Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
As a young boy, I was very intrigued by the stories in a book written by Rev. Chakkunni Koladi, an eminent Mar Thoma Achen from Kunnamkulam. Those stories were like Aesop’s fables in the Kerala background, each with a moral. One of the stories was about a Brahmin (Hindu priest) who was questioned by a passerby about beating up a cow(sacred animal according to Hindu holy books), that was eating his beans crop. His answer to the questioner was “That is the law in the books and this is the law of my bean field”.
The Pharisees were of a similar mindset. They interpreted Moses’s law to the utmost level and even added some of their own twists that benefited them. Jesus called them out on many occasions (Matthew: 12: 3-7, Matthew: 23: 2-36, Mark 2:25-28, Mark 7: 6-13, Luke 11: 46-47, Luke 12:1, John 7: 21-24 to mention a few). We see that in Jesus’s time the Pharisees were particular about tithing on trivial items like herbs but weaselled out of caring for parents by citing a twist in Moses’s law, for example. They ultimately used the excuse of blasphemy from the law to condemn Jesus to death! Even today the ultra-orthodox Jews won’t even turn on a light switch on Sabbath.
In contrast, Jesus’s teachings were simple and went to the crux of the subject. The Lord often used parables to make the message simple and drive the points home. His teachings made it clear that God’s intention for us is what matters and not showmanship or nuances of rituals or tradition. He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”Mark 16:15
For us, observing Holy Week should be an opportunity to ask questions and seek answers about who Jesus is, what His sacrifice means to us, and how His gift affects the whole humanity. When we Christians observe Holy Week, we affirm setting ourselves apart for Him and dedicate our time to Him. Our observation of Hasha season should be to give Him the glory and honor, that are due to Him. We should forever be grateful for the gift of eternal life we receive though Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Today in many instances we take the Hasha week as part of a tradition and a time to display our piety. Let us make it a season to examine ourselves, grow in our spiritual life and strive to spread the gospel.
Lord, help us to use this Hasha season to get closer to you and transform our lives. Amen.
Thought for the day
“In God’s eyes, the greatest heroes of faith are not those who achieve prosperity, success, and power in this life, but those who treat life as a temporary assignment and serve faithfully, expecting their promised reward in eternity”. – Rick Warren.
Immanuel MTC, Virginia.