The Rt.Rev.Dr. H.A.Martin “tale” ved hans indsættelse den. 14.01.09 som den 11 biskop til Trankebar.
” the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”( Mathew 20: 28)
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I geet each and every of you in the Triune name of our Lord Jesus!
The first reformist (Protestant) Church was started in Indiea with
the Holy ministry of our pioneer Missionary Rev. Ziegenbalg. Our Church
is 302 years old, with rich heritage and has been nurtured and
patronized by the Mother Churchers of germany and Sweden. I humble
before my Lord Jesus for choosing me as the 11th Bishop of the Tamil
Evangelical Lutheran Church.
In the Triune name of our Lord Jesus, I welcome and greet each and
every one who has come to attend this Divine Service of Consecration and
The text for today`s Meditation is taken from the Gospel assording to
St. Mathew 20:28 ” He did not come to be served, But to serve” This is
not only sermon, but altso the ‘theme’ of Bishopric.
Let us meditate on this theme on the following two headings:
1) Commitment through Ministry
2) Reconciliation through Mininstry
COMMITMENT THROUGH MINISTRY.
For any work or any servise, commitment is most essential. Whatever
task we undertake, the foundation for victory is the total commitment of
the person who undertakes the task. The great scientist Einstein says, ”
I do my work as worship” His statement reveals how mush truthful, pious
and devoted he was in his commitment.
For a successful Chistian life, commitment is the concrete base. The
word of lord Jesus ” Not to served but to serve” most emphatically
expresses His desire and expectation that service with commitment is the
prime duty of the people of God.
We, the children of God are able to realize the depth and strength of
His commitment, when He says thatHe came only to serve. Service does
not mean power, governance or position. On the other hand, it is
humility, selflessness, love for one another and mindful of social
welfare. Doing humble service to God and fellowmen is the Ministry of
The Lord Jesus completed the work of His father by redeeming this
world even to His Death. (John 17:4) Through this, He emerged as the
total embodiment of commitment and came out as the successful King of
redemption without looking back under any circumstance. He is our best
example for such a commitment with body, mind and soul.
Our first Missionary Ziegenbalg’s life is altso a great example of
this commitment. And now we - the Church TELC - are the fruits of his
sacrifice, concern, commitment and Service. The great Theologian William
Barclay says ” There are two great days in our life”. One is the ‘The day we are born‘ and the other is the day we discover ‘ Why we are Born‘.
It is the great day when we realize God’s plan in our lives. Only here
commitment starts. In the Book Nehemiah 2:18 he calls peopel ” Arise,
come let us build”. And so people strengthened their hans for the good
work. They committed themselves with one mind, one spirit to rebuild the
dilapidated, devastated Jerusalem City and the Temple. Not only that,
they also gave hope to the people of Jerusalem who have lost thei hope.
Seeking the help of God, they dedicated themselves with commitment, to
do the work of rebuilding and renovating Jerusalem. Besides, they altso
encouraged the people of Jerusalem with the same commitment. Now, the
Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church ! - With rich heritage of 302 years -
spread out as the 10 Church Districts in 4 Regions - Dear people of God!
Now I encourage you, and call you ” Come let us rebuild our Church”
with Nehemiah’s Commitment..
We are nor only born by Cod’s purpose but for His purpose.
Once a Bishop went to pray for Pastor who was in deatbed. He saw that
dying Pastor’s face was full of fear. The Bishop asked him whether he
was afraid of death. The Pastor replied, ” No! No! I am happy to meet
the Lord. But I realize that I was not truthful in my commitment. I had
won only few souls to the Lord. I did not do justice to my commitment
and How do I joyfully meet the Lord”.
My dear Brothers and Sisters, let us analyze ourselvers. As Pastors,
Church workers and believers of jesus Christ, what is our commitment in
the growth of our Church. Let us think seriously.
In the life of Apostle Peter, his commitment and his actions were not
deep in the early days of his calling. But when we see him in John’s
Cospel Chapter 21, after the resurrection of the Lord and only after the
Lord performed miracle for the second time in his life and altso when
the Lord asked him the third time ” Do you love me? “, Peter thinks of
the depth of the meaning of this question and then onwards he surrenders
himself completely withcommitment to the service of God. Let us altso
commit ourselvers completey and sure whats exactlyis our role and share
in the growth of the Church. Let us not do our work lethargically.
Let our work shine as a small candle, Though not as a big lighthous.
Let me share a true story. Pastor Murphy was traveling in a ship from
America to China to spead the Good News of the Lord. One day, he was
talking to a co-traveler on the deck of the ship. But he did not
introduce himself by name. He told him that he was going to China for
Gospel work. That friend said, ” Some time ago, a man like you called
Murphy came to China to do Gospel work. He was opposed, kidnapped and
threatened to stop his activities by some people in China. But Murphy
was very firm in his decision and refused to withdraw from the Ministry.
Therefore, the opponents cut off three fingers of his right hand sent
him back to America with a warning not to come backand that is why I
tell you to go to China to do gospel work and join with me to do good
business in China”. But Pastor Murphy was firm in his decision and
refused to join in his business. They had to depart for lunch and they
shook hands. While doing so, the friend felt a difference in Murphy’s
hand and he asked, ” Are you Pastor Murphy? Why do you again come to
China?” Pastor Murphy replied, ” last time, I lost only three fingers.
