IBTS travels,  Theological musings/personal reflections

Peace and Reconciliation at the EBF Council in Lisboa

Though the theme of the EBF Council was “Creation Care and Environment”, perhaps the most notable moment came on the Friday night when Archbishop Malkhaz (Georgia Baptists) invited us to a celebration of the Eucharist and prayers for peace in the troubled region of Ossetia and Georgia. Using a “shortened” version of the eucharistic liturgy of John Chrysostom he co-celebrated with Karin Wiborn (Swedish Baptist Union). The small lecture room assigned for the purpose was soon overcrowded as EBF Baptists, of every liturgical persuasion and non, gathered around the table and joined in the liturgy. We prayed fervently for peace and reconcilation in the region, we shared the one cup of rich Georgian wine offered to us with delicate Swedish tones offering us the “blood of Christ”.  And there it was – an ancient liturgy of the one Church of Christ shared by Baptists from many nations led by Georgians and Swedes. Powerfully, again, the conviction was re-inforced in me that the eucharist is a meal which unites, overcomes, heals and sustains. I leave the sun of Portugal more determined than ever to develop at IBTS a eucharistic community!

– Keith

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