welcome to csi immanuel cathedral
The CSI Immanuel Cathedral, Ernakulam (formerly known as CSI Immanuel Church under the Diocese of North Kerala of the Church of South India ) was dedicated more than 110 years ago. The site, originally comprising 56 cents, was bought in 1905 by Rev. J.H. Bishop and the original church was built largely through his efforts, in memory of Rev. E.B. Russel who was a missionary of the Church of England in
FROM OUR VICAR
As we embark on this new month, the world has changed very much. Fear of a world- wide war looms in front of us, to devour all of us like a giant. The Middle East is almost fractured because of the Israel- Hamas war. Media tells us that half of Gaza is literally destroyed; plight of the Palestinian people is indescribable. The rest of the world is divided on the right and wrong of this war. Demonstrations against this war are conducted worldwide and in some places demonstrations turn into riots. It is true that the world is disturbed and chaotic and many people believe that we are on the brim of another world war. We don’t know what would happen, but one thing is sure, God is in control, nothing will happen without the knowledge and without the will and wish of our God and He will take care of us. Let’s thank and praise God for all his care, protection and provisions.
Today, the first Sunday of November, we are celebrating our Harvest festival and Annual Thanks giving service. As a faith community, let’s thank God for giving another year in our life, and for all the blessings He has given to us in our lives. We Christians celebrate Harvest festival following the example of the ‘feast of first fruits’ of Old Testament people. When the Old Testament people offered the first Fruits to God, they had been acknowledging that all Harvest and everything they had, came from God and it belonged to Him alone. Offering of the first fruits was the expression of their ultimate trust, faith in God and also the ultimate expression of worship and thanks giving. “The first Fruits” is a common expression found both in Old Testament and New Testament. In the Holy Bible the word “first Fruits” is used both in figurative and literal meanings. For example the reference of ‘first Fruits’ in Exodus 23: 16 is a literal usage, whereas reference of first Fruits in Jeremiah 2:3 (Israel was Holy to God, the first Fruits of God’s Harvest) Romans 16:5 ( Epenetus the first Fruits) Romans 8:23 ( who have the first Fruits of the Spirit) and in 1stCorinthians 15:20 (the first Fruits of those who have fallen asleep) are figurative. It is clear from these references that the first century Christians strongly believed that every Christian saved by Christ, filled with spirit and waiting for the glorious resurrection are ‘first Fruits’. As per the New Testament understanding and New Testament theology, believers are ‘First Fruits’. In the Old Testament God commanded His people to give the First Fruits and they offered to Him First Fruits of everything, actually that offering was an expression of their own submission to God, because they themselves were the first fruits of God. (Jer: 2:3) It was the same with the New Testament Church.When the believers in the first century church offered something to God, that was an outward expression of the offering of their own lives. This truth is well explained in the 2nd letter of Paul to the Corinthians chapter 8 verse 5, it says “And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.”
Dear brothers and sisters, as we are celebrating our Annual Thanks giving and Harvest Festival, what are you going to give our Lord? Your Money? Your farm Products? Something you purchased from the market? Food products you cooked in your kitchen? These are all good, but unless and until you give yourselves to God, all these are in vain, because God wants you, not your money and possessions. Jesus once said to some of the Pharisees and Herodians as an answer to their question regarding paying Tax to Caesar: “Give Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” The criteria for giving Tax is Portrait and Inscription. The one which has portrait and inscription of Caesar is to be given to Caesar and the one which has portrait and inscription of God is to be given to God. The Bible says that God has created us in His own Image and Likeness. (Genesis 1:26) Yes God has put His portrait and inscription on you and me, we must give ourselves to God. As we celebrate our Harvest festival and Annual Thanks giving, let’s whole heartedly submit our lives to God along with our offerings. Then this year’s Harvest festival would be a blessed experience. May God bless you all.