Friday, October 12, 2018

EmmDev 2018-10-12 [Wherever I am...] Joining Jesus in His Mission

Week 2 Recognising that all people need God's Love

Joining Jesus in His Mission

Loving our neighbours is the mission of every Christ-follower in every local Church! How do I love my neighbour? By doing the work of God by offering Aid, Advancement or Advocacy to our neighbours who need our help. This is the work of every disciple. What does it look like for us as God's people to be joining Jesus in His mission to weave shalom?

An excellent example comes in the Parable of the Good Samaritan which begins with an expert in the Bible asking Jesus how to get life. Jesus asks him, "How do you read this in the Bible?" He answers, to love God completely and to love your neighbour as yourself. The expert wants to know "Who is my neighbour?" How do we weave shalom?

The Samaritan saw the injured man, went to him and took care of him. Weaving shalom means seeing the strands that are right in front of you. It means having the eyes of a weaver. It means seeing and acting. If a person is in need, go help. Put aside your own personal issues and help. If there are obvious needs right there in front of you, jump in! At work, as you see a co-worker struggling, start weaving. At the gas station, pay inside and offer words of encouragement to the crabby person there. At the restaurant, say something that tells your server you care about them as a person. Give aid. But don't stop with just the quick and easy. Weaving takes time, and patience.

After telling the story, with all its shocks and surprises, Jesus returns to the man's question. But Jesus doesn't answer it. Instead, Jesus turns it around by asking "who acted like a neighbour?" Rather than identifying who your neighbour is, Jesus is more concerned with us acting like a neighbour -'The one who showed mercy.'

Jesus lifts up the hated and despised Samaritan as the hero of the parable. He exalts one who is least likely to be considered a neighbour by the Jews.
Jesus advocated for people on the margins, changing how we see all people on the margins. It is weaving them into the tapestry of God's people, of God's kingdom on earth, of who gets to be included in the beautiful work of Aid, Advancement, and Advocacy that God is doing. This is what it means to join Jesus in His mission in the world.

Mother Theresa said: "We have been created in His image for greater things, to love and to be loved." She's right! We have been created in God's image for greater things. Jesus ended with this charge to the local church, "Go and do likewise."

Vital churches, living and life-giving churches, "go and do likewise." Weaving shalom. 

(Adapted from a sermon by David Werner, preached at Forest Hills Church in Aug 2015)

In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. Look after him,' he said, and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
36 "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
37 The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."      (Luke10:30-37)

Madoda Mfene is a husband to Noxolo Mfene, father to Chulumanco, Liyema and Lihle and currently serving at Tiyo Soga Memorial Congregation. (Madoda is a member of the MaD Committee)

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