Mission Reflections August
But he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, becoming as human beings are (Philippians 2:7)
Reflect: How important is it to embark on mission with humility?
AUGUST – WEEK 2 Exploiting the Poor
What if you had have been born in Africa on the Ivory Coast, or in Ghana? What if you had have been born in some other country of the South? What gives us the right, because of historical accident, to take for ourselves all the wealth of the earth and pollute it and destroy it at a level which is not sustainable? We have no right to do that. So I think we need to keep pushing the powerful Group of Eight (G8) world leaders to actually do something about it. Not next year, not when all the conditions they impose on poor countries are fulfilled, but now. If we, the dominant 20 percent only take for ourselves the vast majority of the goodness of the earth, and at the same time pollute at a level of 40 times more than what anyone else does in the Third World, then what sort of a society do we have? Brian Gore (Philippines, Australia)
Do not rob the poor because they are poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate (Proverbs 22:22)
Reflect: What obligations do we have to the poor from our standpoint as citizens of one of the world’s rich and powerful countries?
AUGUST – WEEK 3 Learning HumilityThe Asian tsunami of December 2004 must teach us humility with respect to the natural world and indigenous peoples. We tend to think that modern human society has the technological capacity to dominate nature and solve any environmental problem, but this is not the case. In fact, the disaster demonstrated that humans lack the sensitivity of other living species. In Thailand, a handful of tourists had elephants to thanks for their lives. The animals felt the earthquake and sensed the tsunami coming, their keepers said. They began to trumpet inconsolably and turned to move inland. Indigenous peoples too had sufficient affinity with the natural world to know that something was wrong. The Onge tribal people of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, for example, largely escaped the waves. They fled to high ground when they noticed the sea level receeding in an unusual way. According to Survival International, their awareness of the ocean has been accumulated over 60,000 years of inhabiting the islands. Ellen Teague (Nigeria, Britain)
Pay attention to this, foolish and senseless people who have eyes and see not, who have ears and hear not (Jeremiah 5:21)
Reflect: Why has mainstream human society grown away from an affinity with God’s creation?
======================================================================AUGUST – WEEK 4 Interfaith by Radio When Pope John Paul II invited leaders of different Faiths to pray with him in Assisi in January 2002, it was arguably the high point of his long Pontificate. His extraordinary initiative showed respect for other religions and recognised that God relates with people in many different ways. About the same time in Pakistan, and no doubt elsewhere, people of goodwill sought greater acceptance of religious differences through interfaith meetings. We should not need a 9/11 or the more recent tragic events of 7/7 to shock us into seeking harmony with other religions. But such meetings at least bring some good out of the violence. Dialogue between religious leaders is important as they explore differences and, more importantly, points of unity. But we must not forget ordinary people. Where I work, in Pakistan, we use radio to reach illiterate people, especially in remote villages, who are most at the mercy of fanatics. Colm Murphy (Korea, Belgium, Pakistan)
He made from one the whole human race to dwell on the entire surface of the earth, and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their region. And he did this so that they might seek the deity and, by feeling their way towards him, succeed in finding him; and indeed he is not far from any of us (Acts 17:26-27)
Reflect: What can we learn from the scriptural quote above?