CHRISTOS MAR THOMA CHURCH

  

Philadelphia

Youth Chaplain's Message


REV. THOMAS K. MATHEW


FROM THE DESK OF THE YOUTH CHAPLAIN


JULY, 2020



Dearly Beloved in Christ,


Greetings.  In this pandemic season we have witnessed spectacular crashes. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost to COVID‐19. Economies have fallen into shambles. Businesses have shuddered and collapsed. Churches are unable to have their sacraments and worship services in their sanctuaries as before. Non profits are struggling with their finances since donations have drastically dropped. 


The future still remains doubtful as we do not yet know what might be the long‐term consequences of the pandemic for the global body of Christ, for the poor and vulnerable, or for social order and human flourishing. I am sure we are all stunned and shocked at these “spectacular crashes” and it will remain in our memory for a long time. They are startling and harrowing and fascinating all at once. But if we focus on what is dying, we may miss the slow and subtle rise of what is coming to life. 


In the midst of this chaos there are chances we may miss to see the small groups and churches drawing closer in a time of need. How our churches have found space in the virtual world to have our worships and fellowships. Ministries finding new ways to serve and encourage. Communities remembering how to care for one another. Children recognizing that life is sacred and meant to be lived with purpose. Families rediscovering the joy of being present to one an‐ other. Countless men and women no longer too distracted or busy or proud to ask where life comes from and what its purpose might be.


When we turn our attention to the biblical episode in which many Israelites returned from exile and began to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem we see that those who recalled its former splendor lamented how the new temple seemed, at first, so meager. God tells the prophet Zechariah that his people should not “despise the day of small things” (Zech. 4:10). The beginnings of the second temple were so humble that men and women wept in despair. How could they celebrate such a small thing amid so much ruin? Yet the structure would stand for centuries and became, under Herod, one of the most magnificent buildings in the ancient world. 


As we set our eyes to the future let us always remember that it is the Almighty and everlasting God who is the Alpha and the Omega who is leading us and will strengthen us to overcome this crisis and deliver the whole world. The future might seem bleak when we depend on our strength and our experiences thus far, but if we truly seek his guidance he will lead us. 


The VBS which we are looking forward will be a blessing to all our children and we sincerely pray and hope for that. We also thank God that the Youth Fellowship, Young Family Fellowship and other organizations of the parish is enduring through their continued prayers and fellowship despite all the challenges. The South East Regional Youth Fellowship conducted its HOPE Conference through Zoom which was well attended by over 130 youths including our youths. Let us hope and pray that we will be able to join together for worship and fellowship in our sanctuary very soon. 


May the lord bless and keep us all strengthened 


Yours in Christ service 

Rev. Thomas K. Mathew 

Youth Chaplain