Bethany Independent Presbyterian Church





Covid-19 Teaches


Covid-19 teaches

Life is absolutely fragile in every sense of the word

Hundreds of thousands of people are infected with the virus

Tens of thousands of lives were lost across the globe

How fragile we really are!

Let us seek to carefully protect this very life of us


Covid-19 teaches

Life is collectively shared, and it thus is communal

Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent to help the sick

Many health workers risk their own lives to save others

How together we must be!

Let us do our parts following ‘orders and guidelines’


Covid-19 teaches

Life is individually loaned to us all as a gift from above

We have no control over our own life, no matter how hard we try

Now is a time to realize and reckon with this truth

No one escapes God’s rule!

Let us come to our senses today, not tomorrow



Inspiration from Luke 12:13-21
By Pastor Tomas Zatel

19 April 2020

Father of Lights


Every good and perfect gift is of God our Father

They have come down from heaven above;

Father of lights, bestows upon us all, regardless of our colors and creeds

Let‘s learn to look up to God for all our needs


Some of God’s gifts we should never take for granted:

The rain and water, the air we breathe in,

The sunshine we get, and the soul we are created to be for Him;

The Word revealed is the priceless one indeed


How should we best respond to this Father of lights?

He is neither double-minded nor fault-finding;

He rather is generous and kind to us all in spite of our weaknesses

May we all seek to be doers of the Word



Inspiration from James 1:17
By Pastor Tomas Zatel

16 April 2020



God has planned to save us all

Prophets of the ancient times had sought to understand this mystery

Angels of God do not comprehend this plan of God’s redemption


Christ Jesus has paid the price in full

He redeemed us at a great price, going through sufferings on our behalf

There are glories that we will share with Christ as God’s people


We are partakers of God’s grace

We were chosen even before we were born

There is a price for us to pay as Disciples of Christ on earth


Salvation is truly a gift

This is a gift of life, and thus, of God’s grace

May we remain ever grateful for this gift of eternal life



Inspiration from 1 Peter 1:11
By Pastor Tomas Zatel

12 April 2020

The Lamb of God


Who is this Lamb of God?

He bears our sins and takes away all of them

When He was hanged on the tree at the Calvary

This is He of whom all the Apostles were witnesses

He is none other than Jesus a man of Nazareth


Who is this Lamb of God?

As He was foreordained before the foundation of the world

So He suffered and died at the hands of the Gentiles

This is He of whom all the Prophets of old have intimated to us

He is the Redeemer God has sent for us


Who is this Lamb of God?

He was slain, yet remains victorious over all enemies

He promised us of the paradise He prepares

He would surely return to take us home when we are done

He is the Lord whose return to earth we await



Inspiration from John 1:29, 35
By Pastor Tomas Zatel

10 April 2020

No Longer a Thought


God desires that we belong to Him now
This is the noblest thought of salvation one must know and reckon with
And that we are loved makes us stand strong against all odds of life

Christ executes the will of God in His flesh
This is the dearest gift of life in Christ one must find and stand in awe
And that we are saved makes us “more than conquerors” at the end of life

The Holy Spirit effectively intercedes for us
This is the profoundest help of the Spirit one must be confident in
And that we are led makes us stay on the course till the very end


Inspiration from Romans 8
By Pastor Tomas Zatel

04 April 2020

The Word and I


Jesus came to fulfill the Word

He Himself was the embodiment of the Word

He unwaveringly ordered His whole life by the Word


Paul too imitated Christ the Word

He knew so well that he was to fulfill the Word

He thus consistently lived, fulfilling the living Word


What is my lot in this life here?

I am convinced I am called to fulfill the Word

I must consciously seek to abide by the Word of God



Inspiration from Colossians 1:24-25
By Pastor Tomas Zatel

27 March 2020



Life is about riches and prosperity
I can accumulate them all
Then what is the profit, after all?
I do not know; Is life then of no use at all?

Life is about wisdom and knowledge
I can acquire them all
Then what is the difference, after all?
I also die; Is life then vanity of vanities?

Life is about pleasure and gratification
I can satisfy all my lusts
Then what is the end-result, after all?
I still feel empty; Is life then truly meaningless?

