Motto: Year of Service

Dear beloved in Christ,

Greetings, Grace, and Peace from the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

The Church of South India mediates upon the theme ‘Come Holy Spirit, Renew us’ in May as we are going to celebrate Pentecost Sunday during this month. ‘Come Holy Spirit, Renew us’ is a prayer, and prayer is the language most authentic to the Church for it invites us to become co-creators with God in Christ. The gift and presence of the Holy Spirit is the greatest, most wonderful thing which can happen to us, to the human community, to all living beings, and this earth of ours. The Church is a charismatic community of all who share a common experience of new life through their unity in God’s spirit. The Holy Spirit actualizes Christ in the life of the Church and safeguards the Church’s unity and truth. In the extraordinary events of the first Pentecost, the earliest Christians discovered that the mission to which Christ called them was one for which the gift of the Holy Spirit empowered them. Two thousand years later, therefore, the choice of the theme “Come Holy Spirit—Renew us”—holds immense promise for the whole Church.

How is the Holy Spirit to be discerned? It is simple enough to turn to the apostle Paul’s description of “the fruit of the Spirit” for an answer (Gal. 5:22-23). But, in God’s freedom, the Holy Spirit breathed over the face of creation (Gen. 1:21), is to be poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28), and is free as the wind to blow wherever God wills (John 3:8). It was suggested that a new type of mission is required today in the context of this pandemic, not into foreign lands, but into ‘foreign’ structures, that is economic, social, and political structures that are destructive and need conversion.

As Christians, we should confess our failure to recognize and fulfill our responsibility toward creation. As a redeemed community, the Church is called to be a sign of ‘new creation’ in Christ and has a crucial role in the renewal of creation. In this pluralistic age, the Christian Church does this in dialogue with other religions and ideological faiths.

Many divisions still prevail in our world, which leads to the disparity. Some are economic and political. The post-Covid world will indeed create many unprecedented issues that are yet to be identified and discerned. The brokenness of relationships and injustices are experienced particularly by many women, children, youth, and the differently-abled. The Holy Spirit draws churches into a relationship of love and commitment. The spirit calls the churches to a commitment to seek visible unity and a more effective mission. Heeding the call of the spirit, we urge churches to seek new and reconciled relationships between peoples and use all their members’ gifts.

God and humankind are reconciled by the Cross of Christ, a costly sacrifice. To appropriate this reconciliation is also costly, as we become ministers of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18). We thus become a missionary people, not in the sense of dominating people and nations, which has all too often characterized missionary work, but in the purpose of sharing God’s own mission of bringing all humanity into communion with God through Christ, sharing our faith and our resources with all people. The Church, by this meditation, prays for the Spirit of God to lead Christians to a renewed vision of God’s rule so that we may be accountable for our stewardship of ‘the mystery of the Gospel’ (Eph. 6:19). We pray that we may bear the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ that bears out God’s rule of love and truth, righteousness and justice and freedom, reconciliation, and peace. 

We need the dynamic power of the spirit that integrates faith with daily life, worship with action. May the Holy Spirit empower us to integrate such a comprehensive faith-life integration for a better world.

Yours in Christ

Rev. Joby Joy Mullackal

 © Emmanuel CSI Church 2020