Saturday, October 28, 2023

In the context of the ongoing war in the land of the Holy-One, which side do you support?

When nearly 9000 people are killed in this brutal war,

Which side do I support? 

When civilians, hospitals and places of worship, churches are attacked,

Which side do I support?


When one million people have to be displaced from their homes,

Which side do I support?


When only crumbs of humanitarian aid have reached the affected,

Which side do I support?


When truck load of food, fuel, medicines and essentials are blocked at the borders,

Which side do I support?


When biblical texts are used, misused and abused blaming the ‘other’ as people of darkness,

Which side do I support?


When powers use ‘just-war’ theories to justify their violence on the vulnerable,

Which side do I support?


When people are living in the fear of the bombshells,

Which side do I support?


When people are mourning the death of their dear ones,

Which side do I support?


When the heart-broken people are calling their faith leaders to stop praying for them,

Which side do I support?


When international diplomacy is failing for a cease fire,

Which side do I support?


My faith calls me to stand for justice,

My inter-faith involvement invites me to strive for peace,

My humanity calls for an urgent release of the humanitarian aid to reach people in need,

My Bible-reading calls me to resist misusing the texts in sanctioning violence,

My prayer inspires me to advocate for the rights of the vulnerable,

My spirituality resists hatred of all forms on all sides for love alone thrives,

My politics calls for a total ceasefire and to stop the war

My God weeps with me and works with me for the cause of love, peace and justice,


For I support and stand with the weak, the oppressed, the powerless, the vulnerable

For I support and stand for the safety and security of life,

For I support and stand for just-peace & I stand for life and love.

Stop war, seek peace and save life.



27th October 2023

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Stephan Lawrence Day – 22nd April 2023 - Prayer

Challenging Spirit of God,

In our white middle-classed neighbourhood,

There isn’t anything to do with race,

I haven’t seen any form of racism in my place,

I haven’t noticed any racial violence on any one’s face,

So then, what’s this Stephen Lawrence day to do with me & my faith?

What am I to pray about, Oh God?


Liberating Spirit of God,

On this 30th anniversary of Stephen Lawrence’s brutal killing by the cruel forces of racism,

We pray Lord, have mercy on us,

Forgive us of our privileges,

Forgive us of our prejudices,

Forgive us of our complacency,

Forgive us of our supremacy,

Forgive us of our insensitivity to the racial discrimination in the world,

Forgive us for being narrow in our vision of the world around us,

Forgive us for being untouched by the injustice of racism happening in our world,

Forgive us for being silent spectators to racial attacks on our sisters and brothers,

Forgive us for compromising our Christian discipleship which affirms on racial justice,

Forgive us for normalising oppressive status quos and for the division of ‘us’ and ‘them.’


Empowering Spirit of God,

Stephan Lawrence was an 18-year-old student who was studying for his A levels,

We pray for the pedagogy of the oppressed,

Help our education systems to provide fair, inclusive, safe spaces for young people.


Stephan Lawrence dreamt of becoming an architect,

We pray for our dreams for a just world,

Help us to dream and strive for a world, where equality, peace, love and justice will thrive.


Stephan Lawrence’s murder investigation by the police was infamous and scandalous,

We pray for the public institutions, civil society, faith communities and for churches,

Help us to affirm transparency & accountability for justice in all cases and at all times. Help us to realise that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.


Stephen Lawrence’s family’s tireless campaign for justice brought a change to the double jeopardy laws and also resulted in the establishment of Racial Justice Sunday,

We pray for advocacy and campaigns for justice to our creation today,

Help us as faith communities to be prophets of justice, to be forerunners of inclusion, to be champions of love, to be practitioners of compassion and to be channels of life in all its fullness. May your courage lead us and strengthen us in this our commitment for peace & justice. Amen.


@rajpatta, 22nd April 2023

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Jesus Wept : John 11:35

One of the shortest verses in the Bible is John 11:35, which is “Jesus Wept.” However, though it is the shortest verse in the Bible, it is one of the verses in the Bible with a profound theological depth. When Jesus’ friend Lazarus has died and was buried for four days, having encountered the weeping sisters and their consoling friends, Jesus was deeply moved in his spirit, greatly troubled and then wept.   