Life ‘under the heaven’ is but vanity
When only its parts are correctly viewed
Life ‘under the hand of God’ is a gift
When the whole sum of life is viewed

Inspiration from Ecclesiastics 1-2

By Pastor Tomas Zatel

19 March 2020

Jesus the Vine


Israel the God-cultivated vine

But turning traitorous and wild

Becoming a degenerate plant

Bearing no fruit in the end

Israel has failed the God its Lord


Jesus the God’s true vine

Thus identifying himself with Israel

Becoming one of us human beings

Bearing our sins on the Cross

Jesus has become the people indeed


Jesus the life giving vine

Turning us into branches

Making us bear fruit in Him

Telling us, He is the ‘I AM’

Jesus is indeed the Yahweh in Flesh


We both the chosen and the grafted

Yielding fruit in abundance

Abiding in Him for nurturing

This we do as one people of God

Inspiration from John 15:1-5
Cf. Psalm 80:8, Isaiah 5:1-7, Jeremiah 2:21,
By Pastor Tomas Zatel

09 March 2020

Sin And I


I lived like a saint self-deceived
Sin was dormant within me
I knew not what sin was like
Until I was taught in the law

I acted like a beast at bay
Sin made me a monster untamed
I crawled hidden to please myself
Until I was taught in the Lord

I struggle like a sheep ensnared
I do what I should not do
I fail to do what I must do
Until I am freed in the end

I pray like a monk on his death bed
That I may be pure like a child
Free of charges of sins of all three kans
Until I am arhat in Christ

I cry like a helpless tramp
“O wretched person that I am”
“Jesus, help me that I may choose You”
Until I am home in Paradise


Three kans = kaya-kan(physical acts),wesi-kan(oral acts), and manaw-kan(mental or heart-related
Arhat = worthy one

Inspiration from Romans 7:7-25
By Pastor Tomas Zatel

03 March 2020



Rest! God rested on the Sabbath

He is the God of rest

Treasuring and preparing it for us all

Work! Jesus works even on the Sabbath

He is the Lord of Sabbath

Laboring and embodying Divine rest on earth


See! Gotama is not silent

One must see all is empty

Removing and banishing one’s view of self

Toil! Nibbana is within one’s reach

One must become selfless

Abandoning and renouncing all, nibbana is attained


Hear! God speaks to us today

Let us not harden our hearts

Giving up and letting go all our life and selfs

Trust! Jesus gives Himself for us

He truly is our sole Nibbana

Trusting and obeying, we find our life rested in Him



Nibbana           = extinction of all sufferings)



Inspiration from Psalm 95; Hebrews 3:7-11

                                                                                                    By Pastor Tomas Zatel

26 February 2020

Jesus and Sunnata

Sunnata is anything

Sunnata is neither a thing nor a condition

But the ultimate potentiality; thus, begetting and restoring all

Sunnata transcends all

Sunnata is both samsara and nibbana

For the transcendent reality; hence, embracing and filling all

God is sunnataic

God is neither a being nor a non-being

But the ultimate Source of all; thus, begetting and creating all

God is Self-emptying

God is both a three and a one

For the triune God in history; thus, revealing as Father, Son, and Spirit

Jesus empties Himself

Jesus can be neither defined nor formulated

But He is the God Emptied; thus, reconciling and enlightening all

Jesus is sunnataic

Jesus is both divine and human

For He is the God Emptied; hence, embracing and saving all



Sunnata           =  emptiness/void

Samsara           = circle of births and rebirths

Nibbana           = extinction of birth (and thus of suffering)


 Inspiration from Philippians 2:5-11
By Pastor Tomas Zatel

17 February 2020

Job and Anatta

Did Job love God for nothing? He did; God knew so well.

Though tried hard, Job would not give in to temptations, or blame others;

But he would keep hanging on to God even in moments of despair.

For he knew he and his possessions were gifts of God;

He did not conceive himself apart from God the Source.

And thus went praying, “Naked I came; naked I go!”


Did God prove Satan wrong at all? He did; Satan was silenced.

While on trials, no cursing of God, no blaming of God, on Job’s lips;

But only a hesitant raising of a hand to God asking ‘why?’

For he was aware neither he nor God had wronged the other;

He saw no match between his kamma and his losses.

And thus continued testifying, “God is right; God is gracious!”


Must all love God for nothing? Yea; This, God expects of us all.

Sincerely one may ask, “How could I truly love God for nothing at all?”

As both Jesus and Gautama affirm atta by abnegating atta,

So I also must seek to abide by their words of wisdom,

Accepting that I am anatta apart from God the Self,

And thus keep loving, “Anatta I was; Divine I become!”



Annata            =  no-self/non-self

Kamma           =  deeds

Atta                   =  self/soul



Inspiration from Job 1
Pastor Tomas Zatel

30 January 2020