From the Vicar’s desk………………
Beloved sisters and brothers in Christ,
This month invites us to celebrate yet another major festival in the church calendar; and that is the feast of the Holy Spirit, commonly called the Pentecost. Since the day of Pentecost is considered as the birthday of the universal church in the history, it is quite appropriate and necessary for us to reflect upon the work of the Holy Spirit in the church.
One of the works that the Spirit does is that she binds us together into the church. The book of Acts Chapter two clearly says that even though the people who came from different places representing different ethnic and languages they all became one in Christ after receiving the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
Friends, there is no doubt that we are all individuals; no one is alike. We have our unique talents and gifts, with different backgrounds. In fact, we can be so different that it can be hard to agree and get on together as a community; but what makes the holy church so special in its history is the unity in diversity of its members.
The Spirit binds us together in order to care for one another, love one another, pray for one another, encourage one another, and helps one another as we share the Good News about Jesus with others. Therefore let us celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit as a daily event in our life and in the life of the church.
May the Holy Spirit who strengthens us equip us to grow in unity as a church.
by National Christian Council of Sri Lanka
Dearly beloved in Christ,
We have celebrated another Christmas, the incarnation of God in Christ, who took the human form, sacrificed himself to death on the cross and rose again, defeating the powers of death and destruction. He came so that all may have life, life in its fullness and life eternal. God in Christ throughout history has always displayed his unending concern for every human being, ensuring human dignity and affirming life for all.
The festivities of Christmas will soon fade away and the Presidential election is around the corner. The coming days could be characterized by violence, resulting in death, injury and destruction to property, campaigns and counter campaigns, arguments and counter arguments which could lead to unnecessary mudslinging, arrogance and display of brutal force.
We as Christians need to affirm that elections are an important mechanism in ensuring the participation of the people in the democratic arena, and is the duty and responsibility of every one to prayerfully exercise his franchise. It is the duty of every citizen to discern the signs of the time and cast his vote carefully, cautiously and with a sense of responsibility. No one should refrain from doing so. Hence we call upon everyone to vote on the election day.
Secondly, when making our choice, we need to be influenced by the values of our Gospel. Our choice has to be one that affirms the fullness of life to everyone, where every human being is respected, dignity ensured, and security assured. We should not be carried away by our individual interests, or groupish/clannish attitudes, but look to the welfare of every ordinary citizen in our country.
Thirdly, we need to always condemn all forms of violence and intimidation. Everyone must be free to make her/his choice. This is possible only if everyone has the views of all contenders. Therefore, the campaign must be fair and afford equal opportunity to all.
While urging to uphold the above, we would also like to remind our churches to be vigilant in your area of any violence or intimidation, which should be brought to the notice of the authorities concerned immediately. This is part of our Christian discipleship and obligation.
We urge all our congregations to pray for a peaceful election where democratic principles are upheld and pray for God’s guidance and blessing on whoever is elected so that our beloved country can experience justice, peace and fullness of life to all.
27th December 2014