Sanctification of the Church – Kudosh Eetho
Samuel K. Samuel
St. Thomas MTC, NY
6 For this is the reason the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that, though they had been judged in the flesh as everyone is judged, they might live in the spirit as God does.
The Mar Thoma Church sets the fifth Sunday in October as Kudosh Eetho, The Sanctification of the Church. The Old Testament reading for this Sunday is taken from 2 Kings and describes the reign of King Josiah, who took the throne in the midst of rampant idolatry and sin. Josiah discovered the law of the Lord and made a covenant before all of Judah and Jerusalem that he and his people would follow the God of Israel. He then proceeded to burn every statue and offering that was given to the pagan gods, renouncing them completely.
The world we live in today is very reminiscent of the one Josiah found himself in. Everyday we are faced with examples of unwholesome language, sexual immorality, substance abuse, etc. Yet much like Josiah, it is in this sin-riddled environment that we, as a Church, are called to live according to the will of God.
Peter speaks of this mission in his letter to the newly converted Jewish and Gentile believers. In this passage, he reminds them that although they once participated in earthly desires, they are now a new creation in Christ and have been freed to live according to His commandments. Living in such a manner is in direct conflict with the culture of the world. In following the will of God, we set ourselves apart from the sin of the world to be used for the purposes of the Kingdom. Essentially, we sanctify our spirits to be aligned with the promptings of the Holy Spirit.In our Liturgy, as the priest blesses the bread, he says, “Holy things for holy people.” We respond by affirming that only the Triune God is holy. And yet, in His great mercy and love, God invites us to join Him at the Communion Table. We are sanctified, made pure and holy, not by our own efforts but by the redeeming power of Christ’s great sacrifice. It is this redemption that assures that even when our bodies wither away, our spirits will live eternally with Christ. May God bless us to live sanctified lives according to His will.
Father in Heaven, we praise You for You are a Righteous Judge. We confess that we are tempted by the desires of our flesh and we ask for Your forgiveness. We thank You that by Your love, we are made new creations. Help us to live sanctified lives and follow Your will for our lives. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
"Holy things for holy people.” As a sanctified church, how can we live like holy people?