We are called to make a difference, says bishop


The exchange of brothers and sisters in the global Christian community is a fundamental dimension of the calling of the church, the Bishop of Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bavaria said in Lae on Sunday.
Prof Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, during his sermon at the Resurrection Lutheran Church at 7th Street, said there was “no other biblical words describing this calling better than the famous words of Jesus in Matthew 5: 13-16”.
“We are called to make a difference,” he said. “We are called to not only assimilate to society, but bring something to society which it does not already have.
“We are called to be courageous and prophetic in giving guidance to the world even if the reactions might be uncomfortable.
“If we want to take Jesus’ words seriously, we can never look down upon the world from above.
“We can only look at the world from below, from the perspective of the victims, with humility, with the readiness of repentance.”
Bedford-Strohm said being salt of the earth and light of the world meant radiating with one’s own existence the faith, love and hope, “with our existence as an individual human being, but also with as a community of brothers and sisters around Christ”.
“Let us remember the words with which Paul has described in 1 Corinthians 12: 12-2,” he said. “This image of the church as a body with different members all equally important is a wonderful image.
“The question which Jesus’ words pose to each one of us is: what is your gift? What can you contribute to the church? How can you be salt of the earth and light of the world?
“The most-challenging questions in this regard are connected with the church as a global community.
“It is always a wonderful experience to meet people at completely other places with different backgrounds and completely different life experiences, and yet, nevertheless feel this connectedness on the basis of our common faith in Christ.
“It makes a difference for me. It inspires me to hear how people with other backgrounds live their faith.
“It gives me the feeling of one church in one world.”

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