Barriers of internet access and recording quality, of jetlag and illness, of language and culture stand in the way of MWC Assemblies but in Indonesia 5 July 2022, they did not prevent God’s people from worshipping together.
“This marks a new way of doing assembly where we can learn and fellowship in satellite locations and gather online in groups and families around the world,” says National Advisory Council member Paulus Widjaja. He cautioned against fear, “a great enemy” that causes us to exclude others.
Amid songs and dances representing Javanese culture, he presented MWC (outgoing) president J. Nelson Kraybill with a gunungan, a fan that represents the world, from Javanese theatre.
“You come to us walking on the water through the storm,” prayed J. Nelson Kraybill, acknowledging the fears facing Assembly participants.
Jesus was the greatest barrier crosser, said evening speaker Tim Geddert, on the theme of following Jesus across barriers. Jesus’ interaction with the Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7 shows both Jesus’ divinity and humanity, he says. In every Gospel passage, we should ask how we can learn from both, Tim Geddert says.
“May we throw open the doors of our lives to the disruptive Holy Spirit,” prayed Lisa Carr Pries, MWC vice president (2022-2025), in closing.