Rev. Anders Gadegaard from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark shares reflections on CEC’s upcoming Assembly theme “Under God’s blessing – shaping the future”. Hosted by CEC Member Churches in Estonia, the General Assembly of CEC will take place from 14 – 20 June 2023 in Tallinn. Gadegaard serves as member of CEC Governing Board and chair of CEC Assembly Planning Committee.
The Christian faith expresses itself in a double movement. It sets people free and, in so doing, it places a responsibility upon us. As Christians we are free because we exist under the blessing of God. We do not have to fear whether we will achieve everything we want because, with God, we have already achieved everything: His love and forgiveness. Precisely for this reason, demands can also be made on us as Christians. As free and forgiving, we are expected to do our utmost to contribute to the common good. To make human communities flourish by ensuring that everyone - or as many as possible - can unfold their own humanity. It requires security and a fair framework for the distribution of goods.
This duality of freedom and obligation must be preached by churches everywhere and actively practiced. We must proclaim our freedom under the blessing of God and our commitment to shaping the future together for mutual benefit and joy. Indeed, the role of CEC in the world is to serve in a European context by influencing its surrounding society politically, ethically, and culturally.
If the churches stand together in Europe, we will be better able to spread and sustain this view of freedom and responsibility. At a time when over-consumption of resources is threatening the existence of the planet, when the gap between rich and poor is increasing and excessive national feeling is weakening the attention of those who need help in other parts of the world, this is what Europe needs. This is why European churches call for action and courage at this time: Under God’s blessing – shaping the future.