Lectionary Selection: Matthew 13:31-33; 44-52
Prayers for Fiji:
Move our feet to newer grounds, drop our anchors in new waters, and bring us to new businesses every day, Lord. May our hands find every existence of injustice and overturn them to release the treasures and pearls so often oppressed by the privileged few. May your Kingdom come, and surround every act of mission we employ. In Christ Jesus’ name. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Fiji:
Attending the UCC General Synod and DOC General Assembly this year has opened my eyes to the similarities that cut through mission worldwide. The rallying call from pulpits and resolution after resolution of the Synod and Assembly aim at the heart of God’s Kingdom. The writer of Matthew’s gospel gives us a definition of the Kingdom of God that resounds in what we do every day. We - like the farmer, the merchant, the fisherman - search daily for things that provide us with a living, a life. And when we find what produces the abundance of life, we shift anchorage, to use a Pacific/Oceania terminology.
This shifting of anchorage is needed in order for life to thrive in abundance. If we do not shift/move anchorage a few things will happen. In the context of a farmer the land will be over-cultivated. With the merchant business will be operating at a loss, and over-fishing will result in the extinction of species native to a certain area. All of these are happening in our world today. Unless we shift to where life is presence society will continue to deteriorate. The practice of fixed mission is similar to justice and peace being confined to one place. There are rules and borders that define justice for those protected by it, while those living outside its reach are left unprotected.
What then is the Kingdom of God if we are to move constantly from one anchorage to another? It is the seeking of what is best and suitable for the people we serve, not considering what we are familiar with to be universal. Mission is relevant when it suits the people it serves. We must be willing to move, and moving requires and warrants discomfort, worry, and distress. If we do not find such things in our mission, then we are over-fishing our fishing grounds, or over-cultivating a particular familiar piece of land.
Let us shift anchorage in our mission. Move to where discomfort, worry, and distress is found. Sometimes they are the treasures we look for. They may not be shiny as pearls and hidden treasure, but they are surely worth more. They are found in hidden grounds of injustice and discrimination. These are the types of soil we need to cultivate, the waters we need to fish, and the business we need to engage in. Until and unless we enter and purchase these fields, the jewels of human life will remain hidden. Let’s dig life out of these fields, fish them out of the water, and trade them with nothing less than our lives and the calling of the Most High God. At the end, the Kingdom of God will clear injustices and prejudices, showing hidden treasure and pearls in the people we serve.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Nikotemo Tapeko)
More information on the Fji: http://www.globalministries.org/fiji
Mission Partners in Fiji:
Global Ministries Missionary in Fiji:
Nikotemo Tapeko serves as a long-term volunteer with the Pacific Conference of Churches. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.