From March 6th, 2016 A.D., Marg churches, which operate in three different geographical locations in Pune have, for a season, started meeting on Sundays at our usual Koregaon Park hall.
If you are a newcomer and you want to find us on a Sunday, come to K.P. And where do you find us through the week? In these locations.
Marg takes church life and makes it biblical! Ok, wait.
It doesn’t sound biblical. Sounds more like a setback, doesn’t it?
“What happened to the local missions?”
“What went wrong with the local Sunday church meetings?”
“Why have we joined up to be one church again?”
These are some questions that might come to mind.
I think it’s best to remind ourselves of the church leaders’ announcement and it’s purpose. And I hope this will encourage readers, especially from the three Marg churches, to set their shoulders to the plow and plow away for the Kingdom of God to come in further fullness in Pune.
‘Spotlight’ will be easily known as the movie that trumped the Leonardo DiCaprio-starrer ‘The Revenant’ for the Best Picture Oscar award this year.
It’s based on the true story of how persistent investigative journalism uncovered the scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic church in the city of Boston. Some might remember the 2002 case and the worldwide outrage that sent tremors through the Roman Catholic Church around the world and sadly revealed many more child abuse cases that had been perpetrated across decades.
Sheetal and I have been reading this book ‘Sensing Jesus’, in which the author Zack Eswine writes about a pastor’s insights on the value system he had been noting in his church. The culture involved professionalism to an extreme where hardly any grace was shown when mistakes were made. Something the pastor said struck me as oddly familiar:
We tried recently to invite folks for dinner and then spend time together with no agenda other than to get to know each other. 85% of the folks left immediately after dinner. Many… told us that, as pastors, we were wasting their time because we gave them nothing to do but sit with people.
Eswine was pointing to our tendency to embrace what is popular and Jesus’ disdain towards living the celebrity life. But I realized that the same tendency which the pastor saw in his people in that church ran deep in my spiritual veins.
“Why should we do holidays and (sinfully?) enjoy long fun trips?
Isn’t that all wrong?”
I tend to go there often.
The devil is the prince of extremes. He will teach us that the absence of enjoyment and celebration is a holy life. Then, anyone who appears pious should go to Heaven. Why does God command His people to celebrate His goodness in various festivals in the Old Testament which were practiced even in the New Testament? Why does then Jesus gladly participate in a wedding in Cana (John 2:1-3)? Jesus never stopped worshipping God, the Father. Can celebration be worship?
It’s the presence of God’s Holy Spirit in a person and His fruit that is indicative of His holiness in Christians. Along with this goes the growing hatred against and absence of sin. And God sees through fake appearances all the time. As the Marg membership handbook reminds me, it’s what or who we celebrate that matters. More than mere actions, the motives matter. Continue reading “The Marg Goa Trip – 2016”