Saturday, 26 June 2010
It's About God!
This morning I was at a consultation day for Churches Together Groups in Essex where our keynote speaker was the Revd. Dr. David Cornick, General Secretary of Churches Together in England. David was reminding us that it is God who takes the initiative in mission, but that God is a sending God - and God sends us to do mission. We may find ourselves engaging in all sorts of good things, and that is fine so far as it goes, but mission needs the God bit. Mission connects us with the Kingdom of God. Jesus proclaimed God's alternative way. This is what we need to engage with. Being engaged in mission is being under the rule of God. It is about being part of God's alternative way of life. David suggested three Biblical passages from Luke-Acts that offer pointers for mission. First, the Annunciation. Mary could have said 'no', but she didn't. Eastern tradition has given her the title 'God-bearer'. What might happen if we all had the courage to be God-bearers? Second, the mission of the 70 (or 72) in Luke 10. They are sent out with no visible means of support. Their task is to encounter people. Mission is about encounter. Every encounter has missionary potential. The problem is that we like to be in control - but mission only happens when you are not in control. Third, the story of Peter and Cornelius in Acts 10. God is for all - and God is already in every culture. Mission should not be saying 'come and be like us.' Rather, the call is 'come and follow Jesus in ways that are appropriate to your culture'.