I join you in thanking God for the gift of the new year 2022. It feels like getting out of the door on a snowy day in an unknown terrain. On the one side there is the excitement of the adventures waiting to unfold along with the anticipation of the known that is bound to come your way and on the other there is the sheer joy of putting the pieces of the puzzle together in making each moment memorable. The prayer often prayed in such a context is Show Me the Way O Lord or even Show Me Thy Way O Lord.
The Anglican Church of Freiburg is turning a new leaf in its exciting journey, and I have five prayer points at the beginning of the new year
Show Us Your Way to Make Worship More Meaningful
One of the primary expectations from the Church was to facilitate God encounters. Each of the Worship services were so designed that the people of God had fresh experiences with the Divine and were comforted, challenged, and commissioned afresh for a closer walk with God. However, the pandemic brought in a paradigm shift. The Church went through a metamorphosis. It was no longer the building or the sanctuary that were attributed with the presence of the Almighty. It was also the inner chambers of our private spaces. The digital challenge to keep an intergenerational interest in the church with restrictions on physical coming together keep on posing a fresh existential quest. It is at the same time exhilarating and extremely challenging. To reformulate Divine spaces and to facilitate the people of God having new trysts with the mysteries of faith would surely require God showing us the Way.
Show Us Your Way to Make Friendship More Meaningful
People come together basically to celebrate friendship and the Church is considered to be one of the safest spaces to celebrate relationships. For diaspora communities being able to connect together weaving together familiar threads like language and traditions and quilling together a kaleidoscope of varied possibilities of inter connectedness is crucial. People of all age groups finding the space relevant is no small ask. We should be innovative, willing to adapt and offer to the wide spectrum of the people a very personalised sense of belonging to a caring community. For this we pray- Show Us the Way O Lord.
Show Us Your Way to Make Our Social Commitment More Meaningful
Loving the neighbour is considered next only to loving God in the manual of the Church and that calls for commitment and sensitivity. It is not just the orphan, the poor, the widow, the foreigner or the sick that needs a hand of solidarity. Struggles for justice and peace, engagement of the people who are denied fullness of life in the search for their due space and the existential angst of the asylum seekers and victims of violence are just a few of the snapshots of inevitable engagement. It is not only offering an occasional prayer or doling out a few bank notes- it is all about being in solidarity. Our Bible Studies should be dynamic interactions with the text and the context reshaping our commitment to the people in need. We will pray together- Show Us the Way O Lord
Show Us Your Way to Make Our Witnessing More Meaningful
The fragrance of Christ must profusely flow out of a genuinely missional community. The witnessing that we are called to has ecumenical and global implications along with local and national. Freiburg is a university town and the needs of the young people who leave behind their homes and many a times their churches should be in the core of our engagement. The joy in reaching out to people who would appreciate our presence be it in the campuses, in the villages, in the hitherto unreached areas, in hospitals, in care facilities, in prisons and the like should always be our longing. While remaining thankful to all those who carried the gospel to us we should also be aware that it is our responsibility now to keep the light of the gospel shining and to invite our members to the joys and adventures of full time ministry and mission engagements. We should therefore be willing to pray- Show Us Your Way O Lord.
Show Us Your Way to Make Creation Care More Meaningful
It is crucial that each of us have the realisation that we have not inherited the planet from our fore-parents but in fact have borrowed it from the generations Yet to Be. That would imply that we have a great responsibility of handing over a liveable safe space with enough resources to our next generations. The exploitation of nature and the looting of earth’s resources therefore need to be challenged. The causes of Climate Emergency that we are in need to be addressed and our life ethic and culture should go through repentance and transformation. Moulding the ethical and moral paradigms of a community in the space age is a challenging and exciting call and therefore we need to pray- Show Us the Way O Lord.
As we journey together, please be informed that your Pastor is Always A Call Away. We will be happy to bring communion to people who are home bound and also to spent time in pastoral visits to individuals and families whenever mutually convenient. Just feel free to connect.
Have a blessed 2022!
Rev’d Vinod Victor
Chaplain, Anglican Church of Freiburg