“Thy Word is Truth” is the theme of the exhibition. it will travel to four U.S, cities in the next months. The web site www.bibleinchina.org tells the story of the long history of Christianity in China and powerful ministry of Bible printing that is part of the Christian witness there today. Today I have the privilege of bringing greetings from Disciples at the Washington, D.C. opening of the exhibit.
Though the exhibit is about the present and future of God’s love among us, I am also remembering one of the moments of courage in our Disciples mission history. in 1937, four missionaries chose to stay in China at great personal risk when they could have left. Dr. Searle Bates, Lewis Smythe, Miss Minnie Vautrin and Grace Bauer helped organize safety zones that protected 250,000 persons from death in the Nanjing Massacre. I am told that their stories, pictures and statue are displayed in China at the Memorial Hall of the Nanjing Massacres to this day.
Here are my words of greetings (along with about 20 others!) today:
It is an honor to add my words of welcome to the delegation from China and to bring greetings from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The relationship between Disciples and the people of China was proven in the 1937 Nanjing Massacre when four Disciples helped organize safety zones protecting the lives of some 250,000 people.
But much more than bringing greetings from a particular slice of the American church, much more even than remembering a precious moment of our friendship, this morning I thank you for the Bible Ministry Exhibition of the Protestant Church in China. In bringing this exhibition here, you remind us all that the word of God knows no bounds. The love of God is not divided by denomination or by language or by national borders.
God created us, one human family in the beginning of time. In the fullness of time, God came to earth in the person of Jesus to reconcile us to God and to each other – to make us whole again. The Bible Ministry Exhibition of the Protestant Church in China is a marvelous reminder that God has already made us one. We have only to accept the gift.
Thanks be to God for this marvelous occasion and for you.