Now, I am ready to lose seven more fingers for the sake of God’s work. I
hav completely surrendered myself to the service of my Lord. I will
never go back”.
When we commit ourselvers to God’s work, we face trials and
sufferings. This is what Paul says in Philippians 3: 7, ” But whatever
was to my profit I now conside loss for the sake of Christ” ” And so
some how to attain to the resurrection from the dead” ( V11) ” I press
on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me” ( V
14) Today, like Paul, realizing the inner meaning of our calling in
God’s work, let us surrender and commit ourselvers towhole heartedly. Life is not just a happening but it is built by commintment, trials, temptations, sacrifice and sufferings.
RECONCILIATION THEROUGH MINISTRY:
We need the co- operation of all to excel in a Ministry or a Service
or a work. Removing all bitterness and resentment, if only we servewith
love, generosity and piety of Christ, our service will be excellent.
Along with sacrifice, we altso need oneness and reconciliation. A
Devotee sing, ” we should always renew ourselves with new thoughts and
new spirit” He sings this realizing the importance of oneness and
reconciliation in our hearts. Collective responsibility leads real fellowship.
In the life and Ministry of Christ, it was his chief aim and duty to
reconcile the creation of mankind with the Father. For the sake of this,
He sacrificed Himself on the Cross and completed the work of
reconciliation. This is possible only through serving and not be served.
Thus John says in Chapter 17:21. ” that all of them may be one, Father,
just as you are in me and I am in you. May they altso be in us so that
the world may believe that you have sent me”.
Psalms 133:1 goes like this: ” how good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity”
It means that in reconciliation and commitment, ther is Divinity and
heavenly joy. Mathew 18:20 say, ” For where two or three come together
in my Name, there am I with them” It is true that God’s presence,
guidance and his blessings are there when we are united. In Acts of
Apostles 2:1, we read that when they were all together on the day of
Pentecost, all of them were filled with Holy Spirit and they werw
anointed with the power of Holy Ghost. And we altso read in Chapter
2:46 ” Every day they continued to meet together in the tempel courts.
They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere
hearts….” We can see in this oneness of heart, divine power, joy, peace
and love for one another. So altso when Lord Jesus Christ was born, the
Angelic hosts were saving ” Glory to God in the highest, and on earth
Peace to men on whom his favor rests” ( Luke 2:14).
Reading history is easy but making history is difficult and hard
and it is not altso possible with one person. It is possible only
through the joint and united effort of many. In the 4th and 5th Chapters
of the Acts of Apostles we see that Believers with one heart, under the
leadership of the apostles, sold their possessions and used for the
growth of the Church. When there is oneness, selfishness will disappear
and tendency for common welfare will grow. Oneness and reconciliation
are very essential requisites for the Church.
In the absence of these two qualities, the growth of the Church
itself becomes question. Church is confederation of believers of Christ.
Even if it slightly go astray, its growth will be affected. In the days
of Ezra and Nehemiah, before theystart to rebuild the devastated
Jerusalem, first they united the people, created a unity with commitment
and encouraged the people for that work.
Truly speaking, all of us have expectation regarding the growth of
the Church. One hand cannot bring any sound. Clapping with two hands
brings sound. Even one or two people cannot bring about any change or
development in the Church. It is possible only through the joint effort of all of us. Let us remove all diffirence of opinion, grievances, anger,
resentment, and prejudice and let’s reconcile in the Lord. Let Christ’s
thoughts be our thoughts and be united in Christ. The Holy Spirit will
strengthen us to do great things, to spread the Gospel and for the
develoment of the Church.
In 1972, owing to the effort of the Lutheran Pasor Rev. Arthur
Simon, some Reformist Churches and the Catholic Church joined together
and as a result of their good effort, the mighty organization ” Bread
for the world” was born remove the hunger and poverty of the indigent.
The very foundation of this organization is ” oneness”, setting aside
the denominational disparities.
Change is nature of life, but challenge is the aim of life;
we have to challenge the changes and not change the challengs. The
characteristic of life is liable to change. The aim of life is to face
challenges. Real life means meeting the challengs without changing the
challengs. Oneness and reconciliation are great challengs. Let
us accept and face them boldly. Let us hope for a bright and shining
Many years ago, there was a terrible cyclonic storm in California.
Many houses were razed to the ground. Trees fell uprooted. But the
sagoya trees wre not all affected by the storm and they stood erect,
tall and strong. Botanical experts wre surprise at this. On research,
they found thats the roots of the trees were heavily intertwined with
each other. The roots of one tree were found intertwined with the roots
of another such tree. They came to understand that this was the reason
for their firmness in spite of the powerful cyclonic storm.
Therfore Let us reconcile ourselvers with the Lord!‘
Let us be one in the Lord!
Let us dedicate and surrender ourselvers for development of the Church !
Let us Labor untiringly!
May God help and protect us. AMEN.
Biskopper af Trankebar.
The Rt. Rev. Dr.
- 1921-1926 Ernst Heumann
- 1927-1934 David Bexell
- 1934-1956 Johannes Sandelgren
- 1956-1967 Ratjah Bushanam Manikam
- 1967-1972 Carl Gustav Diehl
- 1972-1975 A.J.Satyanadhan
- 1975-1978 L.Easter Ray
- 1978-1993 Jayseelan Jacob
- 1993-1999 Ganabaranam Johnson
- 1999- 2009 Thaveedu Aruldoss
- 2009 - H.A.Martin