From our Vicar
Dear friends in Christ,
Greetings to you all in the loving name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.!!!!
As we are all aware, gradually we are approaching the last days of 2021, let’s thankfully remember God’s grace that guided us through the difficult days of 2021. However I am writing this write-up in October, I know that it will reach your hands at the threshold of the month of November. Month of November is ecclesiastically very much important. Down through the centuries, It is customary for Christian Church to reminisce all the ‘Martyrs of the church’, who had sacrificed their life on the Altar of Christian Faith on 1st November and we observe that day as “All Saints Day”. It is on 2nd November that is “All Soul’s Day” in which we commemorate all our ancestors, who have entered in to the eternal rest. The first Sunday of November is being observed as “World Sunday School Day” by the protestant churches all over the world. As far as our church is concerned, first Sunday of November is very much important, because, every year, it is on this day, we celebrate our ‘Harvest Festival and Annual Thanksgiving Service’. In short, the month of November is a time of fasts and feasts for Christians in general, and for Immanuel Church in particular. Every festival of the church, whether it is Harvest festival or any other festival, must have three dimensional activities, they are (1) Remembrance: In Christian perspective, the beginning of every celebration is the remembrance of life and work of those who walked before us and to see how God guided them by showering upon them His grace and Mercy. (2) Worship: Giving thanks to God for all the magnificent and miraculous works God has done for them and through them for the whole community (3) Celebration: Celebration is an extension of worship, in which people share their joy, blessings, resources and rejoice in the presence of God, especially by sharing food and drinks. Our fellowships are parts of these celebrations. Truly these celebrations are the unifying factor that unites as one faith community and one people. Without these celebrations our lives and our faith would have been lifeless and meaningless, that’s why the psalmist says in psalm 85 verse 6, “Will you not revive us again, so that your people may rejoice in you.” As we are preparing to celebrate our Harvest Festival on the First Sunday of November, I would like to share with you a few thoughts about HARVEST FESTIVAL:
IT IS A FESTIVAL OF REMINISCENCE: Biblical foundation of our Harvest Festivals can be found in Deuteronomy chapter 26.Very often it is said that Deuteronomy chapter 26 is the Creed or faith affirmation of the Jewish community. In this creed they are recalling the life of their forefathers under the captivity of Egypt, how they suffered oppression and persecution and cried out to the Lord their God Almighty and God interfered in their lives and delivered them from the bondage of Egypt with His outstretched and mighty hand and brought them to the Land of Milk and Honey. As we are preparing to celebrate this year’s Harvest Festival let’s have a retrospection and see how God guided and protected us last one year under the shadow of His Golden wings.
IT IS A FESTIVAL OF THANKSGIVING: ‘Worship’ in one sense is a Thanksgiving. We cannot help but be grateful to God when we find answers to three pertinent questions regarding our existence, which are (1) who were our forefathers? (2) How did they live in the land? (3) What differences did God bring about in our lives? Jewish community always asked these questions themselves and worshipped God for all the blessings God had given to them. In every festival they thankfully remember all the mighty works God had done for them and they witnessed it to the next generations and worshiped God. As we are preparing for our Harvest Festival and Annual thanksgivings service, let’s worship God with all our heart, with all our strength and with all our resources.
IT IS A FESTIVAL OF CELEBRATION: The soul of Harvest Festival and Thanksgiving service is sharing of God’s blessings with others. ‘Sharing’ is God’s statutes to God’s people. “Then you, together with Levites and the aliens who reside among you, shall celebrate with all the bounty that the Lord your God has given to you and your house” (Deutro: 26:11). God willing, we will come together on 7th Nov, 2021 for our Harvest Festival and Annual Thanksgiving service. As we come together, let’s share our joy and our blessings with our fellow Christians, and worship God gratefully and meaningfully.
“All shall give as they are able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that He has given you”
Rev. John Joseph
Vicar & Chairman