Pentecost caught me by surprise this year! I do not know where my head had been buried! On Pentecost Sunday I found myself in a church where we celebrated the birth of the church with joy and thoughtfulness. I was reading Luke’s words in Acts 1:8 – the assurance from Jesus that the Spirit would give the Apostles power for mission – Jerusalem – Judea – Samaria – to the ends of the earth. An all-encompassing space for mission.
One part of my role that I enjoy most is visiting churches in Australia. I enjoy discovering just how much churches are mission focused and mission sensitive. There are wonderful ways that people reach out to communities, friends and neighbours with care and compassion. I hear their stories and am filled with hope – for the world and for the church.
These same churches that care deeply for their local communities, care also for those beyond themselves – Indigenous people and people far away. I hear the stories of past missionaries, see the notice boards, know the level of support for GMP and enjoy the questions I get asked about our partnerships. What a cause for thanksgiving!
There is no gap between Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the end of the earth. Yes, there is physical distance between each setting – however, in the economy of God’s Kingdom there is no gap.
God calls the whole church to the whole world and using the words of Jesus we pray that his Kingdom might come on Earth as it is in Heaven! It is an all-encompassing task and opportunity. This call is to all – we need each other – within Churches of Christ and beyond Churches of Christ. GMP needs the encouragement, prayers and support from local churches to do our work. We cannot do it on our own.
GMP – just like the local church – serves God’s mission, although where we do it is physically distant from the local churches I might visit. GMP is a servant to churches in Australia and internationally in the joy of God’s mission. GMP was established in 1891 by people who heard the call of God to reach out beyond the then colonies of Australia. They did so relying on God’s Spirit and on the support of churches in Australia – 127 years later we continue to do the same. Together we seek to build God’s Kingdom on Earth, as it is in Heaven.