Dearly beloved in Christ, Greetings in the matchless name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. October is an important month in Church of South India and in the history of Christianity. We are more focusing on the youths of our churches and celebrating the second Sunday as Youth Sunday.
Youth hood is the most generous time in a person’s life. This phase of life can be regarded as the best time to be molded either to be good or for bad. Today, Youth are considered as the best agents of change because they hold the key to the lifestyle of the world. Their life is a time of never-ending newness and learning, both about themselves and of the world around. No doubt they are the real ‘today’ and ‘tomorrow’. But is every young person with a vision in life? Does every young person possess the values of Justice, love, and integrity? Is every young person seriously committed in being a responsible citizen? - are a few questions which also pop up when talking about young people. The last Sunday of October is observed as Reformation Sunday, which commemorates the Protestant Reformation as well as Martin Luther. It was a movement against the corruption and other evil practices existed in the Catholic church. If a person – out of contrition for their sins and as a sign of repentance – made a financial gift to help with the building Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, then the church would furnish that person with a certificate acknowledging that gift and promising that they or their loved ones would be freed from a portion of the misery expected in the afterlife. In short, the church at that time taught that even those bound for heaven had to be cleansed of their earthly sins and this cleansing (purging) in the afterlife took place in a place called Purgatory. The certificates offered by the church (called “Indulgences”) promised to lessen this time of cleansing for oneself or others who have already died. November 1st was an important day for the selling and buying of these indulgences, known as All Saints Day on the church’s calendar. The day before Martin Luther posted a list of 95 Theses – 95 reasons that he objected to this practice of selling indulgences. Along with other writings by Martin Luther, those 95 Reasons went viral. Luther insisted that we are not forgiven because of anything we do like buying of Indulgences. Instead, we are forgiven because of who God is. We are loved and forgiven because God is full of grace and mercy. Luther and his followers were expelled from the church, that marked the beginning of protestant churches. Every Protestant church including CSI traces their roots back to this moment in history. I express my sincere gratitude and thanks to all, for your prayers and participation in our Church Convention. A special word of thanks to all the prayer warriors of our church meticulously. We were blessed by the presence and messages of Rev Joby Joy achen in the convention. Achen’s message was really challenging and inspiring. I am sure that many of us were blessed by the powerful intersession of the Holy Spirit. May God bless you all.
In His Service Yours Shalu Achen