Anja (Ansa) from the programme team - from Madagascar - teaches us a clapping song and introduces a Mexican wave from the delegates. Martin explains the programme - the talk from Daniel Bourdanne, the Lord's supper will be led by Gernot Spiess (Gen Sec of SMD, Germany).
Martin announces that a lot of the video footage will be available on the website as well as the thumb drive given to the delegates at the end of the meeting tonight.
Anja prays in 3 languages and then we raise our voices in song:
Strength will arise as we wait upon the Lord...
Our God, You reign for ever
Our Hope, our stong deliverer..
Yesterday, today and forever,
you are the same, you never change,
you are faithful, and we will trust in you.
Daniel comes to speak to us and addresses us in French with Tom Parfitt translating into English from the stage.
We have spent some intense days togehter and now we will go home. Last year our child had a unique experience: he was away from home for 3 days - he and we were nervous. He returned from his trip to Ireland and would not stop talking about it. A lot of us will remember Nigel's great jokes. We have experienced the great hospitality of the Polish hosts. We will also remember friendship. We will remember the tears in prayer in groups and alone. We will remember all of this and we will speak of them.
This evening I would like to encourage us to remember one image, one name, one person: Jesus Christ. Above and beyond all our memories of our time together, we are to fix our memories the person of Jesus Christ. He is the author of all the blessings we have received here. We know that it is better in our daily lives to have a source of water rahter than a bottle of water. I'm going to invite Tom to read Col 1:15-17 in English.
Jesus is raised here to the position of the King - Lord. Lord of all, over all, for all. Some of the Colossians considered Jesus to be a mediator but nothing more.
Paul first reminds us Jesus is God - God made visible. True and full knowledge of God is impossible outside of knowing Jesus. Any god that does not reveal himself through Jesus is not God at all. The alternative is a god of our imagination and limitations. We must remember that Jesus is God, with all of the implications of that.
He is the Lord of the Universe and the University: He alone gives meaning and true interpretation to all things. Universe and university are under him - university only fully understood through Jesus Christ. This Jesus created all things, without Jesus, life and the universe would be chaos.
The third implication is that everything exists by and for Jesus. He has not abandoned this world - he controls the world, history, my story. The evil we see in hte death of Jesus cannot hold him - he rises from the dead, ascends on high and rules. It all converges on Him, He is the centre of all things. As Lord of the universe, he is our hope. As we leave this place we will go into the valley. We will go back into a depression, perhaps loneliness, into contexts of violence around the world. As we leave here we may feel so small in view of all that we see and know. We will be shaken inspite of Polish hosptiality, shaken inspite of the teaching - this is why we must fix our eyes on Jesus. He is the source of living water who will renew us and feed us in adversity, sustain us in suffering, carry us through persecution, he will keep us when we encounter death - of those we love. We will be carried by the LORD of the universe. He is the One who will give us strength to be prophets on campus, in the world in which we live, in IFES as we serve Him. That is why He says that all authority has been given to Him; why he commands us to go in discipleship of the nations and promises to go with us. Mth 28.
May IFES NEVER turn form the centrality of Jesus Christ. May we be ready to die for the Lord Jesus Christ, the only one who can save our world. May the Lord grant us not to compromise on the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. May he be with us in His Peace.
Let us pray - Lord Jesus we want to stay faithful to you, please use us in our different contexts, encourage us, may we not be afraid. AmenGernot Spiess comes to the microphone.
Brothers and sisters, as we prepare to close we are invited to share in the Lord's Supper. We are called to receive and share the bread and wine at The Lord's Table. We will celebrate in a simple way. There will be stations where we will each receive bread and the grape juice.
We are invited to look to two special gifts - unity in Jesus, strengthened in His power. He is in our midst and we are invited to His table. At the same time - he who calls us also sends us. At His table we are set steady for what lies ahead of us.We stand to sing
Heavenly Father, sovereign God, as we come ot your presence we know we are sinners. You know our hearts and weaknesses, we have failed. We pray for forgiveness and healing.
Our Lord says if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We come to this table, not trusting in our own righteousness, but in your faithful promises in your unfailing mercy. Feed us on Christ.
