Balik-Tanaw | The Transforming Mission of God

He Qi (Chinese, 1950–), “Calling the Disciples,” 1999. Oil on canvas.https://artandtheology.org/tag/he-qi/

By JON DAVE ANGELES
Kalipunan ng Kristiyanong Kabataan

Wis 9:13-18b
Ps 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 and 17
Philemon 9-10, 12-17
Lk 14:25-33

In these time of great distress on the people of God may it be mental or physical, we tend to ask God on what is His will for us.

I grew up to a Christian family with conservative culture, beliefs and practices.  Our ministries are usually contained on the four corners of our church. I remember my younger days singing with the congregations with hymnals that I am so familiar with. Seems like a weekly theatre show for me  I stayed on within the bounds of conventional  church services for decades until I came to a point of inquiry and wondering. Is this what God wants me to do? Does evangelism and sharing the Good News means proselytizing new members? In this way people on earth have been set on the right path, have learned what pleases you, and have been kept safe by Wisdom.” (Wisdom 9:18)

The Lord has given me opportunities to explore and discover what God’s mission  really is. And as I embrace this kind of mission, I faced difficult and painful contradictions between the beliefs I am brought up with and the kind of belief I witnessed as I go out of my church and meet God’s people and other faith believers embracing liberating theologies and faith practice. I AM SCHOKED. I question myself, is this church thing affair? Or is this part of Gods mission?

Going to communities of landless farmers, the bakwit indigenous peoples, and threatened urban poor-  to listen to people’s stories were not part of ministries I grew up with. Lifting up calls for justice and peace  written on a cardboard is not part of our church program. Walking, chanting and lifting our voice on the streets crying out loud the prophetic challenges like: Let JUSTICE ROLL LIKE RIVER  are not a supported activity of our church. In the beginning,  I could not understand why some church people are doing such things.  Is this being “Christian?” As I walk on this journey of faith through the ecumenical movement, I saw another kind of service and love of Christ, a kind that liberates and give genuine compassion for our ‘kapwa’. I also was able to discern deeper why there are some people in unfortunate situations, oppressed and denied  of opportunities to better their conditions. Now I realized that their realities were already present and their poor conditions were so evident for long years now. So long that I can say that their conditions of poverty, and the negligence to them has been systemic and cyclical.  Now, more than ever, I am rooted on the Misio Dei of Christ to be of service to God and people.

Despite being scared, we must continue our mission towards a world with no violence, a world where peace and justice reigns. This should be our motivation, being followers of Christ.  In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. (Luke 14:33).

May we be reminded of Christ Mission here on earth, His sufferings and Victories, this will inspire us to be more like Him and follow His footsteps. (https://www.bulatlat.org)

Balik-Tanaw is a group blog of Promotion of Church People’s Response. The Lectionary Gospel reflection is an invitation for meditation, contemplation, and action. As we nurture our faith by committing ourselves to journey with the people, we also wish to nourish the perspective coming from the point of view of hope and struggle of the people. It is our constant longing that even as crisis intensifies, the faithful will continue to strengthen their commitment to love God and our neighbor by being one with the people in their dreams and aspirations. The Title of the Lectionary Reflection would be Balik –Tanaw , isang PAGNINILAY . It is about looking back (balik) or revisiting the narratives and stories from the Biblical text and seeing, reading, and reflecting on these with the current context (tanaw).

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