Who we are in Christ?

When we try to answer to this question, then we realise how precious we are to God. According to the creation Story, God created the heavens and the earth simply by his word – “Let there be light”, and there was light. He continued with that “Let there be ……” until everything is created in six days. And in the second creation story it says in Genesis 2:7 – Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of

the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. When I looked at God forming the man from the dust of the ground,

I assumed that God actually touched the dust of the ground to show how special we are. Not only touched, but God created mankind in his own image. All the creations are different from humans because of this significant image.

In creation we know that human beings are God’s image-bearers, we were created to share in the task of bringing God’s wise and beneficial rule to the rest of the world. Male and female together, we are significant because all the time we carry the image of God. God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to enjoy everything, but not the tree in the middle of the garden. Well, everything was perfect until the serpent tempted Eve to eat the fruit from that tree and Eve failed. She gave it to Adam and he also failed the test, they both were doomed from that very day.

The good news is, God did not want us to die when we failed to obey his commandment. He wanted us to come back to him again and again. He sends his Son Jesus to be the bridge and the way back to Him. He said in John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Our worth is in Christ alone. Without Christ we are nothing according to St. Paul. Today, as we continue our journey of faith we are reminded that when Christ is in our heart and life, then we are transformed.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Cor 5:17. We have to remember all the time that we are the crown of the creation of God. According to Ps 119:14 – “I praise you because I

am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Grace & Peace, Rev Maile

Lent 1
Collect: O Lord, who for our sake didst fast forty days and forty
nights: Give us grace to use such abstinence, that our flesh being
subdued to the Spirit, we may ever obey thy godly motions in
righteousness and true holiness, to thy honour and glory,
who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end, Amen.

From the desk of the minister: The temptation of Jesus
We have come to the beginning of the Season of Lent today. And we are
reminded of the importance of following our Christian Calendar. We are setting
our eyes to the cross and Easter but before we arrive on that occasion, we have
to make ourselves right in the presence of God. Lent is a time of looking into
ourselves and our relationship with God and others.
Are we restoring broken
relationships? Are we repenting of our sins? Are we setting apart a time to
recharge our energy from God? The story of the temptation of Christ is a story
of testing our faith in the place that we are likely to fall. Jesus was thrown into
the wilderness by the Holy Spirit after his baptism. Jesus was full of power and
authority from God when he was sent to be tested. The Israelites were tested by
God in the wilderness for 40 years and they failed and many of them perished in
the desert. When Jesus was tested in the wilderness his ammunition was fasting
and prayer. During his time in the wilderness, Satan unfolded all his missiles
before Jesus without success because the Word of God has power to destroy the
missiles of the devil. After 40 days, the devil gives up. From the Genesis story,
Eve failed to obey the word of God and she gave in to the serpent. We are
doomed to fail if we deviate from the God’s Word. Jesus was victorious because
he used the Word to counter the strong tempting ideas of Satan. No wonder,
there are lots of people that fail in their journey of faith because they did not
listen to the Voice of God through the bible. We are reminded at the beginning
of our journey through Lent, our victory is always through God!

If we choose another way, we will definitely fail.

Grace & Peace, Rev Maile

Transfiguration Sunday
Collect: Hear the prayers of your people, O Lord: that we, who are
weighed down by our sins, may be delivered for the glory of your
Name through Jesus Christ, our Lord who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit one God world without end, Amen

From the desk of the minister: The Transfiguration of Jesus

The reading from Exodus today is similar to the reading from the Gospel of
Matthew today. We can be assured that Jesus is greater than Moses.
There was no doubt that Moses was one of the heroes of the OT.
Moses brought the Israelites out of their bondage in Egypt. He led them through
the Red Sea and into the wilderness and finally made it to the Jordan River
getting them ready to cross over to the Promise Land. Unfortunately, Moses did
not enter the Land, but Joshua led the people into their final destination, the Land
of Milk and Honey. The two stories are similar, God met Moses at Mount Sinai
and there was the Voice of God spoke to Moses. In the same way from our
gospel reading, God spoke from the cloud and revealed who Jesus was.
“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
These two stories really encouraged the Israelites and the disciples to be true
followers of God. Despite the similarities of the two stories, we also found
differences. In the giving of the Ten Commandments, God was always present
in the Tabernacle but in Matthew version, God was in Christ through the
Incarnation. He reveals to the disciples that His beloved Son is the One to listen
to. That is our call and encouragement too that Jesus is our model of life and the
one to listen all the time. God’s identity is fully revealed in Christ… he came as
one of us to show us the ultimate love of God, reaching out to save us from our
sins. The story of Transfiguration is a story of transformation for us as well.

