From the Vicar’s desk………………
Dear friends in Christ,
As we begin this new month - November, also we begin to look forward to a new month of a new liturgical year. This month invites us to remember and celebrate two important days of the year that follows one after the other, by name all saints day and all souls day.
On all saints day we celebrate men and women in whose lives the church as a whole has seen the grace of God powerfully at work. The understanding of all saints and all souls does raise questions. For St. Paul our patron, all Christians are saints or called to be saints, set apart to be holy. However reserving the term for outstanding Christians, good though it is to celebrate what God has done in them, is in danger of obscuring God’s work in all Christians, known and unknown.
Secondly, praying for the departed. Again Paul our patron was quite confident that "God who began the good work in you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). Paul expected this to come very soon, but as time went by and life continued it was natural to pray for all Christians in via, on the way living and departed, that God’s work might be completed in them.
In addition to the above two, this month invites us to celebrate the all embracing authority of Christ and encourage us to seek his peace on the feast of Christ the King; therefore while celebrating the lives of the dead and the living, let us proclaim the universal sovereignty of the Lord.
May the peace of Christ the King rule in your hearts
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