Reflections

Daily Meditations Published by IT Fellowship of North America & Europe Diocese of Mar Thoma Church
  • Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
     Family Should Overcome Selfishness
    Genesis 13: 1-18

    Vs. 8 “Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me……..”
    Life is full of conflicts, and people handle them in many strange ways. But how do people of faith who depend on the Lord handle the conflicts that arise in their relationships? In Genesis 13 we can see how Abram, a man of faith, resolved a conflict he had with his nephew, Lot.
    Both Abraham and Lot are blessed with an incredible amount of livestock and flocks, so much that the land could not support them both. This put a strain on the land and caused strife between the herdsmen. So Abraham takes the initiative, telling Lot, “we should not be fighting, we are family so let’s separate. Look about you and take what you want and I will take what is left over.” Now this is extremely generous of Abraham. He is the elder family member who had the rights to first choice. This is also the land God promised him, but Abraham had learned that God could be trusted to protect him and to provide for him so he could offer Lot first choice. When you trust that God will take care of you, you can be generous toward others.
    Abraham appears to value Lot over the land. He refuses to let possessions trump his love for a person. Part of learning to stand down comes from recognizing the value of people. People matter more than possessions. We may get what we want at times, but in the process lose the person. Are we focusing on possessions and selfish achievements at the cost of relationship? Imagine how many conflicts might be resolved if we focused on relating well to each other.
    Selfishness is a word that we are all too familiar. It’s about our tendency to put ourselves, our needs, our plans, our reputations before other people. We notice this when other people are being selfish to us and put their own interests before ours. But we rarely notice when it’s us who are being selfish. Many of us because of our selfishness tend to think more is always better. If we had more money or time or friends, we would be happier and at peace. But quiet often it is not so.  We tend to put joy on hold until we obtain some goal that we think we must achieve. But we get there only to find out that our desire is even more. We often pursue for higher positions making ourselves getting home much later, sleeping less, and devoting less time for our family and church.
    PRAYER
    Almighty God, help us to overcome selfishness and take decisions that value people and relationships. 

    THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
    “Almost every sinful action ever committed can be traced back to a selfish motive. It is a trait we hate in other people but justify in ourselves.”Stephen Kendrick

    Rev. Manoj Idiculla, Carmel MTC, Boston
  • Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
    Hope in God
    Titus 2:1-7
    VS.1 "But as for you, teach what is consistent with sound doctrine". 
    The English word “hygiene” comes from the Greek word that is translated as “sound” in this verse.  Paul here is telling Titus to teach doctrines that will create a healthy church and a healthy family.  A healthy church consists of both young and old members.  While there are plenty of   challenges when ministering to people from various ages, there also is a great blessing.
    People from different ages are to minister to each other.  In this passage it deals with older women encouraging younger women to live the proper Christian life (Titus 2:4-5.)  In other parts of the bible we are told of how the widows were taken care of by the whole community of disciples (Acts 6.)  The Bible shows that God does not show partiality (Acts 10:34-35.)  In Christ not only are the barriers between race and sex removed (Galatians 3:28), but also the barriers between age are removed.  People of all ages are to be respected (1Timothy 5:1-3.)
    As we contemplate the theme “Old Age: Hope in God” we should be strengthen by the fact that people of any age can be used by God.  From Moses who led the Israelites until he was 120 years old; to the older women who set an example for the younger women in the New Testament times; in the Bible we have elderly people leading and guiding the younger generations.
    The wisdom and experience that God has given the “older generation” is a gift that is to be shared with the younger generation, helping them to live the proper Christian life.  They are teachers who have experienced life and understand what it means to “Hope in God.”  Hope in God means believing that God has a plan and purpose for us.  It means trusting and not being afraid.  It means that though we may face problems and difficulties, that though others many leave us, God will never leave or forsake us.  Hope in God means that even when we walk through “the valley of the shadow of death,” we are not afraid, because God is with us.
    When the book of Lamentations was written and the Israelites were recording the pain, suffering, and embarrassments they were enduring, they remembered one thing: "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” – Lamentations 3:22-24.
    THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
    We hope in God, because God is faithful.  He will never leave us or forsake us. Because of this we can live in hope.
    PRAYER
    Lord, allow me to always remember that your steadfast love never ceases, and that you can use me every day of my life to glorify Your name…  Amen.
    Rev. Shibi Abraham, Youth Chaplain, North East Region
  • Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
    Family - Space for Faith Formation
    Luke 2:41-52
    As a faithful Jew it was customary to Joseph and family to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem temple during the feast time with other members in the community. It was quiet natural to lose track of a young boy with such a large group of travelers.  His parents returned to Jerusalem to search for him. They find him as the one who sits among the teachers in the Temple. Hearing and asking questions is the symbol of a thirsty student who searches for God’s wisdom.
    This passage clearly tells us that Jesus was adequately nurtured and equipped in the home that helped him to have profound knowledge about the scripture. This truth also reflected in Jesus’ affirmation, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mounth of God.” Faith formation in the family happens when we maintains a balance between bread (physical and mental needs) and Word (spiritual needs)
    Mary asked, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” Then Jesus answered in a surprising way: “Why were you searching for me? … Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
    His worship in the Temple helped him to realize his true identity.  When Jesus was born, angels proclaimed him as the Son of God (Luke 2:11). Now Jesus was claiming that identity for himself. This realization is the corner stone of his faith and action. Faith means risking everything for God’s reign and trusting utterly in God.
    However his self-discovery did not make him arrogant.  His self-revelation never made him to underrate his humble parents. He went home with parents as a submissive son.   Given the growing rebelliousness of our times, Jesus’ attitude affirms the heroism of obedience. Obedience of Children to parents is biblical mandate. It is prescribed as an unconditional requirement, except when such obedience conflicts with the duty to obey God. Obedience to parents does not depend on the merit, distinction, affluence and personality of parents. It stems from the very source of parenthood, which is God himself.
    PRAYER
    Our loving and living God, we thank you for the gift of family life and its blessings. As a Christian family help us to grow together in your grace. O Lord helps us to realize your will about our life.  May the love that binds us only grow stronger as we fulfill the
    destiny you have laid out for us. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.
    THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
    A real Home is a temple where people are loved and respected in the recognition that life is a gift of God- Anonymous
    Rev. Philip Philip, Asst. Vicar, Houston Trinity MTC