Vicar’s Message

“Greetings to you in the precious name of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ”.

A baby asked God, “They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?”. God said, “Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you.” The child further inquired, “But tell me, here in heaven I don’t have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy.” God said, “Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel’s love and be very happy.” Again the child asked, “And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don’t know the language?” God said, “Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak.” And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?” God said, “Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.” Who will protect me?” God said, “Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life.” But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.” God said, “Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you.” At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, “God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel’s name.” God said, “You will simply call her, “Mom.” Let us thank God for our mothers who have been angels to us.

I pray that all mom’s may follow these words of advice.

1. DEDICATE YOUR KIDS TO THE LORD : Hannah dedicated Samuel to the Lord (I Sam 1:28); Parents brought their kids to Jesus Mat.19:13

2. DISCIPLE YOUR KIDS : Don’t say I will let my kids make their own decisions. They don’t decide to go to school, take a bath, or go to bed. Come to Jesus and bring every child to Jesus.

3. DISCIPLINE YOUR KIDS : Prov 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

4. DEVOTE LOVE TO YOUR KIDS : Spend time and love your kids. Affection is just as important as food, clothing and a roof.

We will have our Parish picnic on May 27, let it be a time of fellowship and togetherness. May 28 we will have our Sunday school final exams. Let us also pray for our VBS scheduled from July 13- 15.

Happy Mother’s Day and Nurses Day to all mothers and nurses.

May God bless us all.

Yours in His service
Rev. Mathews Philip

Signs & Symbols in Christian Worship
(Rev. Mathews Philip)

Signs and symbols have an important place in human life. We have to relate with various realities, which cannot be seen, heard, known, experienced or comprehended directly by us. So we relate to these realities through certain media. For example love is an invisible reality. But it can be expressed through certain visible signs like kissing, embracing, giving gifts etc. we cannot live without these kinds of signs or symbols.

There is a slight difference between signs and symbols. A sign can be recognized by its nature or shape. For example a picture is a sign and it can be easily recognized because it is more close to a reality and it can be easily recognized because it is more close to a reality (atree,landscape,house.etc). But there is no similarity for a symbol. It is having an attributed meaning without which we cannot understand the symbol. It may be a mystery or matter, which points towards an invisible reality.

In the Eastern worship, symbols are inseparable elements. Candles, Cross, incense etc. are example of such elements, Prostration, bowing the head, and raising hands, etc. are symbolic act. Apart from worship, there is no meaning for such actions. Usually signs and symbols are used interchangeably. These two can’t be separated but are complementary to each other.

In faith and worship, importance is given not only for human rationale and intelligence. But symbols and matters related to five human senses are also very significant. Deep meaning is attributed to signs and symbols. The attitude that whatever is intelligible to our mind only will be accepted, is an immature attitude. That means there are mysteries beyond the comprehension of human mind.

Signs and symbols in the worship of the church:
In the old testament the tabernacle and the Ark were considered as the presence of God in the midst of the people of God (Ex: 25 :1-22). Christian worship emerged from the Jewish worship. So they followed the Jewish patterns and symbols of worship. When there was prohibition on worshipping Jesus Christ during the Roman persecution the early believers wrote on the walls in Greek language “Jesus Christ son of God and Savior”(ICTHUS) –Literally it means fish. So they have drawn the picture of fish to represent Christ on walls and caves where they worshipped. Candle, cross, incense etc. were symbols of early Christian worship. They communicated faith through pictures, icons and inscriptions during that time. Dove as the sign of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ the good shepherd, Palm leaves etc., were the main theme of illustration or icons.

……To be continued