On 6 May, 2017, World Methodist council General Secretary Ivan Abrahams addressed the Lutheran World Federation 12th Assembly in Windhoek, Namibia. He addressed participants along with other ecumenical leaders at a huge celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.
The President and General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
It is a singular honor, joy, and privilege to greet you in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Please accept my gratitude for your kind invitation to share in this historic Lutheran World Federation 12th Assembly as the Lutherans across the globe celebrate 500 years of the Reformation under the theme “Liberated by God’s grace.”
I bring greetings and best wishes to you on behalf of the World Methodist Council (WMC) which brings together the worldwide association of 80 Methodist, Wesleyan and related United and Uniting Churches of more than 82 million people in 133 countries.
We celebrate the fact that since the historic signing of the Joint Declaration of Justification (JDDJ) of 1999 in Augsburg, Germany, where Lutherans, and Catholics made a commitment to work towards reconciliation and pronounced a common understanding of justification which laid the ground for dialogue and cooperation. The World Methodist Conference meeting in Seoul, South Korea in 2006 ratified the JDDJ and confirmed that “justification is the work of the triune God and we are saved by grace alone.”
It is fitting that the LWF Assembly meets under the theme, “Liberated by God’s Grace” in Namibia, once a German colony and now an example of good governance by recently being awarded the Mo Ibrahim Prize for African leadership (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa). The Assembly subthemes, namely, “salvation is not for sale, human being are not for sale and creation is not for sale” is a stark reminder that we live in a market orientated and commodified world. We applaud and join your prophetic stance against the forces of Mammon.
We are confident that the golden age of the Lutheran World Federation does not lie behind you, but before you, as you tackle the challenges of the 21st Century. God has brought you to this place and moment in history to pray, reflect and celebrate. As you march toward tomorrow’s world, we pray that you will move forward with unmatched boldness and commitment, drawing new energy from the same transcendent God who cared for and guided your forebears.
May the Living God continue to bless the Lutheran World Federation richly.
Your’s in Christian love and service,
Ivan M Abrahams
World Methodist Council