Monday, 4 March 2013

World-Wide Mission (Lent Study Week 2, 2013)

Peter Baptising Cornelius by Francesco Trevisani

A. Mission and Missionaries
Some passages you could check out in Luke-Acts
  • Luke 3:4-6 all flesh
  • 4:18-20 the Spirit of the Lord, justice
  • Luke 10 the harvest is plentiful but labourers are few
  • Luke 15 lost sheep, lost coin
  • 19:10  to seek out and save the lost
  • 24:44-49 repentance and forgiveness of sins in his name to all nations
  • Acts 1:8 you will be my witnesses .. to the ends of the earth
  • Acts 10 conversion of Cornelius, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.
  • Acts 15 the Council of Jerusalem (compare with Galatians 2:11-14)
  • Acts 28 gospel has reached even Rome

When you think of the mission of Jesus/the church/Holy Innocents/you yourself what do you think of?

B. Acts 10: The Ins and Outs of Community

Acts 10:9-16
10:28 God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean
10:34-35 God shows no partiality
10:36Israel, peace by Jesus Christ, Lord of all
10:37 that message spread
10:39 we are witnesses
10:43 everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name
10:44 the indiscriminate Spirit! And baptism

1.We are tempted to think that it is relatively easy for a community to remain faithful to its identity (current and historical) and let in new people. But how easy is it really? (Think about the functions of a ‘tribe’ psychologically and sociologically, both positive and negative.) It is easy for members of a community to mask an attitude of assimilation into the existing ‘culture’ of a community with the belief that we are open to new people in our community. When people join an existing community change happens - for the community and for those who join.

How well do we negotiate this tricky boundary here at Holy Innocents? (Give concrete examples please.)
Where are the points where we need to grow or change? And how might we do that?
2.We take the freedom of the gospel  and its call to break down the barriers separating people for granted after centuries of its inner dynamic shaping Western culture. Some now wonder how it was that people didn’t see this freedom before and act on it. Some wonder if the gospel is now superfluous given that the ethnic and discriminatory barriers between people can be rationally unmasked and dismantled. But is it really that simple? Is it that simple in your life? Without the gospel working over the millennia, would our freedoms have been possible? And what about the future?

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