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Why we need to glorify God

8TH SESSION OF THE GENERAL CONFERENCE: OCT 18-22, 2004

AT THE morn-ing worship on the second day of the General C o n f e r e n c e , Bishop Roy Sano from the United Methodist Church said that the phrase “with one voice” for the conference theme “explains our focus”.

He said: “Paul says ‘with one voice’ glorify God.

“Why? Be-cause of the need to maintain harmony and healthy rela-tions among peo-ple. Paul mentions three kinds of rela-tionships between people – between the strong and the weak, Jews and Gentiles, and the poor and the poorer.”

Bishop Sano said that we who are strong ought to put up with the failing of the weak.

Relations between the Jews and Gentiles is about reaching across cultures evangelistically. “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you.”

On forging ties between the poor and the poorer, he said it is important to provide spiritually and materially, even if we are tempted to say we are not equipped.

The following day, Bishop R. P. M. Tambunan of Geraja Methodist Indone-sia (The Methodist Church in Indonesia) preached on “Glorifying Christ the Lord”. Urging the delegates to emulate John the Baptist who rejected the opportunity to glorify himself, he said they must always glorify Christ.

“To do that,” he said, “there are two things that we must do. The first is to empty ourselves, and the second is to direct the world to look at Christ.”

Bishop Tambunan, who spoke in Bahasa Indonesia, had his sermon inter-preted by the Rev Sonny Emmanuel Cornelius, a Gereja Methodist Indonesia minister who is currently doing his M. Theology course at Trinity Theological College in Singapore.

The Bishop said that many Christians have forgotten that they are Christ’s witnesses in this world. They do not testify for Christ; they testify about them-selves.

“We are placed in this world as a signboard to stand at the side of the path. The path itself is Christ.

“However, we do not like to be at the side because it is not grand to be placed at the side of the road. We want to be in the middle of the road. All of us then move to the middle of the road. Eventu-ally there will be a commotion, and the traffic will become chaotic.

“The world will be better if we all go back to the side of the road and work out our Christian life as designed by the Lord, that is, to ask the world to look at Christ,” he added.

Mr John Bell, Vice-President-desig-nate of The Methodist Church in Britain, was the speaker at the morning worship on the fifth day of the conference. He spoke on “The Unity of Christians in the World Church”.

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