Posted by Iwan Russell Jones on 25 October 2010, 7:48
Lausanne III came to an emotional climax tonight with a three-hour communion service that will live long in my memory. It took the form of an Anglican liturgy from Kenya set to music and accompanied by a magnificent choir and orchestra.
There were a number of genuinely awe-inspiring moments throughout the service, and I wondered how on earth the preacher, Lindsay Brown, would manage to follow a particularly powerful choral piece, ‘Worthy is the Lamb’.
Lindsay is the International Director of the Congress, and he’s also a good friend of mine. I felt really proud of this boy from Merthyr Tydfil tonight. He was wearing a tidy suit and tie for a change instead of his usual clapped-out sweater, but apart from that there were no airs and graces.
He spoke directly and passionately to this vast congregation about the need to bear witness to Jesus Christ in every sphere of life. Christ is the Lord of all creation, he said, and he quoted from one of his favourite thinkers, the Dutch theologian, Abraham Kuyper, who was prime minister of his country in the early years of the 20th century: ‘There is not one inch of human life about which Jesus does not say that is “mine”.’
The quote was followed by a challenge: ‘Are you willing to extend the Lordship of Christ to wherever he has called you, including the workplace?’
‘The peace’ is always an important moment in the communion service for me. But sharing the peace of Christ tonight with a Nepali, an Egyptian, a German, a Thai and a Scot – all about to leave this temporary community and return to whatever awaits us in our normal context – was very special.
And that feeling remained right through to the very end and the Kenyan blessing: ‘All of our problems, we send to the cross of Christ… All of the Devil’s work, we send to the cross of Christ… All our hopes, we set on the Risen Christ’.