Under this theme the 36th Session of the Synod of the Church of South India was opened yesterday. It began with an Worship Service with an inspiring liturgy and I was asked to give a Bible study on the theme “Towards a Koinonia of Love & Equality.
The opening prayer reflected the diversity of the Church of South India as it is covering an area with very different languages, cultures and plurality of religions:
“Lord of our days, we come to you as many and as one. With many histories and one history … Call us together in hope; believing that there is a new day for the world. … together, we may be a sign and symbol of your active presence in the world.”
In a drama by young people the confession of sins was performed: our devisions, the struggling against each other for power, money and influence, for being exclusive communities and for losing the vision of peace and justice.
And we affirmed our Faith with a prayer:
We believe in God, the source of our being and the goal of our true longing, who by divine wisdom created the whole universe, and each of us in the Devine image to be partners of change towards becoming embodiments ofd freedom and life in all its fullness.
We believe in Jesus Christ, the Holy wisdom of God, the first born of all creations, who emptied Himself of power and became weak and vulnerable for our sake, who labored upon the cross, brought us forth to the hope of resurrection and thus challenged us to partner with Him, in struggling against evil and to choose life.
We believe in the life-giving Spirit, brooding over the creation, the warm-winged spirit, the rushing wind and Pentecostal fire which urge us towards becoming leaven of change.
We believe in Church, a mustard seed and the leaven, the Body of Christ, called to sustain the spirit of healing, comfort, justice, integrity, truth, reconciliation and peace.
We believe in God’s power and promise to ultimately destroy the power of death and sin in us all, and to establish the community of sharing based on faith, peace and love for all creations. Amen!
In our todays context in Germany, Europe and India the theme “Towards a Koinonia of Love and Equality” is a very prophetic, visionary and challenging one. In my Bible Study I spoke about the story of the Roman Centurion Cornelius and his baptism by Peter. I focused on Acts 10,34-36 especially Vers 34: “… I truly understand that God shows no partiality!” This fundamental equality of all people before God is central to our faith. That means: God does not practice favoritism! Therefore as Christians we are asked to constantly cross and overcome borders – cultural, social, theological, religious and national borders. This is God’s anti-discrimination law! On this fundament of our belief the vision of a community of Love and Equality is a challenge for our community as a church, for our fellowship as churches of different confessions and denominations and for the living together in our respective multicultural and multireligious societies.
Under the following Link you will find the whole text of the Bible Study.