Ang tema natin ngayon “Doing Christ’s Mission in these Changing Times” ay tema para sa 2018-2019.
Isang taon na ating babalikbalikan, hindi lamang sa taonang pagtatagpo kundi maging sa gawain ng mga samahan ay laging mapapag-usapan.
Palagay ko nagkakaisa tayo sa pagkaunawa na ang misyon ay misyon ng Dios, at ito ay kanyang ipinakita at ipinadama sa pamamagitan ng buhay ni Jesu-Cristo. Siya ang huwaran ng uri ng pagmimisyon.
I. Who are the Missionaries?
“If you have Christ in your hearts you are evangelists, but if you don’t have Christ in your hearts, you are mission-fields.” Dr. Denman
To be qualified as Evangelists or Missionaries you have to have a relationship with Christ. It is the basic principle of entering an agreement and covenanting. You have to know to whom you are engaging with before you take the risk of becoming an employee, becoming a worker, and entrusting your life. Christ has employed us in his mission because we have established a relationship with him, covenanted with him, and entrusted our lives to him.
Missionaries or Mission workers are those who are called by Christ and have been engrafted into Christ’s purpose and work. It is not necessary if they are members or non-members of the organic church rather they are members of the universal church.
They are the sinners by human depravity but are perfected through faith in Jesus Christ.
They are the people who surrendered their lives to the Master and are transforming and evolving their lives in Christ-like life.
They are the ones who are trying their best to open their lives to be used by Christ into his service to people. I hope I and you are one of them.
II. Where is the Place of Mission?
Isang mandirigma ang nagpayo sa kanyang subordinate na mandirigma
Makipagbaka ka ng mabuting pakikipagbaka ng pananampalataya, manangan ka sa buhay na walang hanggan, na dito’y tinawag ka, at ipinahayag mo ang mabuting pagpapahayag sa harapan ng maraming mga saksi. 1Ti 6:12
Bakit niya nasabi ito? Dahil naranasan din niya hindi lamang ang mga kabiguan kundi ang mga tagumpay na kanyang natamo.
Nakipagbaka ako ng mabuting pakikipagbaka, natapos ko na ang aking takbo, iningatan ko ang pananampalataya; 2Ti 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Ang mandirigmang ito ay may natutunan sa kanyang superior na siya namang kanyang itinuturo sa kanyang subordinate o kasama sa pakikidigma. Sino ba ang teacher nito?
Ang teacher niya ay siyang nagsabi na,
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Mateo 10:34)
Huwag ninyong isiping ako’y naparito upang magdala ng kapayapaan sa lupa: hindi ako naparito upang magdala ng kapayapaan, kundi tabak.
Usually, when a battle is waged, we come to think of two factors involved: the place of encounter and the persons in oppositions. In military expeditions they call the place as the battlefield, in other terms called mission-fields and the opponent as the target of the mission is called the enemy.
For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (Mat 10:35)
Pondering on Jesus statement of mission, the Purpose of his Mission is to set persons at variance. To set justice at variance over injustice, to set righteousness at variance over unrighteous, to set love at variance over hatred, to set good at variance over evil.
So where is the mission field? To Jesus Christ, it is where injustice, unrighteousness, hatred, and evil are. They may be with us so we are the mission fields. And because Christ is employing us into his mission it is best to start the war from and against ourselves. If we were able to conquer ourselves then we are worthy of being engrafted into Christ’s mission outside ourselves.
This is the good fight Paul was referring to it must start from ourselves by keeping the faith. Keeping the faith is keeping Christ’s battle with lucidity in putting variance of what is and what is not.
III. What Mission are we going to stage?
Maalala ko noong ako’y bata pa at naging kabahagi sa mission outreaches. Aking kinagigiliwan ang umawit ng gospel songs, mga imno, at dumalo sa mga pagtitipon at Bible studies. Sa aking pagkaintindi ito ang pagmimisyon na marapat na gawin ng mananampalataya.
Napansin ko masigasig ang mga layko dahil sila ang karamihang mga manggagawa sa amin. Bihira ang mga Ordinadong mga Pastor. Ito ang tagumpay ng ating mga Iglesia sa Benguet at sa Quirino kung saan naglakbay ang aming pamilya.
