Easter: a time to give thanks; a time to declare!
We know that sorrow is not how God’s story ends. We are a people of hope, a people of the resurrection! We are people called, equipped and commissioned.
As we travelled through lent we shared examples of how CMSI’s partner churches across the world are bringing Kingdom hope to their communities through acts of loving service. We linked these to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals developed by the UN as a blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet.
Many of our partners are working in situations of deep darkness and distress, places where achieving any of the 17 SDG’s seems a distant dream. Many folk in our own neighbourhoods are feeling a sense of despair and hopelessness. How can we declare Kingdom Hope? How can we speak of fullness of life when there is so much worry, pain and loss? Ours is a different story- one that can have a different ending. This is a story that lifts us out of our aloneness. Humanity has not been abandoned, this created order has not been left to decay. Ours is a message of redemption, of new beginnings and of renewal.
Recently I joined with mission leaders from around the world to look at the challenges of fulfilling the great commission in our various contexts. The list was a long one ranging from specific local cultural and political issues to factors such as global warming and the pandemic that massively impact us all. We then identified ways that we can respond positively to the challenges and collaborate more effectively in supporting one another.
The task can seem overwhelming but I found it enormously encouraging that we are not going it alone – God called us into His family to work together as His church, supported by one another in prayer and in sharing resources. However, the outworking of the great commission has to be local. It happens most effectively one to one in our own communities. It happens when we show the loving kindness of our Heavenly Father to those around us and introduce them to the risen Jesus.
I am inspired and challenged as I see our partners and their practical acts of service spurred on by faith in the One who overcame death and hell; now risen, ascended and glorified!
‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading’ 1 Peter 1:3-4