FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2017
UNITY OF VISION AND MISSION
October 3, 2016
Today’s reading: Galatians 1:6-12
It is important for a community to have unity of vision and mission. If members know and live these out, then they will be united in the work, as they have a focal point for helping discern the way forward whenever differences in opinion arise. Our basic task is to proclaim the gospel, the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. We are Couples for Christ. Our first Core Value is Centered on Christ. Our second Core Value is being Evangelistic and Missionary. And now, in being called to do even more, we have been given LCSC as our response to the call to the New Evangelization.
What are important elements in considering the community’s vision and mission?
The most important is that these come not from mere human beings but from God Himself, though brought forth through human instruments. This is why God raises founders who bring about works that He intends. “Now I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel preached by me is not of human origin.” (v.11). The Holy Spirit, who is a creative Spirit who makes all things new, inspires founders and reveals to them the new things that God wants to bring about. “For I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” (v.12).
Now God’s ways are mysterious and oftentimes radical. So human beings may have a hard time grasping, and thus accepting, His ways. But founders persist, as rightly they should. They are after all mere instruments, mere servants of the Lord Jesus. They are there to do God’s work and thus to please only Him. They do not cater to the whims and caprices and personal preferences of humans, who then end up opposing him. “Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Or am I seeking to please people?” (v.10a). Thus they end up displeasing such people. They invite enmity. But that is the lot of those who truly do God’s will. “If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.” (v.10b).
The enemy will always try to subvert God’s will. The evil one opposes everything that is of God, especially those new initiatives that further promote the gospel. Unfortunately, there are brethren who allow themselves to be used as instruments of the enemy. And more unfortunately, they disturb others with their posturing and untruths, and end up keeping them away from the work of the gospel as revealed by the Spirit. “But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ.” (v.7b).
Tragically, people allow themselves to be disturbed and deceived. The call is clear, but they allow it to be muddled. They see the endorsements by bishops and clergy and hear the testimonies of their own brethren, but they prefer to listen to the falsehoods of those who oppose. “I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by the grace of Christ for a different gospel (not that there is another).” (v.6-7a).
To oppose the Spirit is unforgivable. To listen to dissident leaders rather than the founder is deplorable. To act in ways that prevent God’s work from proceeding in power is to invite His wrath. “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed!” (v.8).
One Lord, one Spirit, one body, one gospel, one vision, one mission, one work, one army. This is of utmost importance. And those who act to undermine that unity are enemies of Christ and his Church. “As we have said before, and now I say it again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed!” (v.9).
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