The Bible Society of India celebrated the BSI Church Relations’ Day and Unity Octave virtually on January 30, 2023 across all our offices in India.  It was a time to come together irrespective of denominations and languages.  The theme for the day was “Do Good; Seek Justice” (Isaiah 1:17)

Rev. Dr. Sr. Virginia Rajkumari, Secretary, Diocesan Bible Commission, Archdiocese of Bangalore was the guest speaker.  Her message challenges everyone as she started with a rhetorical question, “Does everyone feel the purpose of coming on this platform? Church, the word translated “Church” in the English Bible is ekklesia. This word is the Greek word kaleo (to call), with the prefix ek (out). Thus, the word means “the called out ones.” However, the English word “Church” does not come from ekklesia but from the word kuriakon, which means “dedicated to the Lord.”

  1. The Person (Isaiah)

The True speaker is the Lord Himself. He counsels the divided kingdom of Judah to seek justice (v. 17), which is an acknowledgment of the existence of injustice and oppression in their society. He has described Judah as a sinful nation and covered in iniquity (Isaiah 1:4). He has called their sacrifices and offerings and religious gatherings meaningless (Isaiah 1:13) because of their sinful lifestyles. They were walking in disobedience to him and using their worship as a cover-up for a shameful lifestyle. All this points to the existence of ego, desire for power, position etc.  Therefore, the Lord says, “Wash, make yourselves clean, remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes. Cease to do evil.”

  1. Background to the Person

Isaiah is called the prophet of holiness; there is a background to his call; in God’s holiness he realizes his own sinfulness.  The Greek word, Hagios means to be different; chosen from among the rest; they are to be different. Be different in doing good and practicing Justice. What is the identity of a Christian?  It is to be holy which means to be different not as denominations but as Christians. Why? Our building is on the foundation of Resurrection. We are not here as corporate business people or to sell Jesus through his miracles. Christians are people of Hope. Examples from Christ for good: But I say… to be different: Forgiveness on Cross; Feed my sheep; Example of Justice: Centurion: Truly he is innocent. All division has its root in sin, that is, in attitudes and actions that run counter to the unity that God desires for the whole of his creation. If we want to be “holy”, and if we want to be one of “the holy ones”, then we have to deny ourselves!   And what do we deny ourselves of?   Well, we have to deny ourselves of anything and everything that contradicts Jesus Christ.  Let us be Different!

Dr. Hrangthan Chhungi led the meaningful worship. Rev. Soma Bhatkar, Senior Auxiliary Secretary, BSI Ranchi Auxiliary led the congregation to confession and forgiveness through the reading of Isaiah 1:12-18 followed by the prayer of intercession led by Rev. Gershombhai Kristi – Auxiliary Secretary, BSI Northwest India Auxiliary and Pro-tem BSI Bombay Auxiliary. Rev. Dr. M. Mani Chacko, General Secretary offered the closing prayer and pronounced the benediction.