Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Journey 12: Transformed Living

Theme: Transformation in my Parish
Read: John 4: 1-42

Every parish has members in its roll. It is the duty of the each of the earning member in the parish to support the parish activities and participate in the ministry of parish in particular and church in general, through a voluntary subscription. Some of the members are regular subscribers, while some give their subscription quarterly or half yearly, while some yearly. But there are some people whom the parish trustees term as outstanding members whose due or subscriptions are never paid. Sometimes this analogy is quite apt also on how we view our relationship with our parish. Some of the members are regular participants, some come once in while but one of the saddest part in the life of the parish are those whom I term as outstanding members. These are people who are very regular to church, but the only strange thing is that they never enter the sanctuary of the church or involve in worship. You can always find them in all places of the church property other than in the worship sanctuary. I believe all of us need to be very clear about our understanding of what it means to be a member of a parish or a church.
In the biblical passage we find an encounter of a Samaritan woman with Jesus Christ. There are lot of changes that Jesus brings in the life of this woman. But the most important change that He brings is in the concept of worship. When the concept of worship becomes right in the life of a Christian then the very concept of church and also parish becomes right. In John 4: 20, the woman tells Jesus her understanding of worship, but then as Jesus talks to the woman He reveals to the woman what is true worship and that worship is where one worships in Spirit and Truth [ John 4: 24]. Here is Jesus convicting the woman that when she comes to worship, her heart and mind has to be tuned to God who is the truth and that she has to submit to the Holy Spirit. Church is a set apart space where the primary reason why the believers come to church is to encounter the Living Lord. That should be our objective as we  meet together on Sunday. So let us ask ourselves whether we are clear on our motive to go to church on Sunday and also what it means to be a subscribing member of the parish and the church. When our perspective on both worship and membership is clear then I believe very understanding of parish and church will also be clear. Where in the church space do you normally spend time? In the worship hall, the hallways, the social hall or in the parking lot? That space tells what church means to you?

Let us Pray:
O God we thank you that we are members of your body. But often we are members of your body for the wrong reason. Help us to be very clear on what you expect us by becoming members of your body. Amen.

One Year Bible Reading Plan
Genesis 20-23; Mathew 16-18; Psalms 20-23; Proverbs 14-15