Sunday, November 27, 2011

An "Indian Christian" Housewarming

I had a wonderful time today in the outskirts of Thrissur town, the cultural capital of Kerala in southern India. An elderly couple invited me to their housewarming function. Even though they are followers of Jesus Christ, unlike their relatives,  I found much love and co-operation between members of this extended family. 

There were no pastors or priests to conduct any religious ceremony or to deliver long-winded sermons. A lamp was lit by the couple. Although there are 'Indian' religious overtones to the lighting of a traditional brass lamp, there are several ways of adapting this to reflect Biblical truths. Jesus is the light of the world and His disciples are called to be like a lighted lamp. The church of Jesus Christ is represented in the Bible as a lighted lamp.

An overflowing bushel represents prosperity and God's blessing. Christians all over Kerala make it a point to boil some milk before they cook any other thing in the new house. Milk being the primary (or first) human food, this practice is quite non-controversial. They let the milk boil over to usher in prosperity. 

Soon after, the whole gathering was invited to join us in prayer. I read Psalm 91. Those gathered there listened intently. 

After a brief introduction, we prayed and dedicated the house for the glory of God. This was followed by a typical Kerala-style vegetarian feast served on banana leaves!