2011 First Fruits Festival
Dearly Beloved in Christ,
Greetings in the most precious name of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
As we are ushered into a new year let us remember the mercies the Lord has bestowed upon us over half a century and give thanks to the Lord with all our heart. “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops” (Prov. 3:9) is the commandment of the Lord and God gives us this as an opportunity to us to honor Him. We honor God when we bring Him the first fruits of our increase. By offering the first fruits of the increase of our substance, we demonstrate that God is number one in our life. When we make God our priority, He will make us His priority! God says that if you will honor Him with your substance and our first fruits then our barns will be filled to overflowing, and our vats will brim over with new wine. We will be abundantly blessed. We will have more than enough. We will have enough for what we need today and for what we will need tomorrow!
In New Testament, first fruits symbolizes God’s harvest of souls, it illustrates giving to God from a grateful heart, and it sets a pattern of giving back to Him the first (and the best) of what He has given us. Not being under the Old Testament Law, the Christian is under no further obligation than to give cheerfully and liberally (2 Cor. 9:6-7). This is the pattern and the stipulation of the Word of God yet we often neglect the aspect of giving. Let us give thanks to the Lord for the protection and care we received in our workplaces, kitchen and elsewhere. We request the ladies to prepare homely dishes and snacks so that we can auction them and also let us express our sincere thanks to the Lord for His protection we received in the kitchen and in our daily meals. If God is our Lord then He must be the Lord of all what we are and what we have. Honor the Lord by giving from the blessings we received during the last year. As a church, we are going to honor God with the first fruits of our increase in the month of December 2011. All those, who are of a willing heart and mind, may bring an offering to the Lord as our first fruits.
The Board for Evangelistic Work will be implementing an allowance hike for all our evangelists from 1st of January 2012 onwards and the board will have to bear an additional financial burden of 100 thousand rupees (1 lakh) per month and 1200 thousand (12 lakh) more per year. That will bring the total expenditure of the board to 7200 thousand (72 lakh) rupees in an year. Even then most of our evangelists will get an amount within a range of 4000-5000 per month. First Fruits is one among the four collections of the Board to meet the expenses of the Board in an year and most often this collection is not fully sent to the board. Thus we request that all the parishes consider this need and make sure to send the whole amount collected on account of Harvest Festival to the Treasurer, Evangelistic Board. Let us pray and bring the labor of our hands to the house of the Lord. He who promised to bless us is unchanging and everlasting. He cannot go back on His Word. Our Lord will bless us.
Rev. Mathews Abraham
Board for Evangelistic Work