Santo, Santo, Santo,
Mi corazon te adora
Mi corazon sabe decis,
Santo eres Senor
Almighty God, thank you for giving your son for us - pour out your Spirit on us as we remember as he commanded.
On the same night he was handed over, he took bread and after giving thanks he broke it and said 'take eat, this is for you, do this in remembrance of me' In the same way, he took the cup and said 'take this all of you, this is my blood, the blood of the new covenant, shed for you and for many, do this as often as you drink it - do it in remembrance of me.
We pray the Lord's prayer in our own languages.
Christ has died, Christ is risen - come eat and drink.
I find this fitting and moving. The students of the movements serving the staff who serve them. Sharirng the union of the fellowship - doing what Daniel exhorted us to do: remembering Jesus who saves us, strengthens us, unites us, gives us hope.
Oh kneel me down again
Here at Your feet
Show me how much You love
Oh spirit be the star
That leads me to
The humble heart of love
I see in You
You are the God of the broken
The friend of the weak
You wash the feet of the weary
Embrace the ones in need
And I want to be like you Jesus
To have this heart in me
You are the God of the humble
You are the humble King
Gernot: let us close in prayer
Almighty God, our Heavenly Father. We have sat at your feet, ate at your table, send us out as your family. Thorugh Jesus Christ, the firstborn from the dead, we have been saved and healed. We say thank you in the Name of Jesus, The Lord of the Universe and the the University.
There is much thanks giving as the teams who worked on preparing and delivering the programme this week - the Darek, Ewa, Mirek, the office team, the volunteers, the tech team, the worship band.
Dieter speaks to them and reminds them
that God has worked and blessed them as they have blessed us. God was and is present. There has been a special purpose for this time - the International Executive Committee thought it fitting to have the met here in Poland. We have celebrated the pioneering days. You have blessed the whole fellowship, have all served and smiled - ready to serve. We came at the right time of your country - the blessing of the rich history, also the sorrows and the horrors here - not only yours and but European history. We have been inspired - how we can serve and regain a sense of identity, dignity and a hope for the future. You are being called to declare the glory of Christ, ChSA - do it with boldness and integrity, with God's help.
That was an appropriate thank you. We sit in anticipation - no one is sure what is happening. We're all looking for what should come next... There is a false start and then an interruption. Dieter is obviously a little lost and so Martin comes to help him. Slightly awkward but funny. There is more thanks to be given, programme team, teaching team, scripture presentation team, plenary session and seminar speakers, ministry forum facilitators, people who have shared stories and testimonies, reports, morning prayer team, small group leaders, the IFES UniverCity, bookstall leaders, communication team, pastoral care and prayer ministry, MCs and special guest programme, translators, the International Service Centre and now we ask our General Secretary, Daniel, and the World Assembly Director, Martin. Daniel will now pray.
(I want to add thanks to you for reading, praying and participating in the World Assembly through this blog, thanks for the encouragements and thoughtful posts. More posts will come reflecting more on the application of what we have learned)
Heavenly Father, thank you, for the heart of Martin and Rose and their family. Thank you for their years of service, for the years of their lives. You can see how they serve you, bless and renew them Lord, and not just them but also their children and family. Continue to help them to come closer to you. Thank you for all you have done. Thank you for all the blessings.
Dieter is called back to the stage to hand over a symbolic relay baton - handing over the responsibility fo the INternational Exexcutive Committee. We are very proud to have Chris as chair, representing NZ and the Southern Pacific. In a moment we will honour him in a traditional Haka (Maori honouring/greeting). Dieter prays for Chris after exhorting to faithfulness.
The Mexican delegation are invited forward as the incoming hosts of the world assembly. Ewa and Darek stand ready to hand over a symbolic baton - you will discover the our Lord Jesus, is THE Lord of everything. Ewa speaks tenderly and with encouragment. A Mexican wave comes over the room twice. A video about Mexico plays.
Then Sierra Leone gives shirts and a statue to Daniel. We now take up a collection of fellowship for the brothers and sisters in the IFES movements in the Francophone Africa.
During worship a dance party breaks out - EVEN Australians and Norwegians are dancing! TRULY a work of the Holy Spirit.