Reflections

Daily Meditations Published by IT Fellowship of North America & Europe Diocese of Mar Thoma Church
  • Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
    Mission: Sharing God’s Pain
    Luke 10: 1-12
    Vs.1 "After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves".
     An atheist scientist came to God and said, "We've figured out how to make a man without you."
    God said, "OK, let me see you do it."  So the atheist bent down to the ground to scoop up a handful of dirt. But God stopped him and said, "Oh, no you don't. Get your own dirt!"
     Today, we have often come to believe that we are self-sufficient and through our words and actions we tend to deny the faith, assurance and calling that God has for each of us.  In this passage, Christ calls the seventy-two to surrender to His will and commit to the mission of love He has entrusted them.
     A Mission of Love
     Mission is always in, through and for community.
    The mission of God is a deliberate calling and appointment to communicate the presence of God in the world.  In this passage, Jesus Christ chooses and commissions the seventy-two and  even decides the towns they are to enter.  In other words, the persons and places involved are all ordered by Christ.  Therefore, the mission is not of one's choosing but is given and the called are to accept. It is in and through this experience that God will make His presence and love known.  The seventy-two individuals were also called to be with each other; that is, the scattered were joined through Christ and given a new direction in life which would prepare others for the coming of Christ. The two person teams serve as witnesses to the truth and therefore affirm each other.  Thus, we must also remember that mission is never meant to be a solitary affair but a corporate effort to work with each other to serve others in Christ Jesus.
     Mission is the proclamation of God's love
     Jesus Christ instructs the seventy-two not to "bring a purse or bag or sandals...".  Instead, Christ asks them to  greet the homes they  visit in peace, enjoy a meal with them and fellowship.  It is not that a purse (money) or bags and sandals are not needed or that the seventy-two do not possess these things. But Christ instructs them not to bring it on their journey.  That is, the greater need for the mission is relationship through sharing and caring with others.  The called are not expected to be self-sufficient but, to develop an interdependent relationship with the community they have been appointed to serve.  Therefore, the mission is a cooperative, corporate and combined work; we are all in this together. In fact, if anything is lacking they are to share what they have with each other.  It is in this experience of exchange or sharing that relationship is promoted and love may begin to be established.  As such, mission is both giving and receiving. This standard of loving interaction becomes the primer for the coming of Jesus Christ and the reception of the gospel message.  Mission cannot exist without love and relationship.  Christ challenges us to prepare the hearts, minds and lives of all whom he has called us to serve through love so that He may enter.   May the urgency of this message guide us each day in true mission.
    PRAYER
    May God bless me to obey His call to serve all, sacrifice what's necessary and share life with others for His glory. Amen.
    THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
    "If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"
    — David Livingstone


    Rev. Jaisen A. Thomas, St. Thomas MTC, Yonkers, NY
  • Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
    Stewardship
    Luke 19:11-27
    13 He summoned ten of his slaves, and gave them ten pounds,[a] and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back.’
    The events and teachings of Jesus as recorded in St. Luke 19 should be studied under the title “Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem.” Chapter 19:1-10 reveals the truth that God’s salvation is to those who accept Jesus to his house/life as Zacchaeus did. The immediate context of Jesus’ saying the parable of ten minas (ten pounds or gold coins in other translations) is to correct the peoples’ misunderstanding that Jesus is entering into Jerusalem to become the king of Jews by destroying or defeating the Roman Empire. Based on the main theme: Stewardship: Transparency and Accountability, let us meditate on two main points.
    1.    Faith and love of God on us
    In creating human beings in His own image and likeness, God wanted us to be His ambassadors in this world (Gen.1:26ff). God has placed us in this world to cultivate it and guard it (Genesis 2:15). Therefore we are His stewards. This also points to the reality that our attitude towards nature or universe should be as that of God. God has entrusted this stewardship on us because he loves us and also has faith in us. The parable of ten minas also speaks about God’s trust and faith on us. Here the noble man goes to a far country to come back as king and set up his kingdom. In those days, it was normal that royal men travel to distant place especially to Rome to receive the emperor’s official appointment as a ruler of any particular place. Before his travel he distributes one mina each to his ten servants. One mina in those days was equal of three month’s wages for a common man. He says “Put this money to work until I come back.” What God has with himself, he has given to us just as this man who gave ‘mina’ to his servants. Giving one gold coins to each of his servants reveals that in God’s sight everyone is equal and there is no insignificant or more significant. In St. Mathew 25:14-30, each servant receives a different number of talents (five, two, and one).  The desire of this noble man is that his servants should explore all the possibilities and to labor/trade with this given coin. 
    2.    In God’s world we are accountable 
    We are accountable to what God has entrusted to us. After coming back as the King, he calls his servants and ask them to give the accounts. This points to the truth that on Jesus’ coming again we have to give the accounts of the various responsibilities he has entrusted to each one of us. The return of this noble man as the king with authority also point to the return of Son of God with authority. The King rewards each according to their faithfulness. To those who were faithful he entrusts more responsibilities but to the one who hides the mina in a handkerchief, he says, “You bad servant….” This servant was extra conscious that he is not losing this mina given to him by his master who according to him is an austere man. The problem with this servant was that he never wanted to make use of the opportunities or the possibilities before him. He was lazy. He never even attempted to earn more. He was afraid of his Master and was not willing to take any risk. Master is cruel to him because of his laziness and his unwillingness to make any attempt. Master would not be cruel to this servant even if his trade would have been a failure. 

    Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this parable speaks about God’s love and faith on us as he has entrusted his all (universe) to us. We are being called to be faithful stewards. On Jesus’ coming again he will rewards everyone according to our faithfulness to the responsibilities he has entrusted to us. 
     PRAYER
    Lord God give us your heart and your spirit that we may truly represent you in Your world.  Amen
    THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
    As each one has received a gift, minister it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace (1 Peter 4:10).
    Rev. Shinoi Joseph, Thalavoor Naduthery MTC

     

  • Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
    Family - a place for doing God's will
    Mark 3 : 31 - 35 
    Vs.35 "Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
     Family is a gift of God to humanity. It is the basic unit of the church and society. In a changing world, all families need to be equipped to face the realities of today. Families are constituted by marriage. We believe that marriage is an institution of divine appointment. God saw that it was not good for man to be alone so He made a suitable life partner for him. It is through this life long covenant between husband and wife that the family exists. It is a real truth that human beings are not created for independent existence but for interdependent living.
           Jesus Christ was a member of a family. He had parents and siblings. Jesus' family is known as the Holy Family. This conversation (Mark 3: 31-35) is seen in other synoptic gospels (Mathew 12: 44 - 50 and Luke 8: 19 - 21). When the people told Him " your mother and brothers are outside looking for you, Jesus answered "who are my mother and my brothers." It doesn't have a negative meaning, but the spirit behind the answer is that whoever does what God wants him/her to do is my brother, sister or mother. What does it mean? Doing God's will is important to be a member of His family, or in other words, a member of His family is expected to do God's will.
       Church is the family of families and Christ is its head. As family is an institution of divine appointments, all family members are intended to do His will on this earth. In Lord's prayer we pray - Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. It means Your will be done in our families. Family is subject to God's purpose, direction and discipline and it is a place for doing God's will. Christian families are expected to be a miniature of the Holy Family and the kingdom of God. Our duty is to build up heaven on this earth.
     PRAYER
    Heavenly Father, help us to do Your will in our families to become a miniature of the Holy Family in this world. Amen
     THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
    Family, a place for doing God's will.
    Rev. Aji Varghese, St. Thomas MTC, Karimba, Palakkad