1 January 2023 at 15:06:00 JST
Dear brothers and sisters,
we look back on an eventful year in which we experienced the nearness and guidance of our Lord in one way or another. One thing is certainly true, also in 2022 God continued to pursue His plan of redemption and led us closer to our goal: the participation in the first resurrection to serve Christ as priests and reign with Him in the kingdom of peace. This is what we read in Revelation 20: 6.
Those who have been endowed with the authority of Christ in the kingdom of peace can serve and carry out their mission unhindered. Their service will consist of preaching the gospel to human beings and leading them to God. Reigning has nothing to do with ruling the world, but to be a witness to the supremacy of Christ by embodying the love and mercy of God.
Jesus has already called us today to serve and reign in His spirit. Hence our motto for 2023: Serving and reigning with Christ.
We serve Him today already by leaving our daily lives behind and coming to church in order to worship God together. We also serve Jesus by putting His gospel into practice in our daily lives. And it is our service to others to love them as Christ loves us.
We have also been called to rule with Christ in 2023. This does not mean that we exercise power over our neighbour, but that we rule over our own thoughts and actions with the help of Christ:
- His love does not divide, but unites.
- His grace picks us up when we fall.
- His wisdom helps us to learn from our mistakes.
We are not helplessly exposed to temptation either, but can rule over the sin that lies at the door to our hearts.
The best way to remain in control of our own destiny is to let Christ reign in our hearts.
Together with all the Apostles, I wish you a blessed and fulfilling year 2023!