Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Emotional Sunday 09.09.2012

On reaching the Church the disciples were helped into rows of seats in the still air filled with soft music. Upa Songzalian, of the Worship Team (WT) took the stand and welcomed the congregation in the name of Christ.
With the first hymn, “Hong pai un...” - Come let us worship the Lord, the congregation praised the Lord for the saving work of Jesus. Then WT Songzalian dedicated the worship to the Lord in prayer.  That was followed by the second hymn, “Kris Sisan pha”-  The Precious Blood of Christ, then came up the third hymn, “Ka Jesu, Ka Honpa”- My Jesus, my Saviour”. The worshippers  shouted to the Lord whose promise compares with Nothing. From there the worship moved over to Prayer. The humble submission of the worshippers continued with tunes and music and the chanting of “Nang bang omlou” No one like you Lord!, until the Mass Prayer was concluded by WT Lydia. As praises continued with the fourth hymn, “Mikhial (sual) Siam tanna Kros”- The Cross of redemption, the offering bowl was brought by Ushers from BYF South Extension, which was dedicated in prayer by Upa Kamsuanthang.
Pastor V. Nenglian who is away to Hyderabad on the request of Eimi Christian Fellowship, in connection with their Summer Retreat extending till the 13th September, had requested Upa Damsawmthang to take the pulpit.
As a typical non-chaplain exposition, his was not as much a 'sermon' as a 'sharing' which has its own charm. The Upa who came down to Delhi in the late 1980s with his big family of nine (?) has more stories than could be related in a worship service- about how his family was crammed in a one-room flat in Delhi's Munirka, how he endured the trials and tribulations as an assistant through becoming a class I category officer in the country's Defence Headquarters and how his wife who stood behind him all through the years, was battling with diabetes. He was emotional about the rough and tumble of life he had to go through, and the eventual dawning of happy days.  Last year he was blessed with a daughter-in-law and a grand-son. And recently his eldest son joined as probationary officer in a public sector bank. Due to such worldly blessings he is at the peak of joy. What a joy it is attaining everlasting life, he intoned.
Based on the scripture 1 Peter 1:3-12, the Speaker focused himself on how hope has influenced discipleship
Praise to God for a Living Hope
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
Drawing special attention to verse 8, the speaker expressed his perception of the power of faith, even in the realm of darkness. Faith and love that spring from the hope stored up in heaven as written by Paul in his epistle to the Colossians, is the element that sustains disciples. Abraham and Sarah, who were as good as dead, moved to a place they never knew, became descendants of people as numerous as the stars and sand; Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau; Joseph spoke about the exodus of Israelites from Egypt; infant Moses was hid for three months, he grew up and chose to be mistreated with God’s people than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin; people passed through the Red Sea; the walls of Jericho fell; prostitute Rahab was saved; some face jeers and flogging, even chains and imprisonment. Faith is the element that fuelled such steadfastness in all these testimonies.
The speaker recalled the faith of, and love for God found in the life of a pastor, who sang, ..'deny me not Thy Kingdom and Righteousnes, whatever!'
Before concluding the session, the Upa welcomed the first timers.
Thereafter the congregation rose to the last hymn, BNL No. 336 Sa in Jesu Itna lamdang The session was concluded with benediction by Upa Tualzalang.