“Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.” Acts 2:46-47
Dedication Service on the 3rd of January 2022, the first working day, was held in the Auditorium of the Ceylon Bible Society. It was well attended by all members of the staff and representatives of the six Tenants who are occupants of the CBS Building.Bro. Prasad Perera of Dewsuwa Sewawa, Kadalana, Moratuwa was the Guest Preacher.
The program commenced with the Lighting of the Oil Lamp by Rev. Priyantha Wijegoonawardena, General Secretary of the C.B.S. and a few members of the staff as well as the Tenants. Mr. Enoch, Executive International Project Relations & CPR & FCBH, compered the Program with the assistance of Ms. Hepsibah Wilson Assistant Manager – IT. Opening prayer was said by Mr. Ishara Gunasekara.
Mr. Wilakshitha Mendis welcomed everyone present to the Dedication Service conducted before the commencement of work for the year 2022. Sinhala and Tamil readings from the Bible were done by Mr. Isuru Ramanayake and Ms. Hepsibah Wilson respectively which was followed by a hymn.
Thereafter the Guest Preacher Bro. Prasad Perera was introduced by Mr. Eshantha Mendis. Bro. Prasad Perera delivered an inspiring message, based on the theme “Churches and Families.” His message was based on Acts Chapter 2 verses 46 – 47 which talks about how the Lord was pleased and added to their number those who were being saved.
He stressed the importance of Churches and Families and how they were closely knit, and the importance of family life. Nowadays families were callous and ignored the prominence which should be given to family life. Especially, how the family should get together for prayers, for meals and even to spend time together. Often the family does not meet around the table and partake in the meals, but each one does it individually however they please. Family prayers should be considered a must in all families. Wherever this practice has been given up they should try to revive. Don’t compartmentalize the church and the family. Both must work together. Whatever happens in the church should happen at home and what happens at home is what happens in the churches as well. They were a learning church and what was learnt was put into practice at home. We have to revive that.
There was something unique that happened in the early church. What happened in their church happened in their homes. Whatever happened in their homes continued in the church. Our problem is that we have two compartments. Church is one compartment and the home is another compartment. It’s interesting to see what happened in the early church. They were a learning church and they had the capacity to learn. We have to revive that. It worked then.
Those days they had large families. The elder child helped the younger child to get dressed and so on and parents had no stress. There was no stress whatsoever. We need to bring that back to our families. They were a worshipping church. That brings togetherness. Family feels the Oneness in God through Christ. We need it for our prayers too.
Whatever happened in the homes happened in the Church, and whatever happened in the church happened in the homes. In their homes they sat down together and had their meals together which was the fellowship. Let us bring that back to the original state. Now when they eat their meals one watches TV, and one reads a book and one looks at something else and the oneness is not there. Family prayer is another very important factor. In early days it was always a praying church. As a result the family always met together for prayers. We have now lost that.
Bro. Prasad Perera thereafter offered a prayer of dedication for the CBS and the members of the staff and their families. He also prayed for the work of the CBS. Mr. Enoch thanked Bro. Prasad Perera for the very inspiring message he had brought to all those who were present.
Rev. Priyantha Wijegoonawardena, General Secretary of CBS thereafter thanked all the members of the CBS staff for their work and their co-operation and willingness at all times to carry out work. He thanked all the tenants for their co-operation even during the pandemic period. He wished success in their business and all programs they have planned, and that they would make good progress in the coming year. He also thanked all the well-wishers. supporters, donors and donor societies to have supported the CBS generously which was helpful to CBS to carry out their work throughout Sri Lanka. Further, he went on to thank all the visitors who come to the Book Shop for purchases that God will bless all the customers who support the CBS abundantly and bless them.
Closing prayer and Benediction was said by Rev. Priyantha Wijegoonawardena, General Secretary.
In closing, the Hymn for Ceylon was sung.