When reading this story, how often have we thought “Jesus wept” as part of Jesus’ humanity, masking Jesus’ divinity at this point and even discounting it. In fact, the sisters Martha and Mary when saying to Jesus, “Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:32), they both were acknowledging the divinity of Jesus and were speaking to the divine Jesus. All I want to say is that it is the divine who is weeping on hearing the death of his friend and on meeting the weeping family and friends.


So, when “Jesus wept” it is the divine who is weeping, and the questions that come to the front are can the divine weep? And what is the relevance of God’s weeping ?


The divine whom we know in Jesus is a God who has tears, who gets moved by people’s grief and by the creation’s groans, and weeps with them in solidarity.


The divine whom we know in Jesus is a God who knows what it means to weep, and so never disrespects nor discards tears, but joins with us in our weeping offering hope and consolation.


The divine whom we know in Jesus when wept with Mary, Martha and their friends for the death of Lazarus was not questioning why death nor was consoling the family “don’t worry Lazarus is in a better place” but genuinely joined with them in facing the reality of death by weeping with them in their loss.


Though statics have proven that there is 100% success rate of certainty of all human beings dying, there is a sense of fear in facing death for humanity. However, the divine whom we know in Jesus when wept for the death of Lazarus is calling us to face death in all courage and is inviting us to get busy living, knowing Jesus is the resurrection and life.


As followers of Jesus Christ, let us learn to weep with the weeping, knowing God weeps with us to support us in those moments of grief & trouble. Weeping is spiritual, weeping is Christian, weeping is divine, weeping is human and weeping is sensible. If we have lost heart for weeping, perhaps it is time to reclaim that calling asking God to ‘melt our cold hearts and let tears fall like a rain.’



26th March 2023



Sunday, March 19, 2023

The ‘mothering parenting’ of a healed man who was born blind in John 9:18-23

The Jewish authorities wanted to confirm the healing of a man who was born blind by Jesus, and summoned his parents and enquired them. These parents demonstrate some key mothering qualities that are relevant for us today. They in fact exemplify ‘mothering parenting.’ Based on the text here are the characteristics of ‘mothering parenting.’


1. The mothering parents always know their children and acknowledge openly the ‘sights’ and (in)sights of their children.

2. The mothering parents always protect their children, like the hen gathers her chicks under her wings, sheltering them from all dangers and traps of the society.

3. The mothering parents celebrate the confidence of their children, respect their views and reviews and allow them to speak for themselves when they come of age.

4. The mothering parents break open all power imbalances among them and their children, recognising children as equal partners, by listening to them and caring for them in love.

5. The mothering parents are farsighted, providing a cover to their children and preparing them to face the realities of their world and times courageously.

6. The mothering parents reiterate to their children to stand up for their rights, to speak up against any form of injustices and to celebrate the gift of life in all circumstances.


‘Mothering parenting’ is about being guided and led by the Mothering God in nurturing and caring for those seeking love in life. By which, I mean to say that mothering is not just limited to a particular gender, nor is a virtue that comes with biological child birthing, but it is about celebrating the mothering qualities in human beings and in the creation. 'Mothering parenting' also invites us to be sensitive to those who have lost their mothers & spouses, those who are single, and to those who are struggling to make a home and a living for their dear ones. ‘Mothering parenting’ also contests all attempts that commercialise ‘Mother’s Day’ and calls us to celebrate the gift of love that binds all relationships.

Let us also be mindful for Mothering Sunday can be a difficult day for some people and uphold them in prayer.

Today let us give thanks to all who have a mothering presence in our lives and may the Mothering God empower each of us to love one another and make our world a better place to live.




Mothering Sunday 2023


Pic courtesy:

Sunday, March 12, 2023

The Woman's Water Jar at the Well

 "Then the woman left her water-jar and went back to the city" John 4:28


The unnamed woman from the city of Sychar in the region of Samaria, who came to draw water from the well of Jacob, having met Jesus went home leaving her water jar.


Leaving the water jar at the well is a sign that informs the disciples that, having encountered Jesus, this unnamed woman of Samaria went home quenching her thirst for life with the living waters of Jesus.


The woman’s water jar that was left at the well is a symbol testifying that Jesus, the saviour of the world has broken down the barriers and divisions created in the name of gender, ethnicity, religiosity, and tradition, for Jesus builds inclusive communion driving away all forms of exclusion & discrimination.


Leaving the water jar at the well is a sign to inform Jesus and the disciples that she will come back to collect it. And in a short while she came back to the well, inspiring many of her city folk to come, meet and listen to the prophet Jesus Christ.


