“We challenge one another, as God’s people in every culture, to face up to the extent to which, consciously or unconsciously, we are caught up in the idolatries of our surrounding culture. We pray for prophetic discernment to identify and expose such false gods and their presence within the Church itself, and for the courage to repent and renounce them in the name and authority of Jesus Christ as Lord” Cape Town Commitment IIE 1a
Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
As graduates and students we belong to and face avery busy world. Not being busy- is almost a stigma by now. And in this busy world, life has become a living sacrifice(if we can equate all the struggles of our contemporary culture as “sacrifices”). But where/ to whom are we offering ourselves as living sacrifices?” This is a question worth introspecting. Are our livesbeing spent/sacrificed before several idols of our modern age?
The Scripture instructs us in clear terms that, “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them” Exodus 20:3-5 However, our generation serves several modern day idols with deep devotion and passion, offering their bodies as a living sacrifice before them, often without recognising /noticing it, nor its ramifications. Is it possible to worship the Living God along with worship of so many other things? Idolatry, the age-old sin of mankind is hated by us. However modern idolatries creep in quite subtlyto syncretism. There are many Examples. .
Wealth – is a good thing, yet that can draw people to worship it!!!! In fact,nowadays it is riches and material things that make people so proud of and boast about it. The consumeristic society demands people to be up-to-date in trends, facilities and financial security. It drives people to chase for material possessions and to live for it. Even the ritual thanksgiving meetings are becoming another avenue for the show off…When the relish for good and Godly things is gone, we are in a dangerous zone. No wonder Jesus warned us- “no one can serve two masters- God and mammon at the same time”. It’s good to introspect, the place of wealth in our lives and to check whether our lives too are being offered as a living sacrifice in the flow of the current world and its patterns.
The Body and Self: Our generation spends quite a lot on building, maintaining and repairing self-image.Body care is needed. After all, Body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Yet, when body and self-image is at the central stage we are worshippers of self, victims of Narcissism- the constant urge for egoistic admiration of self. Though in the Greek mythology Narcissus died falling in a pool while overtly admiring the reflection of his body and figure that he used to see in a pool.The love for self has only increased in our times, fuelled by the rugged individualism that is spreading in the world. The addictive craze for image creating selfies and social media uploadsthat looks up for the likes – (for some a measure of the fellow worshippers of self) not only puffs up people at times, but also robs people of dignity leading to the Narcissus kind of fall into death.
There are any more similar and associated gods and goddesses that replace the God that deserves our adoration and worship. Like in the olden days, the modern day idolatry too is not just around things that fascinate people, but also that scare us to fear and surrender. Many of the modern day idols create a scare among people of insecurity and demand a surrender to pursue it. The scare of insecurity is real and terrible, though people do not think enough- how secure is the security that these idols can offer.
We need discernment to identify and expose the modern day idols- false gods. Let us be alerted that we cannot worship the living God along with the worship of other things around us- neither what fascinates us, nor what scares us. Idolatry is a sin. And Sussanna Wesley’s definition of sin is precise to this point “Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, takes off your relish for spiritual things, whatever increases the authority of the body over the mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may seem in itself.” Therefore, I urge you brothers in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- His pleasing and perfect will. May the Lord enable us to worship Him- the true and living God, willing to work for Him with sacrifices that will be pleasing to Him.
On finances, as we enter second quarter of the financial year 2018-19, we need to catch up against the shortfalls of Quarter 1, the busy summer months of extensive training programmes across the country.
The need for the month of July 2018 is as follows
Kindly be in earnest prayers for 77L in July 2018, so that we can move without deficits right from the second quarter. Let us pray and participate as the Lord leads each of us..
Joyfully, with you in Christ
Reji. K. Daniel