From the Vicar’s desk………………
Dear friends in Christ,
He took bread, gave thanks to God in the presence of all, he broke it and began to eat. Acts 27:35
Partaking in the Holy Eucharist is an important sacrament in the Christian life. Mostly it is celebrated inside the churches. One of the interesting things that Paul our patron has done in the troublesome voyage is the breaking of the bread or feeding the people. He assured God’s protection and encouraged them to eat food. By following the normal Jewish and Christian practice, he took the bread, gave thanks to God for it, and in the presence of all broke it and began to eat.
What is the inspiration we can draw from this? Most of the time we as a church limits its celebration of communion within its four walls; but Paul encourages us to go beyond the barriers and understand the communion in a pluralistic society where poverty, pain, hopelessness and depression are the day to day reality for many people.
This month invites us to pray for the people who are living under various pressure and depression especially political pressure. May the good Lord help us to be a blessing and effective witnesses in a pluralistic context by sharing God’s assurance and hope.
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