Vicar’s Message

Vicar’s Message

Rev. Shiby Varughese P.

Dearly beloved in Christ,

Blessings and Healings from Triune God,

The summer breeze is blowing sweetly, and the bright sunlight is patching the water droplets on the grass and leaves, tempting and testing us to move outside of our shelters. Lockdown and self-quarantine has made us to confine to our own privates spaces practicing physical distancing or social distancing. Sometimes social distancing and quarantining can atomize us, that collective social action to stop the spread of a pandemic has the power to destroy the inherent sociability of human nature. We talked lot about Covid-19 Pandemic; its panic, precautions and problems. Even our thinking has been preoccupied by the “fears” of this crisis.

But we the human beings didn’t succumbed to the projected problems of the pandemic and its panic. Christians believe God created us to be in relationship and that our orientation toward the other reflects the image of God. If we are truly created as social creatures, then we can be sure that our social natures will not be destroyed by either the virus. We tried to overcome the “fears with faith” by practicing spiritual devotion and solidarity.

One of the fearful question frequently asked these days is, “What is God doing?” or “What is God doing and does He know how this is affecting our life?”

John Polkinghorne, the theologian said, ‘The Christian God is not a compassionate spectator, looking down in sympathy on the sufferings of the world; the Christian God is truly the fellow sufferer who understands.’ The pastor-scholar John Piper once said, “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.” It may be counterintuitive, but that is incredibly encouraging. It’s encouraging because we know that God is good, and He works out all things together for good.

The mission of the Church living in pandemic is to be the carriers of faith not carries of fear, be the carriers of salvation and healing not be a carrier of sin and sickness. Church as a community of faith is called to combat the fears in isolation. As the body of Christ, the community can encourage one another to not live in fear knowing that the God of all creation is not far off but rather He is near. The community we have as Christians is a balm to those who are most vulnerable. The answers we have in God’s providential care of His creation can help soothe saddened souls and those physically hurting.

Christians must better realize the fragility of life and the essential need of hope in God and fellow human. The community of believers must ensure the hope that, once the pandemic crisis ends, perhaps we can organize our lives more sustainably in future and emphasize more the strong messages of equality and care for the earth in the scripture. The hope will lead people to re-evaluate their priorities and greater compassion for neighbors.

As Christians, we know that spirituality is not just about avoiding evil. It is also about doing good. Every crisis is an opportunity to do good. Christianity can become less about buildings and traditions, and more about relationships, even if the social aspect of his faith has changed. “But the virus has no religion.” Crisis always convince us with the truth that the affair of “humanity” stands at the epitome of human potentiality and responsibility.

We can see the hands of God working among us in the lives of our frontline brothers and sisters courageously confronting the virus with compassionate touch. All over the world, ordinary people are willingly shouldering tremendous sacrifice in acts of solidarity; forgoing the pleasures, distractions, and affluent comforts; exposing themselves to economic and existential hardship and risk, for the sake of their neighbors and fellow men. God is at work in all kinds of ways, through the good decision making of our leaders, the courage and professionalism of medical folk, the simple kindness people who share the love to one another, and the scientists working on a vaccine.

As the vicar I want to assure you all that, our “God isn’t” a self-distancing God; our God is a “self-disclosing God” always present in the experiences of panic and pandemic. Let’s be creative quotient community living with love and compassion.

Prayers and Blessings,
Shiby Achen