Sunday, August 2, 2015

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Vision equipping for Mission


Sherin Abraham
St Andrews MTC, NY

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”



Missions have become one of the fundamental aspects of our society. In the Mar Thoma Church, many initiatives have been taken around the world such as the Mexico Mission, Neighborhood Mission, the Navjeevan Center, and many more. Mission work is a great thing for the church to do. However, if a church does not have a proper vision in God, then the mission is completely futile. In this passage, we read how God commissioned Isaiah. The Israelites were merely making sacrifices as an act of worship without true repentance. When Israel had no king, Isaiah encountered God and realized that He was the true king of Israel. This was an interaction that radically changed Isaiah’s life and vision.

When Isaiah met God, he was overwhelmed by His holiness. He saw God sitting on the throne and Seraphim worshipping Him. Recognizing his true self, Isaiah bowed down and started repenting. He said, “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” (v. 5) He was guilty in his own sight and accepted that he was not worthy to stand in God’s  presence. However, God made Isaiah  pure. He was cleansed completely of his guilt and shame. Isaiah now had a new clean spirit that led him to take bold steps.

Vision should be the foundation of any mission. It helps us understand and see what the future of a mission should be. Isaiah first met God and was emboldened to go on a mission. God has set our mission before we were born. Our vision should be focused on God and He should be the center of our being. We need to know that we worship the Sovereign and Holy God, who is omnipresent throughout time. There is nothing hidden from Him and we should accept who we are. We don’t need to put on a façade. Sadly, we live in a time when people go to church and take communion, but often do not express true repentance. When we accept who we are and confess our sins, we are cleansed and forgiven by God.

God needs people to carry out his work, but many are unwilling because they see only impediments. Mission work does not necessarily mean that you must leave your home and serve marginalized people in countries abroad. There is mission work to be done in our churches, our schools, our workplaces, and our local communities. The Gospel is for  people of every race and nation. God loves His creation and He does not want anyone to turn away from Him. However, quite the contrary is happening. Imagine how great it would be if we too met God, just like Isaiah, to receive our mission? When we turn to Him, we will have answers and hope. Our mission will be fruitful when we set our vision to God who provides for us.

  
Prayer (Franciscan Benediction Paraphrased)
May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships so that we may live from deep within our hearts.
May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of God's creations so that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and provide joy.
May God bless us with just enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in the world so that we can do what others claim cannot be done.
Amen.

Thought for the Day 

Are we the voice, hands and feet of Jesus in our churches, our schools, our workplaces, and our local communities ?