Sa mga kabundukan ay hindi hadlang ang ulan at sikat ng araw sa paglalakad ng mga Manggagawang Layko. Walang ibang daladala kundi ang kanilang mga Bilia, ang Magandang Balita na laman ng Biblia, ang mga na memorize nila mga short choruses na paulitulit na pinakakanta sa mga bata at mga adults, at siyempre ang kanilang mga panalangin. Hindi sila pumunta sa Seminary na kagaya natin. Malakas ang kanilang sandalan na Espiritu dahil naniniwala sila na ituturo nito ang kanilang sasabihin sa mga tao.
Ang kabundukan ay na-Christianize at marami ang nagsalig sa kanilang buhay sa Panginoon. Nabago ang kanilang pagtingin sa mga bagay sinusubukan nilang hanapin ang layunin ng Dios sa kanilang buhay.
Lumipas ang mga tatlong dekada ay nag-iba ang trend ng pagmimisyon. Lumakas ang katuruan sa Kaharian ng Dios o Kingdom of God (Reign of God). Ito ay halata sa mga kapatagan na mga Iglesia natin lalo na sa mga urban communities. Ang panawagan ng Evengelism type ay nagmutate na sa “Living the qualities of God’s Kingdom”. Ang maganda sa evolution ng ating pagmimisyon ay nagmula sa kaisipan na mag-misyon tayo para maraming ma-convert sa Kristianismo ay humakbang sa ang pagmimisyon ay “pagsasabuhay sa katangian ng Kaharian/paghahari ng Dios”. At hindi lang iyon, mula sa ating pag-iisip na ang misyon ay para sa tao lamang ngayon ay napalawak na at kasama ang buong sangnilkha.
Ang paglaganap at pag-unlad ng ating misyon ay hindi ibig sabihin na may mas mabuti at may dapat iiwanan kundi magpasalamat tayo at umunlad ang ating pagkaunawa tungkol sa pagmimisyon.
It’s not a matter of choice for we have started at the right point by proclaiming the good news that people may surrender their lives to Christ and by surrendering their lives they are taught to live according to the qualities of God’s kingdom.
There is a clear invitation from the Lord Jesus Christ for a “missional living”, all Christians are called to be a part of God’s mission. And in order to be able to live the qualities of God’s kingdom people must hear the good news and offer their lives. This is the mission we are to bring to the church, the whole membership. Everyone must be engaged for anyone who has been reconciled to God are automatically and mandated to participate in God’s mission.
IV. When and how often do we mission?
Sa ating tema may dalawang salita na nagsasabi ng patuloy na nagaganap, ito yong “doing” at “changing”. Ang unang salita ay patuloy na gumagawa at ang pangalawa ay patuloy na nagbabago.
Time is changing and to stop doing is tantamount to surrendering your mission. It is an understanding that as time changes doing must also continue. It is just like boxing that whoever relaxes the defense will be hit, whoever stops losses the game by a knockout or by surrender.
We are challenged to be vigilant, resolute, and unwavering in our commitment to doing the mission.
V. Changing times
In our journey, we are traveling simultaneously in synchronous times and these are the kairos time and Chronos time. Both of these keep on changing whether we like it or not. Chronos time is the time from eternity to eternity. The kairos time is the part and parcel of that chromos time when a certain deed was executed responsibly or irresponsibly, a time when a certain deed was fruitful or barren, a time when a certain deed was considered a vanity of vanities, or a time when a certain deed was devilish or good.
In the passage of chromos time, we have to keep watch of the kairos time. What is right timing happening, is it good or bad?
The fact is that we should not worry about the time but on the conditions, the situations that affect the life of God’s creation.
In changing times we refer to the kairos time with different timings bringing different results which may enhance, protect or abuse life.
VI. Doing Jesus’ mission
The theme reminds us to keep on going since happenings do not stop and they always come and go. Doing Jesus’ mission is the only way to counter and control and bring good timings and happenings that life may become meaningful and abundant.
Kairos time actually is the right timing for good results but this is not the trend of our times. We need to press for the good fight of faith as stipulated by the Apostle Paul. And the press on to the sword that Jesus had brought to set the good and evil at variance.
Let us cling to Christ our Master Teacher and Lord. He started the mission we are his co-workers in his vineyard.