August 2021

Dearly beloved in Christ,

Greetings in the matchless name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

As we move into another month let us praise and thank God for all his blessings in the past and let us pray for his mercy in our journey ahead.

The meditations in the month of August starts with Laity Sunday, proceeds by Honor Marriage, the Two Sacraments appointed by Jesus Christ: Holy Baptism & Holy Eucharist.

Laity: According our church tradition, Laity plays a key role in the church. The ministry of the laity is “to represent Christ and his Church; to bear witness to him wherever they may be; and, according to the gifts given them, to carry on Christ’s work of reconciliation in the world; and to take their place in the life, worship, and governance of the Church”. In the New Testament, the singular form of the word laos is used almost exclusively when referring to the church as God’s people (Hebrews 4:9; 11:25: 1 Peter 2:10). This points to a very important characteristic of the Biblical view of the laity. It does not refer to a group within the church but to the entire church itself. Laos, used in the context of the church, literally means “God’s own people.” It is nowhere used in contrast to others within the church.

Marriage is a Covenant: A Christian marriage between a man and a woman is a sacred covenant that they make before the Lord (Malachi 2:14ff) and before the community of believers they belong to. They are bound by the vows that they make in loving union. The Bible compares this to the covenant that God made with His people and the relationship that Christ as the ‘husband’ of the Church, the ‘bride’ (Ephesians 5:22ff). Therefore, such a covenant is for a lifetime. Anybody treating it lightly will invite the retribution of the Lord. A covenant is valid when it is honored before the Lord, cherished in private, and celebrated before public. Marriage as a covenant deals with people, not with things. Contracts are made for a limited period; covenants are forever. Contracts can be broken resulting in material losses; broken covenants will leave a train of broken hearts. Contracts belong to the marketplace; covenants are made in sacred spaces and celebrated till the last breadth of life. Contracts are protected by the state; covenants are watched by God. Therefore, marriage has to be taken seriously.

Baptism and Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion): The two sacraments, Baptism and Holy Communion are the pillars of the Christian faith journey. Why do we have only two sacraments? At a glance Jesus commanded his followers to share two sacraments: baptism and communion. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus tells the disciples to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” and according to Luke 22:19, Jesus’ final meal crescendos with a command: “Do this in remembrance of me.” The word sacrament comes from the Latin sacramentum, which means an oath or a solemn vow. In other words, sacrament as “a visible sign of an invisible grace.” Grace is manifested through in these sacraments, it starts a new life and becomes a part of the New Covenant between God and men. Today we are ritualizing these sacraments without understanding the relevance of it. Let us introspect and recollect the real meaning of these sacraments.

By observing these themes may the lord almighty enlighten you to a new spiritual experience. I request your wholehearted support and prayers for the Harvest Festival on 1st of September 2021.

May God bless you all.

In His Service Yours

Shalu Achen