Hebrews 5:7-14 (NRSV)

7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus  offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; 9 and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 10 having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. 11 About this  we have much to say that is hard to explain, since you have become dull in understanding. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic elements of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food; 13 for everyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is unskilled in the word of righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.   

1 Corinthians 3:2 (NRSV)

2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready,   

DEVOTION – Pramila Barkataki (Uttar Pradesh, India)

In my student days I was addressed as “Didi” (which means “elder sister”) by the children and teens in the neighborhood.  Several years later I became known as “Aunty,” which means an older person, like a mother.  I did not like being addressed that way because it reminded me that I was aging.  Still a few years later, I moved to another state where I was even called “Granny” by a few children.  Soon I discovered that in that part of the state girls were given in marriage in their teens and became grandparents in their early forties.  So I accepted the new name gracefully – though it took time.  My image in the eyes of others changed with the passage of time – neither of which took any extra effort on my part.

But achieving spiritual maturity requires our effort and intention.  Born into God’s family, we begin to grow spiritually when we hunger for God’s word, meditate on it regularly, and apply it in our lives.  The pure milk and then the solid food of the word of God help us to grow from infancy to childhood, then on to adulthood, and finally into mature Christians.  In each step of the way we can become more and more like Jesus.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: How is my spiritual growth evident to those around me?

PRAYER:O God, we want to grow in our faith and in the likeness of Jesus.  Help us, we pray.  Amen.