Beloved in Christ
Greetings to you in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you". Ephesians 4:32. We have chosen this verse as Motto of 2020, and Year of Reconciliation. I would like to share some thoughts on above verse.
Here Paul is showing a specific way that we are put in a new man. Here Paul says that when a man become a Christian, he must put off his old life as a man put off his old jacket which he has no further use.
V25 says there must be no falsehood. Lying to each other disrupts unity by creating conflicts and destroying trust. It breaks the relationship and it leads to open warfare in a church.
V26-27. There must be anger in the church, there must be anger in the Christian life, but it must be the right kind of anger. We have to oppose the sin, the wrong doings. Jesus also did the same thing in the church. Here Paul goes on saying that Christian must never let the sun set up on his wrath.
V27 says "and do not give the devil a foothold". Do not give the devil his opportunity. An unhealed breach is a magnificent opportunity for the devil to sow dissension. If we are not take a step to heal the wounds, the wounds will become more and more contagious.
V29 Paul forbids all foul mouthed speaking. -do not let any nasty talk come out of your mouths, your talks should be helpful for building others.
In a fallen world forgiveness and reconciliation are essential to maintain close relationships. Reconciliation, which is not an easy subject to understand. Asking and granting forgiveness are not easy task, especially on the emotional level. The deeper you have been hurt, the more difficult it is truly to forgive.
But if you're a Christian, seeking and granting forgiveness are not optional. Jesus said that if you do not forgive others, the heavenly Father will not forgive you. Mathew 6:15. This is forgiveness based on your relationship with God, not your offender. Forgiveness is based on relationship with God, not with one who hurt you. It is focused on restoring broken relationships between two people. It takes two people apologizing, forgiving, compromising and changing.
It's going to take two people trusting in God, and asking Him to restore trust in them for one another. This takes a super-natural work of the Lord, because that trust was completely shattered. And, where trust is broken, restoration will have to be a process -- sometimes, a very lengthy one.
Reconciliation will not happens in a moment. It will take some time for to regain trust and restore relationship. Even when God forgives our sins, He does not promise to remove all consequences created by our actions. Likewise our words and deeds and our attitudes against our co believers will affect the process of reconciliation. As we entered in to 2020, New Year, lets pray to God, Lord give me a new heart and put a new spirit in me.
Remove heart of stone from me and give me a heart of flesh. Let's begin New Year with fresh heart and mind. Lord we know that there may be little friction arise, but we won't allow resurrect our past grievances.
"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you".
I would like to express my sincere thanks to the outgoing Board of Trustee members, Mr. Kurien Mathew, Mrs. Daisy Philip and Mr Rajeev Winston. I really appreciate the effort you put to move the church forward, your time and resources have invested in the church highly appreciated. God bless you and thank you very much. And also would like to congratulate the new Board of trustee members.
One more year loaded with sweet recollections, memories and cheerful times has passed. On this New Year, may you change your direction and not dates, change your commitments and not the calendar, change your attitude and not the actions, and bring about a change in your life. May you live up to the promises you have made to the Lord and may you create for you and your loved ones the most memorable New Year ever.
With all my heart I wish you all again rich blessings and all the best for the New Year. May each one of you experience the Lord in many ways!
Yours in His ministry.
Friend and Priest
Rev. Joby Varghese Joy