Council for World Mission (CWM) Moderator Rev. Lydia Neshangwe, who is in Singapore to participate in the Presbyterian Church in Myanmar (PCM) Partners’ Roundtable Meeting, preached an enriching sermon during the CWM’s weekly staff devotion on 1 August 2022 at 5 P.M Singapore Time at the CWM Headquarters in Singapore. Led by Rev. Dileep Kumar Kandula, it was a successful hybrid gathering where local staff attended in person and staff based overseas joined virtually via Zoom.
The devotion commenced with an opening prayer and hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness”, followed by the Scripture reading from John 1:6-9. The CWM Moderator began her inspiring sermon by recounting an interview where she was asked a thought-provoking question by the panel, “Who are you?”
She spoke on the topic of having a healthy sense of self-identity, and the worldly, transient ways people often base their core identity and define themselves by in the world. Some people believe they are their achievements, which may be irrelevant in some contexts. She highlighted that our identity must not be defined by the worldly possessions and attributes as they are changing and temporary.
She then shared a “three-way definition of self” – origin, value and purpose. Firstly, each of us is made in God’s image, and defined as a child of God, challenged to testify to who God is within us. This should banish feelings of condemnation, inferiority, and negate imperialism, unfair immigration laws and ethnic cleansing.
Secondly, we are defined by our inherent value, and what we have been given or value-added by God. No negative experiences in our homes, workplaces and society diminishes our value as we are precious and important to God. Thirdly, we are defined by our God-given purpose, like how John knew that his purpose was to prepare the way for Jesus, and to prepare the hearts of the people of Christ to hear the good news.
The CWM Moderator ended her sermon by reminding the staff that God has a purpose for each of them – a vessel made by God, imbued with God-given value – in CWM and encouraged them to find and fulfil their specific, individual purpose.
In her closing prayer, Rev. Neshangwe prayed that the CWM staff will be energised by God, to be blessings to others, and those in the regions they are serve, and for special wisdom and protection of spirit and heart for the CWM General Secretary Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum.
The CWM General Secretary thanked the Moderator on behalf of all present, and welcomed Mr Sudipta Singh, who begins his work as CWM Deputy General Secretary – Programme today (1 August 2022).