Brothers & Sisters:
Today, the First Sunday in Advent, marks the beginning of the New Liturgical Year. This means that we will now be using Lectionary Year A for our readings at the Sunday Eucharist, and Lectionary Year One for our Daily Office readings. However, our focus for this Sunday will be on our Missionary Task, because we observe today as our Missionary Sunday in the Cure.
Here are a few things that every member should bear in mind as we think about our Missionary Task.
- It is God’s Mission. It is not our mission, or even the church’s mission, but God’s mission, and having a proper understanding of this will determine the importance we place on it. God’s heart of love, God’s Son and God’s Spirit are fully involved in this mission.
- We have been chosen to share in God’s Mission. We make a serious mistake when we think of ourselves as volunteers. As disciples of Jesus, we are not volunteers, but persons who have been specially selected by Jesus and given a status and a dignity that we must never take lightly. We are God’s children, sharing in the divine nature, learning at the feet of Jesus. We are Jesus people!
- We have been assigned a task. Most of us are familiar with the “Marks of Mission” and we can use them as the long answer to describe the task that the church has been assigned. However, let us express the task more simply, using the very words of Jesus, “go and bear fruit.” These are words that each and every follower of Jesus need to hear today. We are on a fruit-bearing mission.
- We are directed to pray. An important lesson to learn is that the Christian’s fruitful activity is far greater through prayer than it is through one’s conduct of direct influence. This reminds us that we must “put prayer first.” It is an activity in which everyone can be involved, and we must not fail in the task of encouraging more and more of our members, including our shut-ins, to support the mission through their prayers.
Blessings on all, as we give, and work, and pray for the coming of the kingdom.