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Let us Sow, Reap and Rejoice Together

 

"The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together" John 4:36

It is easier to look back than to look into the Future, but we must look into the Future, because our shared future guides our present. That is the meaning of the words of our Lord Jesus in John 4:31-38.

The Month of November in my opinion is a month to celebrate "Investments." I know we all tend to think of Investments in financial or economic terms. But as we celebrate Children's Day (World Sunday School Day) and St. Andrew's Day, it is a moment to ask, 'What is the most important investment?' In many ways, we are enjoying the fruits of the investment of our parents, elders, teachers, and founding elders of our church.

Agricultural images of sowing and reaping are used extensively in the Bible, to communicate the many sided aspects of the life, truth and the secrets of the Kingdom of God. Both the sower and the reaper have their roles and responsibilities, but they rejoice together. The reason that Jesus indicates that ability to rejoice is when we do His Will and complete His Work (John 4:34). It is amazing to see that the laying of the foundation stone and the dedication of our church building happened in the month of November in a span of two years (1864 and 1866). The imagery of the seed is employed to describe the work of the School and draws a connection between the first School and the later School started: "the church had a School started in the year 1872 mostly for non-nationals and had to be closed down subsequently due to insufficient response and encouragement. However, the seed sown thus remained dormant for nearly hundred years to experience a stupendous growth later when St. Andrew's School was reestablished this time for the under-privileged children in a slum area in the year 1977" (Sesquicentennial Commemorative Souvenir, p.9). The School needs more of our attention and focus, with the growing needs and mounting challenges.

We are glad for our own children and the rich legacy of the ministry among children in our church. Our renewed focus on Continuing Training for teachers, updated curriculum, and the creative resources in the Sunday School seems to be yielding results. One of the compelling reasons for some parents maybe an effective Sunday School, and we must sow now in order to reap for the future. We cannot wait and should not postpone. Sowing and reaping must be carried out in the appropriate time and our investment in the children is the same. As the anonymous saying goes, "Fifty years from now, it will not matter what kind of car you drove, what kind of house you lived in, how much you had in your bank account, nor what your clothes looked like. But the world will be a little better place because you were important in the life of a child."

I accompanied the leaders of the Men's Fellowship to the Calvary Chapel, which focuses on care and support to HIV affected children - a moving example of sowing, reaping and rejoicing together. Hopefully, our thoughtful support will bring meaning to those young lives, who are in no way responsible for what they are going through.

The words of our Lord are a great reminder: "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me" (Matthew 18:5).

Let me once again take this opportunity to thank each one of you for your loving participation in the Harvest and Thanksgiving Festival. We hope to work on the planned Mission Projects and continuing Infrastructure Projects in our church.

The story of St. Andrew our Patron Saint deserves attention. We know him as one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. Andrew was the first of the apostles called by Jesus (John 1:35 - 40), and he brings his brother Simon Peter to Jesus (John 1:41 - 42).According to Mark, Jesus called Andrew and his brother Peter to leave their fishing nets to "become fishers of men" (Mark 1:16 -18).Andrew was the one who informs Jesus concerning the lad with the expandable lunch (John 6:8 - 9), and takes Greeks to Jesus who wanted to see him (John 12:22).

Andrew also became popular in the West. In 1204, Crusaders stole Andrew's relics from Constantinople and took them to Amalfi, Italy. According to ancient Celtic tradition, St. Regulus (4th century) took the apostle's arm to St. Andrews, Scotland, and thus Andrew became known as the Patron Saint of Scotland. There is a scholarly consensus about the tradition that Andrew died at Patrae in Achaia. A story developed that he was martyred on an X-shaped cross (a "decussate" or "saltire" cross), which has become known as St. Andrew's cross. St. Andrew's cross has been and is an iconic representation of our church. On the Calendar of Saints of the Roman and Greek churches, Andrew's date is set as November 30, which is Andrew's Feast Day

We will be celebrating St. Andrew's Day on Sunday the 24th of this month, at a Joint Communion Worship Service beginning at 9 am, followed by various events, culminating with the Fellowship Lunch.

As we look forward to this day, let us be willing to be humble and courageous like our Patron Saint, Andrew.



Your Presbyter
Rev. Dr. Dexter S. Maben

 
 
   
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No.27, Cubbon Road, Bangalore-560001

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Email: andrewschurchblore@gmail.com