Once we see the glory of God, we cannot be the same; we come down
from the mountain to show our love to make a difference in our
community. We look forward for our new journey during Lent and
into Easter, with affirmation of the greatest victory of all.
Grace & Peace, Rev Maile

Epiphany 6

Collect: Almighty God, grant that with our minds we are always set
on your wisdom and love, may we pursue both in word and deed those
things that are pleasing in your sight; through Jesus Christ, our Lord
who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit one God
world without end, Amen.

From the desk of the minister:
Blessed are those who walk according to the law of the Lord
Psalm 119 is the longest psalm and the longest chapter in the bible. The first 8
verses is our reading for this week. And those verses are encouragement for the
readers about the blessing of all who follow and keep God’s law. The praising
of God is a must for all the people who obey his law. This week as we come to
the final week after Epiphany, we are reminded of the importance of God’s Law.
In the whole psalm, God’s Word is a prominent theme throughout and is referred
to with 8 descriptive synonyms –

Commands, Precepts, Decrees, Law(s),
Statues, Promises, Righteous Laws, Word(s).

All those words are emphasized to
us as we go along as followers of Christ. This week I will focus on the
importance of choice. We have to choose according to what we want in life.
And sometimes, we choose the wrong thing but we still have the opportunity to
rectify our choices. But in the ultimate choice, I do hope that we all choose life
over death. And that is what the psalmist is expressing to us today – “You have
laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed”.
That is our call as Christians,
we have to follow God’s commands because that is the only way that prevent us
from falling into the traps of the devil.
Some say the middle of the bible is Psalm 118:8 – It says: “It is better to take
refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans”.
That is very true when we come
to ponder that verse. It is better to have Christ in your life, than to trust in
humans. I have to speak from my own experiences about my life. I have been in
trouble so many times, but God got me out of that, because I never doubt his
healing grace and compassionate love. Let His Law be our guide in life.
Grace & peace, Rev Maile

Collect: O Lord, watch over your household with constant love: that,
supported by you alone, we may always stand firm in your protection;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity
of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end, Amen
From the desk of the minister: We are called to be Salt & Light
As we continue our journey during the season of Epiphany, we are
reminded of our true value as disciples of Christ. The gospel reading for
this Sunday comes from the Sermon on the Mount. The Beatitudes last
Sunday, and now Jesus comes with two symbols that really show us how
important we are as followers of Christ. Salt and Light are both necessary
for life. They signify the action of the kingdom in true disciples.
Jesus today really emphasises the uselessness of both when they no longer
give life. Disciples of the kingdom are to be the salt that preserves
whatever is good in things on earth and sustains their life-giving qualities.
The future of all humanity depends on the kingdom that the disciples are
to reveal. We are called to be true manifestation of Christ to others.
Jesus knew about the Pharisees and the Scribes, they were the masters of
religious activities and were always respected in the public because of who
they were. But Jesus knew them more. He looked into their hearts and
knew they were not genuine in their relationship with God. They always
speak the right thing but their actions are so different. Jesus uses the two
symbols as a way forward for the disciples of the kingdom of God.
The way of life of disciples should be a light for all, like a city on a hill.
A lamp in a villager’s cottage is put on a lampstand in the centre of the
house. It would be useless under a basket for holding a bushel of grain.
Disciples whose good lives are not seen by others are just as useless.
Salt was meant to be salty, if the saltiness is gone then it would be useless.
We are called to preserve the goodness of the Lord. We are called to show
the light of God to the people who live in darkness.Grace & Peace, Maile