Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Renewal of the ChurchLuke 18:15-17
V. 17 “Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.”
The Kingdom of God is here. The Kingdom of God is also not yet realized. How do we understand this paradox? Jesus’ death and resurrection inaugurated the coming of the Kingdom but many aspects of the Kingdom have yet to come to fruition. The mystery of the Kingdom lies in the nature of the Church. The Church is the community established by Jesus Christ to continue to proclaim the Good News of God’s salvation. The community of God’s people, saved by their faith in Jesus’ life-giving sacrifice, are a living testimony of God’s saving might.
The reception of the Kingdom is analogous to the reception of Jesus Christ as the Savior. The two are intertwined. Accepting that salvation is through Jesus Christ makes one a child of the Kingdom. The Sacrament of Baptism beautifully illustrates the relationship which combines death of the old, a new birth, and the establishment of divine inheritance. The Epistle portion for Baptism (Romans 5:20–6:8) hints at this new status: “Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. (Rom 6:4)” The newness of life develops out of our relationship to God; both as a “child of God” and as a “child of the Kingdom.” The sense of belonging is at the personal level with God and the relation with the community of believers.
The Feast of the Renewal of the Church (Hoodosh Eetho, Syriac; Nov. 6) takes place one week after the Feast of the Sanctification of the Church (Koodosh Eetho). These feasts signify the start of the new year of Church life. The Mar Thoma Church holds that the whole life of the believer must rotate around the Salvation Plan of God. That is why we place emphasis on breaking up the year into various fasts and feasts as well as incorporating various Sacraments into our very life. From birth to death, the Church brings each believers life into the life of God. Hoodosh Eetho is a time for us to purify our life to meaningfully realize the work of God’s salvation. As we ponder the life of Jesus Christ and God’s salvation, let us live out our lives as Children of the Kingdom.
Sovereign King over all things, we thank you for the gift of salvation. We ask that you renew our lives so that we may be witnesses of your glory in our daily life. Amen.
Thought for the Day
The kingdom of God is within you, Even in your heart today; Bringing joy to all who will heed the call, And His holy word obey. (Rev. John Wesley Hughes)
Rev. Jeswin John, St. John's MTC, Detroit