This week I had the opportunity to meet again with the five evangelists of the Ceylon Evangelical Lutheran Church (CELC) in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Last month I led them through a discussion on Luther’s Large & Small Catechisms. This week I led them through a discussion on the Augsburg Confession (AC). As before, they were attentive and engaged. My translator, Nathan, does a wonderful job of conveying my thoughts to them and visa versa.
We meet in a facility the CELC has operated for years, in a very congested and busy part of the city. While the property has adequate room to not only renovate but expand the facility, the property has been encircled with residential buildings. Any attempt now to build properly – meaning compacting the ground appropriately to support a safe structure – would cause the surrounding buildings most likely to crumble to the ground. As such, the CELC has secured a new facility elsewhere in the city and is in the final stages of preparing it for use. They hope to sell this property as part of this transition. This will likely be the last time we meet together in this property, and already some of the furniture and other materials here has been moved out and relocated to the new building.
Learning about or studying the AC was not part of my life as a Lutheran until Seminary. But while I’ve always agreed with our interpretations of Scripture and the ministry, it becomes increasingly obvious to me that not just an intellectual assent to but a greater commitment to living out the principles of the AC would be of great help to Lutherans and Christians everywhere. I’m grateful to be able to assist the CELC through these men to better minister to their people, reach out in love to their neighbors, and celebrate joyfully the gift of Christ!