Faithlink Discussion: Rescue!
by Jacob Juncker
I have no doubt that the writer of this week’s Faithlink is correct, “it was th[e] cooperation [of thousands of people, united in a common mission to rescue the Chilean miners,] that riveted the attention of the world.”
Cooperation on such a large and diverse scale is an amazing thing to witness. In the case of the 33 miners, trapped for over two months 600 meters below ground, cooperation (unity of mission) saved their lives. I cannot help but wonder what it would be like for the Church to be as united in mission as the rescuers of the Chilean miners?
The mission of the [United Methodist] Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by proclaiming the good news of God’s grace and by exemplifying Jesus’ command to love God and neighbor, thus seeking the fulfillment of God’s reign and realm in the world. The fulfillment of God’s reign and realm in the world is the vision Scripture holds before us…
Whenever United Methodism has had a clear sense of mission, God has used our Church to save persons, heal relationships, transform social structures, and spread scriptural holiness, thereby changing the world. In order to be truly alive, we embrace Jesus’ mandate to love God and to love our neighbor and to make disciples of all peoples.
¶120 and ¶121 from The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church—2008. Copyright © 2008. Emphasis added.
I think we, as United Methodists, have a unique opportunity to show the world how strong our connexion really is. If all of us…all the roughly 12 million United Methodists around the world stood united in a common cause, we could easily transform the world for the glory of God. I truly believe that through our unity of mission (cooperation) and connexion we can “stamp out the killer diseases of poverty,” helping the poor find the resources they need to thrive. I truly believe that through our unity of mission (cooperation) and connexion, we can heal broken relationships putting an end to racism, sexism, and all the other fear and hate ridden -isms of the world. I truly believe that through our unity of mission (cooperation), we can usher in the Kingdom of God.
There is much work to be done. There is a lot of need and division within and outside the Church. Therefore, “let’s…think about how to motivate each other to show love and to do good works…encourage each other, especially as you see the day [of Christ’s return] drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25, Common English Bible).
How do you think we might be able to work together to fulfill our mission and exemplify Christ’s command to love God and neighbor?
O Redeeming God, when we feel overwhelmed by the brokenness of our world, help us find ways we can join with others in efforts to repair. When we are tempted to give up hope, give us patience for the wait and vision to discover new approaches. When we think we are alone, help us to find communities of support and partners in action. Keep us attentive for opportunities to join with you and one another in your redeeming and renewing work; in Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
from Faithlink: Connecting Faith and Life,volume 16, number 29, November 14, 2010 (Nashville: Cokesbury, 2010)