Month of Mission 2016

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This was our third Month of Mission which was, once-again, very well-received.

You can read the devotions below along with the letter sent out to congregations.

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Mission & Discipleship Committee

Convener: Rev Christopher Judelsohn
Secretary: Mrs Eddie Stopforth

Box 11333
Queenswood
Pretoria 0121

Telephone: (0827597396)

E-mail: eddiestop@global.co.za

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

September 2016

Dear Ministers and Session Clerks

Following the proposal of the Mission and Discipleship Committee and, in the light of the success of the a similar programme in the last two years, the General Assembly of 2016 agreed that October 2016 would be a “Month of Mission.” This is an attempt to develop a healthy understanding of “Mission” in our congregations. The Month of Mission has three facets:

  1. A series of outlines for a preaching series that could be used in October, or at another time. These are below.

  2. Alongside the preaching series, there is a set of daily readings (also below) that could be given to congregants so that they would be reading passages that relate to the church’s mission in their daily devotional time. The hope is that a large part of the denomination will be moving in the same direction with a wonderful focus on Mission. Please share the readings with members of the congregation you serve.

  3. A number of our ministers will participate in writing daily email devotions based on these texts. People can subscribe to the devotions list at http://eepurl.com/cgVDBb Please share this link with as many people in the congregation as possible.


Please have a look at the material below and consider using it in the congregations you serve in the month of October.

God bless you!

Theo Groeneveld
Member of the Mission and Discipleship Committee.

October – Month of Mission.
Jesus – Reaching People.

The preaching series and Daily Readings for October concentrate on Jesus’ work to proclaim the Kingdom of God. When one consider’s David Bosch’s idea of Missio Dei (The Mission of God) which emphasises that God is already at work in the world, then Jesus’ incarnation and ministry is the Missio Dei in its most glorious form.

The Sermon series explores the Incarnation of Jesus on the first Sunday and then, for the remaining Sundays, examines Jesus’ interactions with individuals, particularly women in an attempt to highlight how Jesus dealt with people individually, sensitively (contextually) and tenderly. The fact that Jesus did interact with women significantly in the midst of an overbearing patriarchal culture is striking. There is much we can learn from Him.

  • Sunday 2 Oct
    Series Intro: John 1:10-18 and Philippians 2:5-8
    Understandingand Emphasising Incarnation

    • The Incarnation is the fullest extent of Missio Dei – The Mission of God to the World

    • A loose translation of v:14: The Word became flesh and pitched His tent in our neighbourhood

    • Jesus came to teach us and show us the way.

    • The Philippians passage shows the steps downward that Jesus took.

    • Understand God’s amazing love: Sending His Son, Coming into our world, showing the way, and giving His all for us.

    • Rest of the series – Jesus and women.
      (This is especially significant in a Patriarchal Society – every time Jesus spoke to or ministered to a woman He was defying the cultural bias of the day.)

  • Sunday 9 Oct
    Blood & IsolationLuke 8:43-48.

    • Luke the Doctor gives longest account.

    • Her situation is sad and desperate.
      – She has been ill for long
      – She’s tried all sorts of “cures” and suffered disappointment and financial loss
      – She’s permanently unclean: Can’t go to temple – all who touch her are unclean

    • She expresses desperate faith – prompted by Jesus’ reputation and the Holy Spirit.

    • Jesus seems to expose her, but does so to fully heal her.

    • Jesus heals the whole person.
      – She is able to tell her story
      – He notices her
      – He affirms her faith and her healing
      – He reconnects her after her isolation

    • Application to Mission:
      1. Be the Hem of Jesus garment to the world
      2. Be ready to stop and pay attention to what God is doing
      3. Take time to hear their stories.
      4. Care for the whole person: Physical, Mental, Social, Emotional-Spiritual

  • Sunday 16 Oct
    Water & Shame” John 4:4-28

    • Jesus didn’t have to go thru Samaria – in fact most Jews went around it.
      The had to go probably comes from John’s belief that Jesus was moved by the Spirit.

    • “Jews do not associate with Samaritans…” – the legacy of race and culture and sexism
      Jesus deliberately cuts through it all.

    • He relentless pushes to the core issue.
      Their conversation goes from
      physical water, (she even seems to be flirting with him – “are you greater?”)
      to spiritual thirst, (He confronts her with her spiritual need)
      the truth of her life, (Jesus has great empathy – her 5 husbands divorced her – she could not divorce them and her present man would not even marry her)
      to theology (the age old debate of whether Mt Gerazim or Mt Zion was the place to worship was like the modern excuse of the conflict between Protestant and Catholic in Ireland when people want to dismiss a spiritual conversation.)
      and then worship where she is simply invited to be herself (in spirit and in truth)

    • Her abandoned water jar speaks of the restoration she experiences.

    • Her changed life (having gone to the well in the heat of the day to avoid the village people, she is now knocking on their doors in the middle of siesta time) and her testimony impacts the whole village

    • Application to Mission:
      1. Climb over racial, cultural and gender barriers
      2. Be on the lookout for divine encounters and obey the promptings you have
      3. Listen to what is being said and be ready to offer truth
      4. Sometimes God gives us insights into people’s lives and hurts – be gentle with these.

