I’m sharing here the very short message during the first Ecumenical Love Walk of which I was the speaker. The activity was organized by the Church Women United-Philippines (CWUP) on February 8, 2014 and was attended by more than a hundred church women from different denominations/churches who are members of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines. The said activity started at five in the morning at the Quezon City Memorial Circle (QCMC), Quezon City, Philippines with a warm-up Shibasi exercise followed by a short liturgy after which the church women with few supportive men walked around the whole CQMCircle, a 20-25 minutes brisk walking but with the “elders and elderly” it was almost an hour walk around the memorial circle.
Good morning! I was asked to attend a meeting, upon arriving the venue I was greeted: You are the Speaker! Then the organizers said to me: Just a one-page Message! (I heard them in the background, saying,”Yes it is true”.)
Jesus, in his ardent desire for unity, prayed “that they may all be one” which echoes and vibrates in all corners of the world regardless what religion or faith community one belongs. This prayer for unity has been one of the core biblical foundations for Christian unity.
While others continue to pray, here we are, together in this very early morning, not only gathered for a purpose but our being together is our expression of that prayer of unity reflective of our theme: United in Christ, We Build a Life-giving World. This is our witness, our way of living-out the prayer of Jesus as women from different denominations. However, this may not be the end or the sole expression of our witnessing being united in Christ.
What brings us together in unity is Christ himself. However, we do not stop it there because we want to give more meaning of our being united. We want to be part in building a life-giving world. But the challenge is, FOR WHOM? For us only women especially the members of this organization? We may start to ask: for whom we want to build that life-giving world being united in Christ? The question may have differing answers and responses as we also differ in our perspectives and understanding. But The Holy Scriptures give us a concrete and profound answer, a direction, like the star which guided the three wise men in order to locate Bethlehem where the Savior was born.
In Luke Chapter 4 verses 18-19, Jesus was quoting from the Old Testament Book of Prophet Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour”. This mission statement of Jesus is all what the Lord requires from us to follow Him, the authentic act of life-giving to the world by those who have steadfast faith in Him, who are one and united because of Him! The realization of this proclaimed salvation: release to the captives, food for the hungry, water for the thirsty, recovery of sight to the blind, shelter for the homeless and freedom of the oppressed and all victims of dehumanization are the real things the whole world need today.
My dear friends, my fellow women and men in the vineyard of the Lord, Jesus the Christ, our Savior, our Liberator, our Redeemer, our Messiah or whatever we want to call Him has offered His life for us. He who promised us salvation, Shalom for all will be the happiest one if the Good News will be felt by the least among our brothers and sisters. Unless, there is still one child who goes to bed hungry, unless there is one human left inside the prison cell, unless there is one child dies because of lacking of medical service everyday, unless there is one woman dies in giving birth everyday, unless there is one advocate dies for his/her cause everyday, unless there is one tree cut everyday, unless there is a bomb tested everyday, UNLESS THERE IS ONE LIFE TAKEN FORCIBLY… UNLESS… the litany goes on… How one can celebrate life and say WE ARE UNITED IN CHRIST WHEN WE TURN AROUND OUR HEADS FROM THE REALITIES AROUND US?
Being together, one and united in Christ must be translated into our everyday life in order we will be a true builders of a life-giving world. We must take our stance and be counted to be builders and doers for a life-giving world in order there is life for this world. May this initial love walk we are going to do today will not remain just a walk but may it become a fresh start among us, walking together united in Christ because like the rest WE WANT TO PARTICIPATE TO REALLY BUILD A LIFE-GIVING WORLD, NOT JUST FOR US BUT FOR EVERYBODY ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO ARE IN NEED TO RECEIVE OUR LOVE AND SERVICE. God bless us as we face this new day in our lives. Let us show to the world that indeed we are Christians, we are Christ’s followers united in Him. Amen. Good morning.
Note: This is one of the shortest Message I had ever given,