2015 Mission Sunday:
Holistic Shalom for All God's People
According to the Global Anabaptist Mennonite
Encyclopedia Online, “mission” is defined as the work of
God. “The true missionary witness is in the very nature of
God rather than in ecclesiology, eschatology, pneumatology,
anthropology, or practical theology.” It is not human beings
but God who initiates the mission. Mission is the practical
aspect of Christian evangelism and church development
along with biblical teachings. In recent years, church leaders
have proclaimed that “the kingdom of God is the central
theme in mission.”
In Bible translations to other languages such as Korean or Chinese, the word “mission” also translates as calling, task, responsibility, ministry, or vocation. Regardless of the translation, the core meaning relates closely to God’s work of active love and grace in the world.
However, mission agents or missionaries have sometimes misunderstood it on a mission field. Indigenous language, culture, and even people may have been neglected or objectified. As a result, God’s beautiful new song is torn apart so that it is hard for both parties to hear its good news. While one side cheers at achieving missional victory or accomplishing their goal, the other side mourns the loss of their original culture and lifestyles.
During November, we remember people who lost their lives during war. The proclaimed purpose of war is to bring peace on earth but it has not turned out that way. Similarly, our witness of proclaiming peace with God’s Word has often failed, as well. It is time to recognize and mourn our human mistakes and sinfulness. This third Sunday of November, among many, we want to recall a country that struggles with the aftermath of the Korean War, billed as a civil war, but really the result of the cold war. Although it continues, most people do not know this, so it is also called the Forgotten War. The war has been paused but the tension is ongoing.
In this world, there are two different lines of history. The one is human history, shaped by human beings, while the other is divine history, which the Holy Spirit shapes. As Christians, we need to see both, but focus on divine history. As we commemorate Remembrance Day in November, let us pay more attention to God’s role and mission in this world, particularly in war.
|Publisher||Mennonite Church Canada|
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