And he said to them, “The Harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Like 10:2).
The summer season has begun. The sun started shining with bright rays touching the earth sprouting life with new budding. The scorching sun has started replenishing and rejuvenating our body and mind. Our surroundings are decorated with green blanket everywhere. The color of life has become green. Summer has opened our doors and windows to breathe the fresh air and to feel gentle breeze. How marvelous is the setting of God. The heavens are telling the glory of God and the firmament proclaims his handiwork (Psalms 19:1).
The creation is in a perfect order but humankind created in the image of God has distorted the creation and disturbed the divine order set by God. God sent his only begotten son to redeem the creation. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Lord and the Savior, the word of life, the God incarnate of the Blessed Virgin Mary made possible the way of Salvation by giving Himself on the Cross and rose from the death, thus trampling death under foot. This very act of redemption inaugurated by God or the Christ event transformed the history of humankind and invigorated the spirit of hope and aspirations into the lives of human tilted and tortured by the powers of evil. The nature of the redeemer God is understanding, tolerant, forgiving, nonjudgmental, inclusive and accepting. The singular expression of the redeemer God is embodied in Jesus Christ as ‘Hesed’ or ‘Agapae’- the LOVE. ‘Hesed’ is the loyal love and ‘Agape’ is the self-emptying love. Love never divides and discriminates nor rules and hates but love redeems, forgives, tolerates, accommodates and appreciates the other.
Church is the ‘multitude’ called out to follow the principles and practices of the Kingdom of God. Kingdom of God is founded on the rocks of faith and love. Church practicing the intelligence and emotions of faith and love is the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:12). The body of Christ or the Church cannot hate others or divide and discriminate. The divine gift of the Holy Spirit is given to the Church and Church has to rekindle the divine gifts through mission and ministry.
Ministry and mission of intervention and intercession at the intersection of faith and civic life pose challenge and possibility to become light to the nations and salt of the earth. Living daily in the tension between God’s vision for the world and our life realities is a compelling complex experience. Our spirituality is becoming private, eclectic, egoistic and exclusive. Evaluation of our spirituality is needed.
History of the Humankind could frequently ask the question, “What are we doing here?” Are we a worshiping community only or a witnessing community or a missionary community? Tracing the historical roots and relevantly articulating the faith into the living contexts without devaluing the practices of faith within the epistemological textures of the scripture is the theological inquiry of the Churches in diaspora.
We as a parish in the North America- Europe Diocese has the call to move forward with the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ, the disciples, the Apostles, the martyrs and the confessors who sacrificed their life for the redemption of the world. Christian community should be a life-giving praxis oriented community always journeying with people who are at the fringes of society. We have to start our ministry from the last, least and the lost.
It is important and appreciable that we have to look into the future with hope. Parish has to focus on the young generation and address their issues of faith, their essential and existential needs. It is necessary that we have to be open-minded and stretch forth our hands to those who seek guidance and comfort. It is our responsibility to transform the Church into a space of love and care.
Our prayers and support is needed for the forthcoming events especially for the VBS and Diocesan Youth Fellowship Conference. VBS is scheduled to be from June 13-16. VBS will give our children the best opportunity to relate with God and to develop their personality and talents. All parents must take initiatives to encourage your children to participate in the VBS.
Chicago Mar Thoma Youth Fellowship is hosting the Diocesan Youth Fellowship Conference (DYFC 2018) scheduled to be from July 26-29 at Trinity International University, Deerfield. It is greatly appreciable that our Youth members are whole heartedly working for the conference. As members of CMTC let’s support and uphold then in our prayers.
As per God’s guidance and decision of the Church I’m glad to be the new Vicar of Chicago Mar Thoma Church. I deem it as a privilege and blessing to serve you all in the name of Triune God. We as family request all the members of the parish to uphold us in your prayers.
May the Grace, Mercies and Blessings of our God be with you all, In the Lord’s Ministry,
Rev. Shiby Varughese P.