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Time for Reflection
Sir David Steel (None)
As members will be aware, this is Commonwealth week. It is therefore appropriate that, to lead time for reflection, we welcome a visitor from the Commonwealth who is studying at New College next door. Rev Jothini Seenithamby is a Methodist minister from Sri Lanka.
Thank you for the opportunity to lead time for reflection during Commonwealth week. It is a great joy and a privilege. Love, peace and joy to all.
Please now focus your thoughts on the words of Jesus:
"Love your neighbour as yourself".
That is Jesus's second commandment. The first is to love your God. For many, loving God is easy, but loving others is problematic. From Jesus's point of view, however, those two commandments are like the two sides of a coin. If one loves one's God that means one loves others too. That really is a challenge.
When we look around the world we see people experiencing poverty, war and death. Survival is the great problem for many people in the world. Commonwealth countries, however, are supposed to promote partnership, co-operation, understanding, equality and peace among one another. The millennium dawned with Britain's declaration that it would cancel all debts. This lead from Britain shows the practical aspect of loving others.
God created all human beings alike. He created us in his own image and likeness. He wanted us to do his will and purpose in this world as his co-workers. When we give ourselves to do his will and purpose, he will sanctify our acts.
The theme for this year is "a new generation". In the Lord's prayer, we pray:
"your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven"
and at the end of it we affirm that
"yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen."
What do we mean by that? By his "kingdom" we mean the rule of God that is to be established in the world. It is an urgent call for a radical transformation, first of all of ourselves. It is a rejection of selfishness. It is an invitation for action in daily life, inspired by God's vision for humanity. It requires purification within ourselves. It will lead us to radical social changes so that our relationships on earth, like our relationships in heaven, will not be based on exploitation of one person by another or of one group by another and will certainly lead to the creation of a new generation. To do this, God invites us to be his co-workers. Are we ready to listen to his call?
May the good Lord guide us to respond to his call. May God bless you all.