Hope in the midst of gloom

Vicar - Rev. Dr. John George

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” - Isaiah 9: 6

We have reached the end of 2020. It’s with mixed feelings that we look ahead to the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus. 

We have just been through a gruelling nine months with the threat of sickness and death lurking like dark clouds over our horizon due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And we are still blanketed in uncertainty and fear as we are in the last days of December, the Christmas month, unsure of what to expect and what it brings in its wake. 

But let us look at the silver lining amidst the dark clouds and we realise we have much to be thankful and grateful for. We have been kept safe and well under God’s sovereign protection. Our church has witnessed the installation of our 22nd Metropolitan, Most Rev Dr Theodosius Mar Thoma Metropolitan. After almost 8 months of lockdown our church is now open for worship with some restrictions in place. We have just concluded a very enlightened and insightful Parish Convention led by Rev Dr Mothy Varkey. And we look forward with immense joy to the celebration of Christmas with lilting carols and the spreading of good cheer. So much to be thankful for!

What is the Christmas message this year? In the light of what we have all witnessed in recent months we must learn to receive with gratitude what is given and more importantly learn to give with grace from what we have. God sent his son into this sin-stained world as an infant, born in a lowly manger, to live and die as our Saviour so that our sins could be washed in his precious blood and we can be made children of God. 

This is the most priceless gift man has ever received and let us endeavour to share this great gift we have received with those who have never heard the good tidings. Let us be perhaps the only Bible that some get to read and share in letter and spirit the love, joy, hope and peace of Christmas with them. 

Seeing our joy and hope which stems from the baby in the manger they should be seekers of this joy and hope. 

Christ’s life epitomised sterling qualities – to love, to care and share, to forgive and accept, to be honest and sincere, to always be encouraged to live right, a life well-pleasing to God at all times. 

Let each one of us this Christmas, pledge to share the Christmas story with at least one lost soul and fill their life with hope and joy. 

Let our love for the Lord change the world but we should never allow the world to change our love for God. 

I take this opportunity to wish each and every family of our Chembur church a blessed and hope-filled Christmas and a Christ-filled New Year. 

God bless you all.

Aby Achen

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