Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

 Priests called to be imitators of Christ

Galatians 6: 11-18
Gal. 6:14 - “may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…”.

The 30th President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, once welcomed folks from his hometown to join him for dinner at the White House. Those who were invited were immensely excited but, were not entirely sure on the proper etiquette over dinner with the President. They discussed among themselves and believed the safest approach would be to simply do what the President himself did. They were first served some coffee and carefully began to observe President Coolidge. The President began to pour the coffee into a saucer. Likewise, the guests did the same. Then the President poured some milk to the coffee in the saucer and they also did the very same. Then the President called the cat and placed the saucer with coffee on the floor for his cat to drink. The guests were surprised and a bit embarrassed.

The notion behind imitation is more than just doing what you see. It is about knowing and following the one you truly seek to imitate. In order to imitate Christ, one must have a relationship with Him for it is only in that experience that you can know Him more. That is why Jesus declared, “I am the vine and you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in Him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing” (St. John 15:5). In this way, Christian life and ministry is not working apart from Christ but, an experience that comes from living with and in Christ.

In this passage, St. Paul writes, “may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…”. It brings to mind that there is nothing greater that humanity may claim than the love and redeeming of Christ. The temptation to exalt oneself or to take undue pride in one’s attributes, assets or achievements is misplaced because it directs the world towards the person/thing and away from the cross. A life that chooses to imitate Christ must reflect praise to God and point others towards His love and salvation.

Additionally, the Scripture portion also indicates that more important that circumcision is “new creation”. It is significant to note that creation points to a new beginning. A true life in Christ is akin to the beginning of a new life with a transformed understanding of self, others and God. The act of circumcision is minimal to the changed heart of the Christian minister. Thus, a life that chooses to imitate Christ must be one that is willing to be recreated in heart, mind and ultimately in deed. All those who claim to Christians, clergy and lay alike, must understand that our lives should not mirror this world but, our Lord Jesus Christ.

May God bless you all.

Thought for the day
As a Christian, my calling is clear. In this life I don’t get to play God, I get to imitate Jesus. –Unknown
O Lord God, You are full of glory and in You alone do I boast! Awaken my mind and open my heart to be changed more and more into the likeness of You, Christ, my Lord and King.

Rev. Jaisen A. Thomas
Redeemer Mar Thoma Church

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