Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
77th Independence Day of India (2023)
Luke 6: 20-26: V 20: Then he looked up at his disciples and
spoke “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God…”
In today's world, whether it is a nation or a person, true Independence means freedom. There are various aspects of freedom, but financial independence is prime. In the above passage, Jesus uses a common life situation and their many dimensions to teach disciples to see things differently. I would like to ponder upon the word “The Poor” Jesus used. Without using the word rich or richness, Jesus encourages or challenges disciples to attain the spiritual richness. The rich, have enough money, opportunities, a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, economic security, and stability. The poor lack such advantages in life. One can attain wealth through birth, education, and hard work. Majority of us or our parents left our homeland and settled in America to improve our financial standard (attain economic and social richness) In common, people believe that money and comforts were God’s blessings. So, when they attain this all, stops all efforts towards grow in spiritual richness. (Missing the crux of Christian life)
This passage teaches that, one must understand that the financial poverty can be eliminated/eradicated by earning money, and the same way spiritual poverty too. Just as a poor person's aggressive instinct to earn money to get out from the clutches of poverty, similarly a spiritually poor person (Christian = One who in Christ) must be aggressive to attain spiritual richness. Just as poverty compels a person to strive for money, a spiritually poor person needs to strive for spiritual richness. In this context, spiritual poverty as a blessing, and when one is eager to earn spiritual richness can be seen as path towards Spiritual Growth.
We can see this in John 14:6, Jesus says, ‘I am the way... “. A true Disciple follows the commandments of Jesus and bears fruits of the Spirit in Life (Gal. 5:22-23). Who so ever, a person or group, is spiritually poor and longing to be rich in spirituality is considered as a blessed person or group, because he/she/they are updated daily with the word of God and, strive for the best to maintain that pace to attain spiritual richness. So, this blessedness is only for those who want to maintain the pace to build up in Christ each moment in life.
A deliberate attempt from our end to practice what we believe, preach, or witness. That's why we need fellowship, worship, prayer, and sharing testimonies. Here comes the importance and relevance of Congregational collective life. If it is not up to our expectations, no need to worry about others, if they are not well with us or may not strive like us. Here we need to pray for them, as it is the holy spirit to use them at the proper time. Unfortunately, the majority stopped going to church or left that congregation. We need to encourage one another toward Christ throughout our lives. Eph. 5: 10 "Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord”, not to please others, so, real independence comes in life when one realizes own spiritual poverty and longing for spiritual richness. Don’t’ fail to do good to others. May God help each of us attain and share this spiritual richness in life.
Our God, thank you for the freedom we are enjoying these days. Amidst many people around the world who are oppressed and strive for their freedom. May your grace be on us all. We acknowledge that, though we are worldly rich but not able to recognize how poor are in spirit.. Lord, often we express our solidarity and sympathy for others, but often forget to act. Please forgive us and help us to come out from spiritual illusions and grow in spirit through our day-by-day life experience in Your Son Jesus to practice Kingdom values. We pray for Our country India, and her Political and administrative leaders. Bestow them your wisdom to govern the nation for the betterment of the people of the country and the rest of the world. Especially praying for the upcoming General Election in 2024. Help India to be a catalytic power to the world towards bringing your reign on earth. We remember the people in Manipur violence, in other parts of the country. Lord, especially we remember the Russia and Ukraine conflict. Please bring peace between them and heal their wounds. Thank you for all the material and spiritual resources we are enjoying today. May your Glory come through our lives. Amen.
Thought for the Day
Freedom is what we have. Christ has set us free .Stand then as free people and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again . Gal 5:1
Vinod Varghese , Long Island MTC