Today is the 12th Sunday after Pentecost according to the church calendar. The work of the Holy Spirit propels us to be missional in our outlook, lifestyle and practice. Hence, the theme of our reflection today is, “Life-Flourishing Evangelism”.
The postmodern society with its challenges and ideologies leaves little or no room for traditional understanding of evangelism. Believers are confronted with overwhelming pluralism and concepts such as freedom of religion, tolerance, right to privacy, regulations on movements and public speech. This current context may remind us of first century believers who had to spread the good news under difficult circumstances.
The epistle gives us hope and a new paradigm in evangelism. This text from Ephesians calls believers to a lifestyle of holiness in a world full of evil and impurity. A “life-flourishing evangelism” can be realised as believers begin to embody fullness-of-life values. The gospel should live in us. As we walk and live within our communities, our lifestyle and conduct must witness to the Jesus way of full life for all. As the gospel reading reminds us, when we partake in Holy Communion, we are in union with our Lord Jesus. Faith affirms and scripture declares, “the one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood will remain in me and I in her (or him)”.
It is now a ‘kairos’ moment for Christian communities to seek God’s will and usher alternative moral values in the context of so much evil around. These are evil days; greed and corruption have become a norm in and across many nations. Many have failed to be good stewards of God’s creation leading to devastating impact upon creation, groaning under the weight of human abuse. Paul urges the Ephesians to be wise in such times. Our lifestyle must reflect and witness to full life in Christ so that all turn to ways that will bring delight to God. Life-Flourishing Evangelism begins with you!
-Tshepiso Gregory Moreosele, The United Congregational Church of Southern Africa
God-always-faithful-and-steadfast, give us eyes to perceive, minds to engage, ears to listen deeply, feet to tread adventurously, hands to share and embrace, and hearts to ache with compassion. Continue to draw us into life beyond our knowing to experience and witness to the breadth and delight of your grace.
(Michael Jagessar, Council for World Mission)
Sovereign Lord, please hear the fervent prayers of young people across the world.
We pray for young people that suffer from mental health issues. We pray especially for those who suffer in silence and those who face stigma because of these issues. God of compassion, hear our prayer.
We pray for our planet and we pray that we, as young people, may be better stewards of the earth than the generations who have gone before. God of creation, hear our prayer.
We pray for an end to chauvinistic nationalism and racism, and the regimes and systems that encourage them. We pray for a world where bridges are built instead of walls. God of justice and equality, hear our prayer.
Markel Virgo, CWM Board of Directors