Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wait, Who Is My Neighbor?

Read Acts 1:6-8.

Similar to the disciples in Acts we still tend to be confused about the Kingdom of God.  Too often we try to impose our religion upon others so that they dress, think, and act like us.  The Kingdom of God is much more than our culture and customs.  It comes alive for us, through the power of God's Spirit, in such ways that our lives, our priorities, our focus, our way of being in community, even our way of viewing the world are all changed.  Notice that the Kingdom, and the way of understanding who our neighbor is, can’t be contained to folk in our neighborhood who are just like us.  The early followers of Christ realized this as they found the way of Messiah was not only for Jewish people, but an action of God for the whole world.  Thus, they had to be in mission and ministry to the entire world, from local neighbors they knew well to the very “ends of the earth.”  A disciple and church are at our best when we have this extravagant, inclusive view of and earnest care and concern for our neighbors.   

John Wesley spoke of this neighborly way of Christian living when he said, “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

Ask yourself: Have I received the power of the Holy Spirit?  Who am I witnessing my faith to in honest, altruistic ways in Jerusalem (locally)?  Who am I witnessing my transparent, real faith to in Judea (nationally)?  Who am I witnessing my serving, caring faith to in Samaria (nearby enemy country)?  Who am I witnessing this way of living, talking, and acting after Christ to at the “ends of the earth?”      

Pray for the Singh family.  The Singhs are partners we encourage and support as they serve in their native India.  They are involved in education, social ministries, and sharing the way of Christ in preaching and teaching which respects the rich culture and heritage of India and shares the Good News.   

Learn more about Christianity in India at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_India or find other information that will inform you and challenge you.

Meet the presenter:  Rev. Nora Colmenares Martinez.

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