A Moment for Mission
"Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish." — 2 Peter 3:14, NRSV
On this second Sunday of Advent, this season of preparing and waiting, we wait for the coming of Jesus. We wait for heaven's bright light to enter into the darkness of this world.
In John Wesley's sermon on the Means of Grace, he asks the question, "How shall we wait?" He concludes that our waiting involves actions, actions that imitate Christ, who prayed, healed the sick, fed the hungry and welcomed the unwelcome. This was not an option; rather, this was a command. "Because God bids, therefore I do; because he directs me to wait in this way, therefore here I wait for his free mercy, whereof cometh my salvation."
How shall we wait? Will we pray and search Scripture? Will we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, free the oppressed, care for the sick, and proclaim the Good News?
How will we wait as The United Methodist Church? Will we be faithful to shining light in dark places around the globe by our prayers, presences, gifts, service and witness?
Through giving toward apportionments, we support the World Service Fund. This fund is used on a global level to train church leaders, create new faith communities, renew existing congregations, minister with the poor, stamp out diseases of poverty, and improve global health.
This is the waiting we are called to do together, striving toward righteousness and peace as we wait.
God, as we wait, let us act in all the ways Jesus demonstrated as he walked the earth. Meet us as we read Scripture and pray. Reveal to us how we must act as we wait. As we wait, let us be generous with the gifts we have received from you that others may know and experience your love. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Second Sunday of Advent – Loving God, you are trustworthy and kind to all who seek you. Thank you for comforting us when we are afraid about what the future may bring. Send us patience through your Spirit so that we will cheerfully bear with one another as a community of faith. Help us to grow in wisdom as we wait for your purposes to be fulfilled in the world. Accept our offerings in Jesus' name. Amen. (2 Peter 3:8-15a)
The work of one person can only reach so far. There appear to be exceptions to this as we consider great world leaders and great church leaders. However, as we look closer, there is usually a community of people supporting that leader.
There is a reason we are called to live as the body of Christ, as one body, with many members, each dependent upon the other to fulfill their purpose.
This connection is how the hands and feet of The United Methodist Church are able to have a global impact. It isn't only one great leader, or one congregation, it is the whole church working together making disciples for the transformation of the world.
Our commitment to faithful giving to the World Service Fund, one of our apportionments, allows us to act in the world as one body developing church leaders, creating new opportunities for people to find their place in the body of Christ, engaging in ministry with the poor, combating diseases, and working to improve global health.