the end of the world. It is true that most early Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature have a dualistic or two-age view of history. Apocalypses view the present age or world as corrupted by sin and in sharp contrast with the future perfect world or age of glory and righteousness. The early Jewish apocalypses look forward not to the eventual destruction of the material world, but to its eschatological perfection and liberation from the damage caused by sin. Here, Paul uses a powerful illustration. He uses the analogy of the pain and suffering of the childbirth. Childbirth is a very painful time for a prospective mother. The pain at time can be most severe, and go on for a long time. But the pain is seen to be worthwhile in the light of the outcome, and the pain is soon forgotten in the joy of the child being given. Here Paul sees the whole creation is waiting for liberation from death and decay that man’s original sin had brought into the world. The Christian is involved in the human situation. Within, he must battle with his own evil human nature; without, he must live in a world of death and decay. A Christian does not live only in the world; he looks beyond it to God. He does not see only the consequences of man’s sin; he sees the power of God’s mercy and love. The Christian waits, not for death, but for life. The transformed life is here in Christ and will continue in eternity with our Savior Jesus the Christ. We trust that God uses every circumstance in our lives for His purposes and that He has chosen us long ago to be His children. At present, we have obtained an inheritance as His heir through the redemptive act of His son Jesus Christ. This is called “the first- fruits of the spirit”, by which we understand the first works of the spirit in our souls to transform us in to that glorious state of life. We have repentance that leads us in to transformation; we have faith that is priceless precious jewel. We have hope, which sparkles, a hope that is sure and steadfast. Let us meditate the word of God in this lent season, and let it transforms our lives and continue to live and grow in that state along with the grace and mercy of our Lord and savior Jesus the Christ.
PRAYER O Lord our eternal father, we thank you and praise you for thy word, which helps us to see our lives and enable us to lead a pleasing life up to you. Thanks for the hope and the promise of the eternal life through your son Jesus Christ. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY “The word of God was not given to increase our knowledge but to change and transform our lives. “ (D. L. Moody.)
P. T. Mathew, Mar Thoma Church of Dallas, Farmers Branch
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church
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
Community Formation Around Resurrection Experience Acts 23:1-10 Vinod Johnson Carmel MTC, Boston, MA 6 When Paul noticed that some were Sadducees and others were Pharisees, he called out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead.” Sometimes, the only thing that keeps you going through a brutal winter is the hope for the spring. It may have been a hard hope to hold on to this particular year in New England - a year in which Boston considered dumping not tea, but the ever growing mounds of snow into its harbor. And yet, the waist deep snow has dissolved away. White desolation has given way to increasingly visible green shoots of spring. A resurrection is at hand! In this passage, Paul tries to defend himself before the Sanhedrin Council. He seeks to drive a wedge between the Pharisees who believed in resurrection and the Sadducees who did not; even though neither believed in the resur
Revelation for Liberation Acts 27:18-26 Sherine Thomas Long Island MTC, NY 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest raged, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned. “After winter comes the summer. After night comes the dawn. And after every storm, there comes clear open skies” so said a Scottish clergyman from the 1600s. It’s been said, that hope can sometimes be the most dangerous weapon. However, it’s sometimes the hardest weapon to carry when you’re living with the loss of a loved one, something that almost feels like a terrible nightmare that’ll never go away. It’s a weapon difficult to carry when day in and day out no one seems to hear or see those tears that are shed or silent cries that are made during a heartfelt prayer. It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you see your loved one lying on that hospital bed. It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you search and seek out answers to tell a child as to why they’ve been a