New 12 months message_ With eyes of mercy and charm

Expensive sisters and brothers in Christ,

Greetings within the identify of our Lord Jesus Christ!

After a turbulent 12 months, we stand on the threshold of the 12 months 2023. The earlier one marked the top of COVID-19-related restrictions in most elements of the world. It was additionally a 12 months of recent conflicts and wars with international impression.

Predicting what the long run entails and what the brand new 12 months will deliver is tough. Nonetheless, we all know that we’re known as to be steadfast in mutual love and hope. Subsequently, in our issues and nervousness, but in addition in what we have a good time and rejoice in, it’s good to be reminded that God shouldn’t be detached to what’s taking place on the earth and with us.

The Moravian watchword for 2023 says: “You’re God who sees” (Gen 16:13). God, whose incarnation in Jesus Christ we simply celebrated, sees issues which can be performed but in addition issues which can be left undone. Subsequently, God calls us to not be detached however to talk and act wherever we see how human brokenness is sowing seeds of hatred, disunity, oppression, and disrespect for God’s creation.

In September 2023, the LWF will maintain its Meeting in Krakow, Poland. The theme of the Meeting is: “One Physique, One Spirit, One Hope.” It’s a theme stuffed with hope, that pulls us in direction of the unity that God supposed for God’s creation. It’s impressed by Paul’s letter to the Ephesians the place the apostle writes: “There’s one physique and one Spirit, simply as you had been known as to the one hope of your calling” (Eph 4:4). Paul most likely quotes right here from a baptismal liturgy, celebrated by early Christians. He refers back to the Church as the magical physique of Christ that unites individuals coming from totally different cultural contexts, totally different genders, and totally different social and political backgrounds.

After we put Christ on the middle, we are going to discover unity, regardless of all our variations. After we, quite the opposite, give attention to the variations between us, there can be separation. Our baptismal calling is a calling for unity. For unity with Christ and with our sisters and brothers in Christ, however finally with humanity and God’s creation, as God is the Creator of the entire world. Unity doesn’t imply uniformity, however true unity all the time embraces range, so long as it’s carried by love and respect.

Unity is a treasured reward and a process on the identical time. Generally this process could appear fairly difficult. But wherever we’re challenged, we’re additionally assured by the Holy Spirit: Christ and the gospel can’t be “undone.” The spirits of separation and hatred, greed, and misuse of energy is not going to prevail.

Our calling shouldn’t be solely to proclaim but in addition to reside out the gospel, to let God’s Kingdom break into our actuality, to be a “yeast” that brings hope to the world. So, we should not stay detached once we see hatred and destruction being sown, when God’s love and charm towards human beings are questioned.

When God appears to be like on the world, God sees with eyes stuffed with mercy and charm. Could we’ve the identical eyesight in 2023, and should we’ve the identical steadfastness and hope as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a well-known Lutheran theologian and martyr, who was arrested by the Nazis and wrote from jail in 1944: “So splendidly surrounded by good powers, we await with hope, come what could! God is with us at eve and morning hours, and goes with us into every new day”.

Could God bless you with the presence of the Holy Spirit so that you could be be a blessing to others.

Yours in Christ

Rev. Anne Burghardt

LWF Common Secretary