LORD of hosts,
Almighty King of all the earth,
You are worthy of all our praise
and deserve the best of what we have to offer.
Help us to give careful thought to our ways,
that we may not be found wanting
in presenting all of who we are
and all of what we have to You.
In Haggai’s day, You called the people to rebuild Your house,
strengthening them to accomplish the task by Your grace.
In our day, help us to hear Your calling for the church,
and strengthen us to accomplish that calling by Your grace.
May no opposition overcome us and no circumstances dissuade us
from giving ourselves fully to You
and Your mission upon earth.
All this we pray, through Jesus Christ, to whom, with You and the Holy Spirit
be all honor and glory, now and forever.
This past weekend at Eastbrook Church, we concluded our annual MissionsFest. As we celebrate God’s faithfulness to us as a church for forty years, we heard from two of our long-term, international ministry partners on the theme of “Hard Places.”
This second weekend, Rev. Canon Francis Omondi from Kenya spoke to us about the nature of life in the kingdom, beginning from the Sinai Covenant and the Exodus through the exile to Jesus and toward Revelation.
You can watch Francis’s message below, as well as find out more of what is happening in the next week and a half with MissionsFest here.
God of truth and love,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Hear our prayer for those who do not know You.
We ask that they may come to a saving knowledge of the truth
and that Your Name may be praised among all peoples of the world.
Sustain, inspire and enlighten Your servants who bring them the Gospel.
Bring fresh vigor to wavering faith;
sustain our faith when it is still fragile.
Continually renew missionary zeal in ourselves and in the Church;
raise up new missionaries who will follow You to the ends of the world.
Make us witnesses to Your goodness;
full of love, strength and faith –
for Your glory
and the salvation of the entire world.
This past weekend at Eastbrook Church, we began our annual MissionsFest. As we celebrate God’s faithfulness to us as a church for forty years, we are hearing from two of our long-term, international ministry partners on the theme of “Hard Places.”
This first weekend, Rev. Yousef Hashweh from Amman, Jordan, spoke to us from the life of Jesus and the story of Joseph about seeking after others in a message entitled “Seeking My Brothers.” I originally posted this on Monday but am reposting it after some technical difficulties were resolved.
You can watch Yousef’s message below, as well as find out more of what is happening in the next week and a half with MissionsFest here.
The Christian faith, I submit, is intrinsically missionary….This dimension of the Christian faith is not an optional extra: Christian is missionary by its very nature, or it denies its very raison d’être.
Christian mission gives expression to the dynamic relationship between God and the world, particularly as this was portrayed, first, in the story of the covenant people of Israel and then, supremely, in the birth, life, death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus of Nazareth.
The entire Christian existence is to be characterized as missionary existence….The church begins to be missionary not through its universal proclamation of the gospel, but through the universality of the gospel it proclaims.
Theologically speaking, “foreign missions” is not a separate entity. The missionary nature of the church does not just depend on the situation in which it finds itself at a given moment but is grounded in the gospel itself. The justification and foundation for foreign missions, as for home missions, ‘lies in the universality of salvation and the indivisibility of the reign of Christ.’ The difference between home and foreign missions is not one of principle but of scope.
We have to distinguish between mission (singular) and missions (plural). The first refers primarily to the missio Dei (God’s mission), that is, God’s self-revelation as the One who loves the world, God’s involvement in and with the world, the nature and activity of God, which embraces both the church and the world, and in which the church is privileged to participate. Missio Dei enunciates the good news that God is a God-for=-people. Missions (the missiones ecclesiae: the missionary ventures of the church), refer to particular forms, related to specific times, places or needs, of participation in the missio Dei.
The church-in-mission…is not identical with God’s reign yet not unrelated to it either; it is ‘a foretaste of its coming, the sacrament of its anticipation in history.’ Living in the creative tension of, at all the same time, being called out of the world and sent into the world, it is challenged to be God’s experimental garden on earth, a fragment of the reign of God, having ‘the first fruits of the Spirit’ (Rom 8:23) as a pledge of what is to come (2 Cor 1:22).
[Excerpts from David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1991), pages 8-11.]