Reflections on CEC Assembly theme: “We are called to bring God’s blessing to the world”
Feature Article No: 01/23
20 January 2023
By Susan Kim (*)
Pastor Christian Sofussen, from the Baptist Union of Denmark, reflects on how we, as Christians are called to bring God’s blessing to the world, and how Christian witness ultimately blends ideas with action. His reflections are grounded in the theme of the upcoming CEC General Assembly “Under God’s blessing – shaping the future” that will be held June 14-20 in Tallinn, Estonia.
How can we see a world with the promise of God’s blessing? For Pastor Christian Sofussen, it’s worth considering Paul’s words, “that we still can’t see the full picture, as we look through a dim mirror and see a distorted representation of what’s in front of us.”
Sofussen wonders: “Is it possible that the massive elevation in living standards and the increasing peacefulness of people and nations—though with some notable exceptions as we Europeans currently see in Ukraine—through the last centuries is an example of God’s blessing?”
From his perspective, it certainly seems that way—at least, he added, “for the poorest among us, but at the same time it seems that in order for us to be comfortable with this compassion for our fellow humans we have shifted to a war on creation itself.”
For Sofussen, our calling as Christians is founded on God’s blessing, which remains in the realm of promise and hope. “It is a hope of salvation that we continually see small glimpses of coming true as we walk with Christ and let his love transform us,” Sofussen said. “We are called to bring God’s blessing to the world.”
This calling, in turn, manifests itself in Christian witness. “When we so often hear the church compared to the single body of Christ we should take that to heart,” said Sofussen. “I have always found great hope in the ecumenical movement precisely for that reason and CEC is a great way to take action in fellowship and help mend the broken body of the Lord of the church.”
Sofussen believes our most foundational ideas are already formulated but they require translation to every time and every locale, “which the church is well suited for if we work together to let the kingdom of God grow and expand from ourselves into the world,” he said. “In that sense, action and ideas can’t be taken as two separate things; they are intimately interlinked and we can’t claim to believe in the teaching of loving God and neighbor without actually loving God and neighbor to the best of our abilities.”
If we are the body of Christ, we must show this through our Christian witness as we work to shape the future, Sofussen added. “It is my hope that we reaffirm our responsibility to each other, to our co-humans, and to creation,” he said. “We come with the belief that we as humanity are called to serve as stewards of God’s creation, all of it, and we seek to further our own abilities through our apprenticeship under Christ and with each other.”
(*) Susan Kim is a freelance journalist from the United States.