Sunday, January 3, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Proclaiming the Divine Revelation for Salvation
V. Rev. Dr. D Philip

Vicar General

10 After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go.

Mission is the sharing of the experience of salvation made possible through the divine revelation in Christ. Today’s portion narrates Jesus sending his disciples for mission. The passage gives a model for us in the mission.


Mission is substituting and representing Christ:
The disciples are send to the towns and places where Jesus himself wanted to go (v.1). So disciples are going in the place of Jesus and they are to represent Jesus. This task goes beyond the preaching. They are intended to be a presence through which Christ is experienced. While Jesus said ‘those who have seen me, have seen my father’, the disciples are to be transparent enough to say that ‘those who have seen us, have seen Jesus’. This is what Paul intends by saying “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus” (Phil.2.5)

 
Mission is Giving out Life:
The disciples are sent like lambs into the midst of wolves. What may naturally occur is to lose life. This is what Jesus has shown through his life. Christ will be communicated only where there is a giving out or there is a sacrifice. For a bread to be broken on the altar, there needs a kitchen where it is cooked, a factory where the floor is ground, a field where the wheat is grown, farmer who sowed it, a family which sustained him, a mother who gave birth to him … So breaking the bread is the culmination of breaking and dedication which happen in different areas of life. Such a dedicated life amidst wolves communicates gospel that has the power to change the wolves. Death of Stephen had an effect on the conversion of Paul. (Acts 7.58)
 
Mission is the Proclamation of peace:
Disciples are sent to proclaim peace. (V.5) Life of Jesus from the manger in Bethlehem through the cross at Calvary to the closed room in Jerusalem is the bidding of peace. He lead a life always in confrontation with the sin. Peace is not possible when there is compromise with sin. Presence of sin leads to absence of peace. So establishment of peace require relentless confrontation with the forces of evil, which may cost life. In Bonhoeffer’s phrase that is the cost of discipleship. Stephen even in death experienced that peace which reflected on his face.
Call and commissioning still happen. Are we ready to take it up?

PRAYER

Here I am . Send me. (Isaiah 6:8)
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
  
“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.” Mahatma Gandhi