Free to Celebrate – Sermon delivered by Methodist Bishop Rosemarie Wenner

The invitation extended in Psalm 100 was highlighted by Bishop Rosemarie Wenner of the Protestant Methodist Church of Germany in her sermon at the Sunday service of worship at the CPCE's General Assembly in Florence.

God invites all people to turn to Him at any time. “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth! Come into His presence with singing”: it is by no means a private party singing this song, but an open invitation is explicitly addressed to each and every one of us, including the people of the 21st century, and extended to all Protestants throughout Europe.

“The celebration of God is not restricted to services of worship alone”, Bishop Wenner explained in the Waldensian Church of Florence. Far more, we should live our lives in Faith and express this Faith in our lives. In this case we should be asking ourselves the following questions right now: “Do we really engage with people? Do we listen to what they are saying? Do we cry out on their behalf when they resign themselves to silence?” Our hosts from the Italian churches for this General Assembly of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE) could show us very well indeed just how to honour God. People from all corners of the Earth congregate in many Protestant churches throughout Italy, bringing with them not just their different languages, but also their experiences from quite different worlds than ours. Thus the well-established and well-off might sit side-by-side with those who have suffered severe trauma and travelled long distances to be there. All at once they are part of the same Church. “God’s praises not only resound in richer tones with more voices, but they are all the more infectious in a Church that extends the hand of friendship towards strangers”, Bishop Wenner declared. Celebration is a beautiful, infectious and unifying act – to which everyone is invited.

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