Word for the day day Christian Education Gorum

 Beginning of the great lent: Transformation of Creation

Ephesians 2:11-22
v22 "And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit."

There was once a Scottish painter called Jack, who was very interested in making money where he could. So he often would thin down his paint to make it go a bit further. He got away with this for some time. Eventually, the Presbyterian Church decided to do a big restoration job on one of their biggest churches. Jack put in a painting bid and because his price was so competitive, he got the job. One day while Jack was up on the scaffolding- the job almost done, there was a great clap of thunder. The sky opened and the rain poured down, washing the thin paint from all over the church and knocking Jack off the scaffold. Knowing this was a warning from the Almighty, he fell on his knees and cried, "Oh, God! Forgive me! What should I do?"
And from the thunder, a mighty Voice spoke, "REPAINT! REPAINT! AND THIN NO MORE!"

"Repent Repent and sin no more "- I believe this is exactly what God would want us to do during this Lent season and after. While most of us would resort to denying the food we love during lent, let us ponder on some ways we can allow this lent period to bring a transformation of our hearts. We could :

* Give up complaining and focus on gratitude (Phillipians 2:14 -"Do everything without grumbling or arguing.."
  1 Thessalonians 5:18 - "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." )

* Give up bitterness and turn to forgiveness (Ephesians 4:31-32 - "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice. Be     kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you " )

* Give up worry and trust in God (Mathew 6:25,33 - " Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life ..But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness..")

* Give up discouragement and be full of hope (Isaiah 40:31 - "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.. ")

* Give up hatred and return good for evil ( 1 John2:9 -"Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.
  Romans 12:21 - Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. ")

* Give up anger and be more patient (Proverbs 15:18 -" A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient claims a quarrel ")

* Give up gossiping and control our tongue (Proverbs 11:13 - "A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret."
  Psalms 34:13 -"Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.")

In today's portion for meditation Ephesians 2:11-22, we can see that Jesus broke the wall of hostility between the Jews and Gentiles at the Cross.
Prior to the coming of Jesus, the Jewish people considered Gentiles to be unclean and inferior. The salvation plan for which Jews were the first priority, was extended to the rest of the world (Gentiles) through the blood of Jesus. Through Christ, we too  (along with Jews ) are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

We all have some walls constructed in our minds and hearts. We have a tendency to be drawn to those who are like us and repelled by those who are not.
Let us use this period of lent to break down the walls of hostility we have built in our hearts against others and against God. Let us focus on His Son Jesus, and allow his love and peace to flow into us and make us whole.

"Lord help us to see this holy season as a time for spiritual renewal than a time of deprivation "

"Be gentle to all and stern with yourself" -  Saint Teresa of Avila

Anila Mariam Thomas

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

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