The Quiet Day retreat for the first term of the academic year 2013-14 was held in the UTC on July 30 and 31 in the Ziegenbalgh chapel of the UTC. The Rt. Rev. Dr. V. Devasahayam, the bishop of the CSI Madras diocese lead the sessions for the quiet day retreat.
Bishop Devasahayam spoke on the UTC theme for the year “Christian discipleship: Call, cost and commitment.” He spoke at length on all the sub themes and developed a spirituality which can be emulated by theological students and future pastors. He brought in the need for spiritual development centres in theological colleges.
The bishop developed the theme of a Christian call by saying that a call is not dependent on human merit or virtues. God fancies calling the meek to put to shame the powerful. He said that “God does not call the qualified but qualifies the called.” The call for discipleship is also a call for a new life. One should be child like and be ready to change. Discipleship also implies companionship. It is being in the company of Jesus. Discipleship suggests following. The shepherd is the father, the sheep the people, Jesus the gate and the Holy Spirit the gate keeper. One should resemble Christ and commit to the values of the kingdom.
Bishop Devasahayam expressed that discipleship is collective discipleship. The Holy Spirit is given to a community. Are we able to escape the divisions of class, caste and gender? Every such division is a denial of discipleship and the Christian church. Discipleship aims at continuity.
Jesus taught his disciples the way of the cross. One must base one’s faith on this. One must do away with selfishness and choose a life of sacrifice. Therefore, one must lose one’s life to gain it. Suffering has a redemptive value. Bishop Devasahayam was happy to be in his alma mater and lead the quiet day this year.