From our Vicar

Dear friends in Christ,

Warm Greetings to you all in the precious name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.!!!

On August15th 2022, our nation is going to celebrate another Independence Day. At the outset I would like to pay my homage to all the freedom fighters who fought vigorously and sacrificed their lives on the altar of the National freedom struggle. I hope it would be relevant to discuss the meaning of freedom this month, since we are in the Platinum jubilee year of our national Independence. The word Freedom is an enigmatic word, which can be interpreted in different ways. The definition of freedom varies from person to person. According to some people, freedom means doing something as per their wish; for some people, it means taking a stand for themselves. Ultimately, the fact is, every individual wants to be free and lead his life as per his choice. As Christians, we need to reflect on the Christian perspective of Freedom at this point of time. Nelson Mandela, the Black Nationalist who successfully resisted the apartheid policy of South African government, suffered imprisonment for26 long years during the apartheid rule and the first Black President of South Africa once said, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a  way that respects and enhances the freedom   of others.” Since it is an interpretation of the freedom of a man who spent the major part of his life in jail, I think it is important. It is obvious from his definition, freedom is not only a right but it is also responsibility.

Freedom is not the right to do what all things we wish; if it were so, it would be Anarchy. In Christian perspective, the concept of freedom is a little bit different. In Christian viewpoint, Freedom means, being free from all hegemonic powers and become slave of Christ. A state of having surrendered oneself to the will and wish of God. Jesus Christ said, “Truly, Truly I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever, the son remains forever. So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. (John: 8: 34-36)Here Jesus was talking of the terrible human tragedy of slavery to evil structures .As slaves to sin, we are all wretched men who need to be freed from the stranglehold of sin .Jesus came to set us free from the curse of sin and death. Having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, we are supposed to abide in Him by bearing Christ’s yoke day by day.“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am   gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”(Matt: 11:29) Since we are living in a world where the evil powers are dominating, there is the chance to lose our freedom. That’s why St.Paul warns the Galatians’ church to stand firm on this freedom. “For freedom Christ has set us free, stand firm   therefore,   and   do   not  submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Gal: 5:1)So how do we protect the freedom that Christ has won for us? Again, God uses Paul to show us the way. He wrote in Galatians5:16, “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” In other words, the only way we can overcome our sinful nature is by taking on more of God’s spiritual nature. We can only deny our sinful nature through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and thereby allow His Holy Spirit to lead us to make decisions that honor Him and be careful not to use our freedom to sin or hurt others in our individual pursuits. As we are about to celebrate the platinum jubilee of our National independence, let’s pray that God would help us to use the freedom that Christ has won for us for being a blessing  to others!

Rev. John Joseph