It’s kind of a “dream” worship gathering for me personally. And it was really special to hear the words of institution spoken in Arabaic by my new friend and Arab Christian brother Rev. Samer Azar (from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordon). The middle eastern dimension was very enriching and authentic.
On top of that, it was a delight to have four pastors from different countries conduct the Holy communion today. Rev. Wolfgang (from Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria, Germany and our frequent BLC worshipper & wonderful encourager) joined Samer and me together with Rev. Erkki (from Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland) and the four of us served Holy Communion and blessed the children while BLC council members were free to pray for those who came out.
Of course, there were also many other elements that enriched today’s worship and allowed us to catch a glimpse of heaven. Our African (Bostwana) Lutheran friends in Malaysia joined us today, the other ACLC participants – Kaz (from Japanese Evangelical Lutheran Church), Man Hei (from Tsung Tsin Mission of Hong Kong) & Tanya (from Lutheran Church of Australia).
I had a chance to talk with someone later at the ACLC about what does being part of the Lutheran Communion mean. For me it’s the chance to worship together in opportunities like today and being aware that we’re connected to a larger body beyond ourselves. And the picture of Lutherans from different countries worshipping together as well as kneeling before the Lord humbling ourselves at the Holy Communion really meant a lot for our young four year old church (looking forward to see Chin Hor’s photos!).
Of course, there were guests who are not “Lutherans” joined us as well today … and while we appreciate our Lutheran history and heritage ultimately it’s about being Christ-followers united in Christ, empowered by the Spirit and reflecting the image of our loving father that really counts.
And may the international flavor of today’s worship and communion point us beyond our individual differences of race and culture, age and preferences to the one who has united and is uniting and will finally unite us in that final day!
When we gathered in our usual circle, it brought greater meaning because of the different nations represented (and other friends visiting from other churches included), and as the word of blessings were proclaimed by the four of us pastors (in German, Finnish, Arabic, & English), I just felt wow! what a blessed bunch we are … and in a quiet way, I felt the Spirit moving indeed!