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“Let the Failures of the Past Drive us to faith in God” - Archbishop Ian Ernest

“Let the Failures of the Past Drive us to faith in God”

By Archbishop Ian Ernest in Singapore
April 25, 2010

As we meet here this week, we have great expectations for the few here. Through the Bible studies, the discussions and the addresses, it has become clear to us that God is calling each of us to build a community of faith which can guide, inspire and restore hope.

In spite of our failings and limitations, the Lord is choosing us to be as He is a Light to the Nations.

In the Book of Acts read to us earlier, we note that with the Word of God everything is possible. BY this Word, which is a light upon our path and a lantern to our feet, the Lord meets us where we are.

It is interesting to see how the Ethiopian Eunuch, an important administrator welcomes with a great sense of humility God’s Word which he seeks to understand. He is indeed looking for a guide.

The world we live in contains people who are thirsty to give meaning to their lives. God prepares their hearts, so as the first disciples and Philip did we are to be obedient to God’s calling.

In spite of the failings of the Anglican Communion, God through the work of the Holy Spirit and our commitment to be faithful to the teachings of the Scriptures is calling us to inspire, to guide, to restore hope and to serve with love.

We have failed at times to be the salt of the earth and a light to the world, but many events, which occurred in the lives of the disciples of Jesus, inform us that no failure is final.

So it is with renewed energy that we are taking up the challenge of the calling. As Barnabas and Paul were sent to Antioch, we are being sent to win to the Lord a great number of believers.

Instead of looking at the past and murmuring over our failed attempts to restore the integrity of our Communion, we should be sensitive to God’s will.

God needs us, dear brothers and sisters, to be imbued with the obedience of Philip, the courage and the zeal of Barnabas and Paul so that we can be instrumental to the growth of the church in the proclamation of the Good News as we make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

So, like the early Christians, we have to be, at all times and in all circumstances, full of the Holy Spirit and faith. Because of their Christlikeness, it is no wonder that a great number of people were added to the Lord.

This should be our main commitment. When men and women are brought to the Lord, we should know that the Lord our God is both the Source and Goal of Evangelism. To be faithful to God, it is time that we get away from our self-centered objectives and self-confident concepts.

Brothers and Sisters, let the failures of the past drive us to faith in God. I pray that the Risen Christ guides our steps so that wherever we are, we can respond in a most effective manner to God’s calling to be a light to the nations.

As the Word of God makes it possible, let us work together, prayerfully so that light overcomes darkness, understanding defeats confusion, abundance chases poverty and love triumphs over evil.

May the Name of the Lord be praised.


----Archbishop Ian Ernest is the Primate of the Indian Ocean

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