Our Twinning Partners – The Return Visit
During May 2007 a party of visitors from Malawi arrived in Aberdeen to further our relationship with the church there. Included in the party were Rev Matherio Msatithe, Lasmore Mbotwa and Austin Katunga all from our twin congregation at Mpachika and who were guests of the Manse family. A full programme was arranged for all of our visitors but on Sunday 13 May our three Mpachika guests attended morning worship at St Mark’s and Rev Matherio Msatithe delivered the Sermon. This is reproduced below and we thank Rev Msatithe for his permission to do so.
The theme of the sermon is WE CHRISTIANS ARE A SPECIAL PEOPLE – A SPECIAL GROUP. (First Letter of Peter Ch 2 v 9-10)
Each one of us regardless of who we are, what we do, how we look, we are special and we must be proud of ourselves.
Peter in his moving homily was telling the believers, who accepted Christ as their personal saviour that;
1. They were the chosen people; they were different from the rest because they got God’s grace as they were chosen from among others. Peter emphasized that you are a special group because before they were in darkness but now they are walking in the light, symbolizing redemption
2. Peter continues that they were not only chosen but they were also a Royal priesthood with a specific purpose, a purpose to serve others, a purpose to serve the world, a purpose to serve each other not uniformity or conformity but to diversity.
3. Thirdly Peter tells the believers that they were a holy nation, an attribute of God hence emphasizing that they were a special group. This though was to say that they were in communion with God.
Today all of us gathered in this beautiful church I suppose confessed Christ as our personal saviour. The fact that we accepted Christ; we have a privilege to be called by the most popular name under the sun called CHRISTIANS. Peter therefore is telling us that – We are the chosen people -praise God. We must know that God chose us for a purpose, it could be to reach the un-reached, to serve those who have never received Christ as their personal saviour, if Jesus is the light of the world and we the chosen few are therefore the light of the world too.
We are also a royal priesthood not mere Christians and we must have all the reasons to smile and be happy knowing quite well how a royal family is all about. It is amazing to be associated with such a metaphor.
As a royal family we are called to;
-serve in diversity
-witness Christ to all
-make the world a better place to live
-create a conducive environment for the un-reached to be reached.
As Peter told the believers that they were a holy nation, he is doing likewise today that we too are a holy nation, this is one of God’s unique attribute we are called to be.
We may seem to be on the losing side as the believers during Peter’s time were, but for sure we are sharing the goodness of God, if we lose the inferior good we have to know that we are receiving our salvation. The glory of God and our own felicity are so connected that if we regularly seek the one we must attain the other.
We Christians must know that we are one family regardless of where we are. We make one family, a sort and species of people distinct from the common world hence the theme we are special.
All the true servants of Christ are a royal priesthood separated from sin consecrated to God and offering to God spiritual services and oblations accepted to God through Jesus Christ.
It is imperative to know that these dignities and virtues are not natural to us for our first state was horrid darkness but we were actually called out of darkness and we show forth the virtues and praises of him who called us.
We are therefore compelled to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to all homes of mankind, to places where we work as members of the royal family, to communities to which we belong. We have to know that God did not create us to live alone.
Let me take this opportunity to say that Malawi we call the warm heart of Africa counts itself a blessed nation because of Scotland through the amazing work of Dr David Livingstone.
In other words we are proud to say that Scotland is our spiritual mother, a mother who chose. A holy mother, a mother that never forgets her child, a mother who is a royal priesthood hence her child Malawi. It is our prayer that God bless Scotland our beloved mother as we are not going to forget that
-We are a chosen people
-A special people
-A royal priesthood
-A holy nation
LET US JOIN HANDS AND PRAY
Lord thank you that you have made us one through your beloved son Jesus, we pray Lord for your church throughout the world that it may share to the full in the work of your son, revealing you to men and women, reconciling them to you that we may learn to love one another as members of the same family. And that your church may exhibit unity which is your will.
Lord, open our ears to hear what you are saying to us in the things that happen to us and in the people we meet.
Open our eyes to see the needs of the people around us.
Open our hands to do our work well, to help when help is needed.
Open our lips to tell the good news of Jesus and bring comfort, happiness and laughter to other people.
Open our minds to discover new truth about you and the world.
Open our hearts to love you and our fellow men and women as you have loved us
To Him with you our Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, all honour and praise shall be given now and for ever.
Letter from Austin Katunga
Mpachika CCAP Church – dated 4th June 2007
This is an extract from the letter sent to John and Jennifer following his stay with John, Jennifer and David.
Warmest greetings to both of you and all St Mark’s Church from myself, as Session Clerk and my Congregation.
To start with I would like to thank you very very much for the cordial reception rendered to me as my host during the time I was there in Aberdeen. Both of you, including David, made my stay there very enjoyable and unforgettable. I think I will never forget what you did for me personally for the rest of my life. May the Almighty God continue to bless you abundantly as a family.
John and Jennifer on 24.05.07 as you left us at Aberdeen Airport, the flight to Amsterdam took only 1½ hours and we arrived safely. We stayed there in Amsterdam for almost 10 hours. At 9.40pm we boarded a flight to Nairobi and we reached our destination at 6.30am on 25.05.07. We boarded a flight to Blantyre via Dar-es-salaam at 9.10am and by 11.30am we were in Blantyre. Members from Mpachika Congregation and our family members welcomed us. It was and will be an unforgettable trip. Indeed we really appreciated our stay as we covered a lot during our visit such as spiritual matters, visitations, discussions and cultural matters and indeed we took home to our Congregation spiritual encouragement and challenge needed for the sustenance of the Partnership and an understanding among ourselves as it gave us a rare opportunity of being together and learning the attitude of each other.
Brian is OK and he was among the people that came to welcome us at Chileka Airport. Matherio was involved in a car accident on 01.06.07 at a corner near our Mpachika Church. He was driving towards Limbe but now he is well.
All Mpachika Church members are thanking you indeed for the financial support ie the cheque presented to us the time we were there. The money has been banked and shortly we are expecting to start on the construction of the kitchen. As everything gets started we will be informing you of every move.
Lastly but not the least we are very grateful indeed to you as a family for the support given to us individually and to the entire Mpachika Congregation.
We at Mpachika do not take this for granted; we know that it came from different well wishers in the Church who wanted to make a difference to the lives of Mpachika Congregation. We humbly ask you to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the entire St Mark’s Congregation and not forgetting the Presbytery of Aberdeen.
Greet Rosalyn Rennie, Margaret, Alex and all too many to be mentioned.