Moment for Mission
"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent and believe in the good news." – Mark 1:15, NRSV
Jesus said, "The kingdom of God has come near."
What does this kingdom look like? How do we find it?
The kingdom of God does not look like a people divided. The kingdom of God does not look like rule making and gatekeeping. This constant polarization and division in our nation and in our world does not resemble the kingdom of God, and yet Jesus said, "The kingdom of God has come near."
The kingdom of God does not look like people deciding who is in and who is out. No, this is not the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God happens when Texas or Florida or Puerto Rico floods and people respond with prayer and food and water.
The kingdom of God happens when the church lives out its baptismal vow and renounces evil, oppression and wickedness and seeks to be in union with "the Church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races."
In this spirit of unity not only can The United Methodist Church stand in solidarity with fellow church members across the globe, but also with followers of Christ of Christian denominations around the world.
What a testimony this is to the world that is divided around us. This is why one of our seven apportionments is the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund. These gifts support interdenominational efforts towards global peace and justice.
God, open our hearts that we may truly be one in your spirit, believing in the Good News of Jesus, who came for all. Renew in us a commitment to be citizens of your heavenly kingdom alongside fellow believers of all denominations by our gifts and our love. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Third Sunday after the Epiphany (Ecumenical Sunday) - Lord God, our hope, you are the trustworthy guide of all your people. We are glad to be in relationship with you. Let us remember that you are the source and goal of our lives. Help us to turn away from the empty promises of advertising and to live in the fullness of your gospel. Send your Holy Spirit to bring perspective on our daily actions as we work for your Kingdom. Accept our offerings and gifts for the mission of the church today. We ask this through Christ, our risen Lord. Amen. (1 Corinthians 7:29-31)
One of the seven apportionments in the United Methodist Church is the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund. Our gifts to this fund create opportunities for United Methodists to participate in acting and advocating for global peace and justice alongside others who follow Christ and seek to live as citizens of the kingdom of God in word and deed.
This fund allows the United Methodist Church to have a voice and a partner in ministry with several organizations including the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States, the Pan-Methodist Commission, the World Council of Churches, Churches Uniting in Christ, and the World Methodist Council.
This kingdom of God that Jesus invites all to be a part of is made up of all who believe the Good News Jesus came to earth to bear witness. Our Wesleyan heritage allows us to lean into this spirit of unity, as Wesley put it in his sermon, "Catholic Spirit," "May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion?"