From the Vicar’s desk………………
Dear friends in Christ,
According to Ephesians 4:3 One way we live out our calling as God's people is by being keen to preserve "the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace". Unity matters so much because the oneness of the church figures centrally in God's plan to unite all things in Christ (Eph. 1:10; 3:10).
Yet unity among Christians is more than just a means by which God will heal the cosmos. It is also a reflection of the very nature of God, the church, and the faith of those who know God. Immediately after urging us to make every effort to preserve unity, Paul our patron writes, "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all" (Eph. 4:4-6).
No matter how much we might differ on matters of church order, we still have the same God: the one Spirit, the one Lord, and the one Father. Even if we don't see it or experience it, the one God and Father is "over all and through all and in all." This fundamental truth cannot be changed by our confusion. No matter how confusing our actual situation might be, no matter how much church unity seems to be lost, we should, nevertheless, be zealous for the oneness of God's people because this oneness reflects, among other things, the very nature of God. I'm not suggesting this is easy or that it's always clear what this means in practice. But the very nature of God, not to mention the clear exhortation of our text, urges us to make every effort to keep the unity of our Christian communities as well as our congregation a reflection of God's own unity.
May the triune God lead us to a united community.
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