  • Sunday 23 Oct
    Stones & Victimisation” John 8:2-11.

    • The injustice of the situation – where is the man??

    • The woman has been reduced to being being used as “bait” in the trap

    • She was caught in adultery – so possibly not even clothed – maybe a sheet around her

    • To stone or not had no right answer
      If he said “Yes” the Romans would regard him as a rabble rouser
      If he said “No” the Pharisees would claim He was soft on the Law

    • What did Jesus write? Why did He write?
      Some have suggested He wrote a summary of the Law
      Others suggest that He did it to take their eyes off her

    • What does Jesus offer her?
      Deliverance from the unjust situation that she’d been placed in
      Forgiveness in the form of non-condemnation
      A call to a changed life

    • Application to Mission
      1. Mission is about addressing injustices
      2. Mission can be about confronting bullies
      3. Mission also confronts brokenness in the victim
      (Taking the slave out of slavery and slavery out of the slave)

  • Sunday 30 Oct
    Crumbs & ExclusionMatthew 15:21-28
    This passage deals with the dangers of “pride and prejudice”

    • ”She’s a Canaanite, why should Jesus offer her anything?

    • – Her desperate need: A demon-possessed daughter

    • – What does Jesus mean by His “lost-sheep” and “crumbs” remarks?
      Some have suggested that he was saying Jews first and then others.
      But He doesn’t hesitate to heal the Centurion’s Servant or the Samaritan Leper
      This is also not consistent with the mandate given to the Jews to be a light to the nations
      SO, the best interpretation is that Jesus is quoting conventional thinking tongue-in-cheek
      that He is mischievously quoting an old saying with a twinkle in His eye?
      And she seems to get it… because her answer is clever and subversive,
      giving Jesus a way to help her “legitimately”.
      There is a distinct playfulness about this encounter that subverts the classism and racism
      – And He gives her much more than crumbs
      – And He commends her subversive faith (she sees God more clearly than the Pharisees do)

    • Application to Mission
      1. Race, Culture, Class can be real barriers to mission.
      2. The gospel can be subversive and humour is a powerful weapon to break down walls.
      (In this context Jesus doesn’t take on or name the race and class issues – He playfully subverts them)
      3. Jesus gives His best to everyone – no matter who they are.

Daily Readings

These are daily readings for the month of October. They are all encounters with Jesus. The idea is to look at these encounters through the lense of “Jesus as Missionary.” How does Jesus treat these people? What does He do for them? What change does He bring to their lives? What is the impact of the encounter?

Date

Reading

Summary

Sat 1 Oct

Lk 1:25-33

Baby Jesus and Simeon

Sun 2 Oct

Jn 1

SERMON: – Incarnation

Mon 3 Oct

Mt 3:13-17

Jesus and JohnB

Tue 4 Oct

Lk 4:16-21

Jesus’ first sermon

Wed 5 Oct

Mk 1:40-45

A man with leprosy

Thu 6 Oct

Lk 5:1-11

Calling Simon Peter

Fri 7 Oct

Jn 1:43-50

Calling Nathanael

Sat 8 Oct

Lk 5:27-32

Calling Levi

Sun 9 Oct

Lk 8:43-48

SERMON: Blood and Isolation

Mon 10 Oct

Mt 8:5-10

A Centurion

Tue 11 Oct

Jn 3:1-16

Stretching Nicodemus

Wed 12 Oct

Mk 2:1-12

A paralysed man

Thu 13 Oct

Jn 5:1-15

A man who is physically healed but not spiritually

Fri 14 Oct

Jn 9:24-33

A blind man is healed physically and spiritually

Sat 15 Oct

Lk 7:11-16

A widow and her boy

Sun 16 Oct

Jn 4:4-28

SERMON Water & Shame

Mon 17 Oct

Lk 7:36-48

A “sinner” and a Pharisee

Tue 18 Oct

Lk 8:26-33 & 38-39

A man in the grip of great evil

Wed 19 Oct

Mk 9:17-29

A desperate dad

Thu 20 Oct

Mk10:46-52

Bartimaeus

Fri 21 Oct

Mk 11:15-18

Money-changers aka space-invaders

Sat 22 Oct

Mk 12:28-34

Not far…

Sun 23 Oct

Jn 8:2-11

SERMON Stones & Victimisation

Mon 24 Oct

Jn 11:17-35

Grieving Sisters

Tue 25 Oct

Lk 19:1-10

Zacchaeus

Wed 26 Oct

Lk 17:11-19

Not all were grateful

Thu 27 Oct

Mt 14:28-33

How Jesus treats those who fail

Fri 28 Oct

Mk 10:17-22

A man tragically trapped

Sat 29 Oct

Lk 23:38-43

A last-minute man

Sun 30 Oct

Mt 15:21-28

SERMON Crumbs & Exclusion

Mon 31 Oct

Jn 20:24-29

Helping a doubter

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