“We are not great because of what we have achieved but because God achieves
extraordinary things through us ordinary people,” the General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation told the European Church Consultation last week.
Speaking during the opening worship in the Cathedral of St Nicholas in Greifswald, Germany, the Rev Dr Ishmael Noko stressed that God’s choosing does not depend on the great things people can achieve by their own strength, according to Lutheran World Information.
“From the scriptures it is clear that those heroes are not great because they are great achievers of great things in life … They are ordinary people like us.”
He stressed that God accepts people as they are out of His love for them and reminded believers that Christ’s death on the cross removes all barriers to acceptance as sons.
“We are chosen purely on the basis of what Jesus did for us on the cross,” he said.
Dr Noko also dismissed the prevailing achievements-orientated culture of modern society.
“We are part of a society that has ‘altars’, some of which are dedicated to the
gods of ‘achievement’,” he said in his sermon.
LWF member churches were invited to Greifswald to consider a church approach to shaping Europe and European integration.
Dr Noko added, “Whatever happens in the part of the earth we call Europe has a great influence on all world events. May God guide us as we address the relevant questions facing the churches and society in Europe.”
The conference was hosted by the Evangelical Church of Pomerania and was joined by Social Democratic politician, Dr Harald Ringstorff.