The woman’s water jar left at the well, is to symbolise that her vocation from then on has changed, for she found a new purpose to her life, for she was now called to quench the thirst of her city, for she was ordained to share the good news of Jesus. Mind you, if anyone still oppresses women and doesn’t believe in the equality of woman in the church and society, then this woman’s encounter with Jesus and her proactive proclamation to her city informs us that this woman was the first ever messenger of Jesus’ prophetic ministry, proclaiming that Jesus is the Messiah. In the eastern Orthodox tradition she was believed to be later baptised and named as St. Photini, which means 'the enlightened one.'


The woman’s water jar left at the well challenges us to celebrate the ministry of women, to celebrate the ordination of women, to celebrate the gifts of women and to open our hearts and minds to listen to the voices and perspectives of women particularly about faith and Jesus. Come let us join together in defeating patriarchy and misogyny.


The woman’s water jar left at the well is a gift of this woman to help Jesus and his disciples to draw water from the well and quench their thirst. Having received the living waters in her life, the woman began her journey into her city by sharing her resources with others.


The woman’s water jar left at the well is a call to the world to leave behind all the prejudices that people have against women and is an invitation to embrace equality and equity of all people.


The woman’s water jar left at the well with Jesus is a reminder to Jesus that there are many more in the world who are thirsty searching for a drink. It is a call to the readers of this text, and to the followers of Jesus Christ to join with him in quenching their thirst for life.


The woman’s water jar left at the well is a symbol of women’s empowerment, a symbol about how Jesus liberated her from the kinds of exploitation that she was facing under the rubric of patriarchy and misogyny. Perhaps the water jar domesticated this woman to subjugation of male domination, and when she had left her water jar and went away to her city, it stood as a symbol of her liberation and freedom from all bondages she was enduring.


The woman’s water jar left at the well is an offering for us to go to Jesus and draw the waters of living waters from him, quench our thirst and offer ourselves to share those living waters to flow down like an ever-flowing stream watering the world with peace, love and justice.


“We have the ‘treasure in the (water) jars of clay’ so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us” (2 Corinthians 4:7)


(St. Photini)



11th March 2023

Sunday, January 29, 2023

The Beatitudes – Jesus First Ever Sermon and its Homiletical implications today Matthew 5:1-2


Blessed are the poor in spirit,

              for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Blessed are those who mourn,

              for they will be comforted.

‘Blessed are the meek,

              for they will inherit the earth.

‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

              for they will be filled

‘Blessed are the merciful, 

             for they will receive mercy.

‘Blessed are the pure in heart, 

             for they will see God.

‘Blessed are the peacemakers, 

             for they will be called children of God.

‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, 

             for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.



1. Preaching is about offering hope and pumping confidence to people living on the margins

2. Preaching is not subscribing to the status quo of oppressive powers, rather is about reversing it for the cause of the poor and the meek of the society. (Blessedness which is generally ascribed to the kings and to the powerful, Jesus offers it to those struggling in life.)

3. Preaching is not about unravelling the mystery of scriptures, rather engaging with the application of the scripture in affirming life to those who are living in situations of hopelessness and lifelessness.

4. Preaching is proclaiming joy, happiness and blessedness to the poor, the meek, the hungry and the persecuted. It is not about condemnation and hate towards people.

5. Preaching is reimagining the values of the gospel of Jesus Christ relevant for our times today aimed at building a new world order and is not mere repeating of the old rules and laws.

6. Preaching is public theology – addressed and understood both by the crowds and the disciples in the public sphere.

7. Preaching is about love, solidarity, compassion, encouragement and support.


@rajpatta, 29th January 2023

Thursday, December 15, 2022

The Promise of Immanuel: Isaiah 7:10-17 & Matthew 1:18-25

The community of Proto-Isaiah were living at a time where on the one hand desolation, bleeding of wounds, bruises and sores, cities burnt, injustice and complicity are thriving in their land (Isaiah 1: 7) and the other where we see people’s burnt offerings and incense as an abomination in the sight of God (Isaiah 1:13). This Proto-Isaiah community were about to go into an exile, unto an Assyrian rule, and so fear, hopelessness and uncertainty is all over the place among the residents in Jerusalem and Judah. And into such a context Proto-Isaiah pumps in confidence by offering hope to the community. Isaiah 7:10-17 is one such texts of hope that Proto-Isaiah prophecies with a promise of Immanuel, which is ‘God with us,’ strengthening the community to recognise in all their ups and downs, in all their fears and fragility, and in all their uncertainties, God is journeying with them.


