In 2009, I assumed the mantle as your Bishop. It was a rather unexpected calling. On the one hand, it was a personal challenge but on the other hand, it was God’s calling to lead his flock with a determined purpose. I have served the ELCM for the last twenty-three years and I have never walked away from the Lord’s calling. If God himself has called me, and called us, then we ought to adhere to his plan for us. We must only know that we must be bold witnesses of Christ Jesus to the world and submit to his love. In the process of making all the preparation for this first Address, I committed my spirit to the Lord for his guidance. The Lord has never let me down. I have put much thought in this Address, and although it is my word that you read, I pray it is the Holy Spirit who will speak to your heart. My Address is further envisioned and elucidated in the ELCM 5-Year Plan.
No other foundation … than Jesus Christ himself
There can be no other foundation for a Church than Jesus Christ himself (1 Corinthians 3:11). He is our Lord, our God, and we worship him. Though he humbled himself to be born as man and walk the earth to be with us, and to die for us, he was not just man but God himself (John 1: 1). To live in relationship with him as his children, is our privilege and joy. Such privileges come with a responsibility! In Jesus Christ, we believe all divinity was present but humbled within his humanity. Hence, the spiritual paradigm of the Christian faith: in meditating upon the humanity of Jesus Christ, we come closest to the spirit of God himself. In Jesus, God made all things adequate for our salvation and our life. In Jesus, we have the Truth (John 14:6). In the Bible, we have the apostolic witness to that Truth. In our daily life and reason, we have access to that Truth.
We fall to Jesus in our moments of darkness and rise to Jesus in our moments of triumphs. This is our Christian life! This is how our Christian life should be … one of endeavours and triumphs.
Action Animated by our Faith
In the historical process that came to be the ELCM, God has not left us without a firm hand. For reasons not in our way to control, we are a church among other churches, a people of God among other people of God. Once we recognize what that means, we will know to whom we owe our responsibility to serve. As such it is of paramount importance that we should recognize that as the people of God, we are Malaysians first; and secondly and largely, Indian! Since it is an aspect of humanity sanctioned by God for the present, we should then discover our mission here. We have to uphold the law and take our Malaysian citizenship seriously by participating in the social processes to create a just society. Yet at the same time, we should build bridges to the culture we have inherited from our forefathers. (Please download Bishop’s Address to the Diocesan Assembly)