Christmas Greetings 2018

Dear friends of the partnership work,
The last 12 months have passed very fast. Our intense life in the north and south has filled the days. Did the annual watch word 2018 fulfilled us?

GOD says:
I will give to the thirsty
the springs of the water of life
– as a gift.

The Revelation 21,6

Somehow we have remained "thirsty". The desert of missing humanity and the veld fires of war, displacement, corruption and hunger are spreading again. Did we actually think in the "good years" that we could control or even control injustice and strife? Maybe, they just took a break and we did not influence them? To be a Christian, to be a Lutheran Christian, is and remains a challenge.
I admit that sometimes I am very ­tired about the efforts my conviction sets on me. And then there comes a year-long watch word for 2019 on the plan, which calls me again actively to act:

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace an pursue it.

Psalm 34,14

I should not only seek, find, promote and preserve peace. No, I should chase after him. Does peace, the peace of justice, run away from us? Is something missing that we had already? Are we too slow or too tired to hold it? Don't we have enough strength and energy to shape it? Do we point out the discord, which does not emerge consistently enough through ­false allegations, disinformation and corruption? GOD, does our faith in Jesus Christ and belonging to the Lutheran Church give us the permission or even the commission to become active? How much democratic disobedience do we have to apply as Lutheran Christians to chase after those who disturb peace?
Jesus drove the moneychangers out of the temple because they deeply disturbed the peace of the church. He himself has shown us that there are values for which we must actively participate, even if things become uneasy and uncomfortable for us.
Let's stay on the ball and fulfill our mission. To chase peace means not to give a meter of space to those­ sowing the seeds of strife. It remains true: Peace arises through justice. Racism, aggression and corruption lead to strife. God grant us in 2019 the strength and per­severance to chase after His peace and the wisdom to be consistent and emphatic at the right moment.
Elke Eilers, Chairlady

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