In the Matthean text about Jesus’ birth (Matt 1:18-25), Matthew explains the setting that there is stigma and public disgrace attributed for Mother Mary since she is bearing a child without living with Joseph with whom she was engaged. On the other hand, the writer explains that Joseph was trying to play ‘holy’ without exposing Mary to public disgrace and is planning to dismiss Mary quietly. I am not sure what does being ‘righteous’ mean when one is not able to care, support and embrace a partner who being branded by the society to public disgrace and who is struggling in her life with all her vulnerabilities? In such a context, the angel of God appeared to challenge and comfort Joseph to stand by Mary at her difficult situation, for paving the way for the birth of Jesus, the saviour and the Messiah of the world. To celebrate and affirm this Jesus’ birth event, Matthew recalls and retells the Proto-Isaiah’s prophecy from 7:10-17 that a young woman shall bear a son and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means ‘God with us,’ offering hope and confidence to Joseph, Mary, the first century Jewish audience to whom Matthew is writing his gospel and to all the readers of the text today.


The promise of Immanuel unsettles the transcendence of the divine:

Both in Proto-Isaiah and in Matthew’s contexts, the divine was always understood as transcendent, away from the frailties of human suffering, untouched and undisturbed. The promise of Immanuel in both their contexts unsettles the divine of their transcendence and affirms in the immanence of the divine as ‘God with us.’ With the promise of Immanuel, the postcode of God is shifted to be ‘with us’ and ‘among us.’ Advent is a season of waiting, waiting for the Word becoming flesh, afresh, in our contexts. God in Jesus pitching God’s tent and dwelling among the mortals is the fulfilment of such a promise of Immanuel into a reality. The promise of Immanuel is neither a construction of a theoretical abstract nor a wishful thinking about the idea of God, rather is practical and transformative that began with the birth of Jesus Christ, the Saviour and the Messiah. God once for all unsettled from the terrains of transcendence and pitched God’s tent/dwelling as Immanuel forever and ever to be with us and with the creation.


The promise of Immanuel challenges us to witness and ‘with-ness in our context today:

The sign of Immanuel was a breath of fresh air to Isaiah and Matthew’s contexts, for they have been awaiting and longing for the divine to be with them offering courage and hope. So, what is the relevance of believing, affirming celebrating the fulfilment of the promise of Immanuel in Jesus Christ today? Perhaps, the call for us is to witness God, the Immanuel by being ‘with’ people in their struggles offering hope and striving for justice and peace.


In the context of the cost-of-living crisis skyrocketing, and with the rising poverty and hunger, the promise of Immanuel is witnessed by sharing our resources, by giving up greed, by not wasting food, by not succumbing to the pressures of market which calls us to buy more and more and by advocating for just policies ensuring alleviation of poverty. The promise of Immanuel is witnessed by being ‘with’ people on the margins, in solidarity of them and working with them for justice and liberation.


This season of Advent, let us remember people who are subjected to public disgrace due to their identities, of gender, colour, caste, race, religion, region, sexuality, language, and belief. The promise of Immanuel, God with us, can only be real, when we offer unconditional care, love, acceptance, respect, dignity, equality and solidarity with people who are publicly disgraced. If we are using our religion and God to be awful towards others, excluding others, hating others and stigmatising others who do not believe like us, who do not belong where we belong and who do not look like us, then we are a disgrace to the promise of Immanuel, God with us.


Love is the only way forward, and ‘with-ness’ is the only witness that we can offer to people and creation in our neighbourhoods. Imagine how this Immanuel is being with us? Despite our weaknesses and vulnerabilities, our Immanuel God always loves us, journeys with us and leads us forever. So, let’s celebrate the fulfilment of the promise of Immanuel in Jesus Christ and let’s live up to the values of the Gospel of Jesus Christ more meaningfully, relevant for our time and context. Amen.



Rev. Dr. Raj Bharat Patta,

United Stockport Circuit, UK.

15th Dec 2022



In the context of the ongoing war in the land of the Holy-One, which side do you support?

When nearly 9000 people are killed in this brutal war, Which side do I support?   When civilians, hospitals and places of worship, churches ...