The Theme day for the CFCI Bangalore community was held on 17th September 2017, at Snehadaan, Bangalore. It was a day’s event where the theme of the year, ‘Break Out’ was unveiled. It was attended by the community couples and some singles.
The day began with the Eucharistic celebration, by Fr. Johnson. After mass, the CFCI Bangalore band led us into a time of praise and worship. This was an amazing way to start the day!
The first talk of the day was, ‘A heart that longs for us’. The focus of this talk was on being the children of God and living our lives according to the truth. The speaker shared with us the relationship that God intended us to share with Him as children of God and how we are baptized into the finished work of the cross so that we can relate to Him as His children. He called us to look into the picture; we have of our heavenly Father and to rediscover the heart of our merciful Father. He also spoke of the five lies that we believe about God and thus distance ourselves away from Him.
Lie #1: Because I turn away, God stopped loving me.
Lie #2: It is by my merits that I enjoy my Father’s blessing.
Lie #3: There isn’t enough of God’s mercy, forgiveness and love for Him to waste it on me when I do not deserve it and might fail again.
Lie #4: If I’m not seeing/feeling the Father’s love, He has probably just forgotten about me. He is concerned about others.
Lie #5: God is not pleased with me because I am not perfect.
Going through the scriptures, the speaker reminded us of the promises of God and the truths we ought to believe and replace the lies with God’s promised word.
The second session was on, ‘Sanctified by the Spirit’. The talk was on the Holy Spirit and His work in our lives. He spoke about ‘working in perfect harmony with Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit shapes and forms us into the children of God (Rom 8:14) and conforms us into the image of Jesus (Rom 8:29). Stating the reality of our lives, our relationship with God and people around us, we were made aware of the Spirit’s work in us. We being the children of God are filled and led by the Holy Spirit, who with the fullness of His gifts moulds us into the likeness of Jesus. The seven gifts: the gift of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord; were explained in detail, making the work of the Spirit through these gifts clear. He also, spoke about the four categories of gifts by which we could identify and relate to the gifts we have received and how it works.
The talk was followed by a workshop. Participants had to sit in pairs, picking partners they didn’t know well enough. The participants were invited to pray for each other and were encouraged to use the gift of knowledge. They had a time of sharing the Spirit’s message for each other. Exercising these gifts gave more clarity and was a beautiful experience.
The participants who longed for the Gift of Tongues were prayed over and the other participants backed them by praying in tongues. Couples who longed for a child and also those who were open to have more children were also prayed over.
The final session ‘Ambassadors for Christ’ was then given. She spoke about the mission we all are entrusted with, our cause – reconciliation of individuals, families, communities and nations, to God. She highlighted how this call of reconciliation could be reflected not only through a spiritual dimension but a need to reflect through our daily lives. How relying on the Spirit and turning to the Father’s heart strengthens us in times of persecution, in times where situations are not in human control which leads us to a breaking point.
The theme day concluded with participants sharing their views and experiences. No better way to end the day with a praise fest; the participants were led by the band, to spend time, praising and worshipping God.
‘For those who are led by the Spirit, they are the children of God’, Romans 8:14.