Thursday, October 20, 2011

mision, mission, mission

I've been thinking a lot about mission lately. Let me rephrase: I always think about mission - I think it is something that all Christians are called to as a priority - but I have been giving it some added attention of late. There are a variety of reasons for this. A major one would be the slow decline in numbers coming to Church of Ireland of the years. We have started a number of initiatives in the parish in an attempt to reach out to people. The initiatives are doing well, but so far it is mainly those who are already faithful church goers who come, rather than anyone new or who had fallen away.

That's ok, though, because hopefully it gives them added strength so they can fulfil their part when it comes to mission. I always think there should be a three-part approach when it comes to mission. Evangelise yourself, evangelise the faithful, evangelise others. Evangelise yourself through regular prayer and study to keep yourself strong in the faith - you can't share what you don't have. Evangelise the faithful, through regular encouragement through shared worship and prayer, amongst other things - everyone needs to be strong in the faith if they are to share it with others ... just as an athlete needs to eat well if they are to compete, so too the faithful need regular spiritual nourishment if they are to have the strength for mission. And evangelise others through welcome and outreach and especially by living what it is that we have in Christ.

In our Gospel reading today we hear the words 'and in his name the gentiles will hope.' They can not hope in that which they have not heard. They can not hear unless the name is brought to them by those who believe. And we can not bring it to them unless we have it strong and sure in our own hearts. So remember mission & remember to begin with yourself ... and remember it does not end there. Amen.

(icon of the myrrh bearing women)

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