Sunday, 13 February 2011

Kingdom moments like these ...

Like the rest of us I have watched developments un-fold in Egypt with interest. Yesterday was a real delight though, as I watched news reports similar to this one:

A kind of an impromptu mass 'Soul in the City', as people just 'mucked in' to clear up, clean up, and take joyful pride in their city, their Egypt. Young, old, men, women, wheelchair bound and the most nimble seemed to take a role.

Surely this gives us a glimpse of a kind of a Kingdom moment? People set free and liberated, naturally empowered to join together in unusually high brother/sisterhood to work for a better place for all to enjoy. Where barriers between people just seem to fade away.

Yes there are big questions: tomorrow, coming weeks and months for these people are going to be tough. The circa >65% youth unemployment quoted in some newspapers is not going to be fixed overnight. But for a moment, perhaps just a moment, something at least resembling the Kingdom has been experienced and witnessed.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Mission Theology Imperative

In the essay by W. Shenk (re-)published in 'Landmark Essays in Mission and World Christianity' he asserts that 'only theology that motivates and sustains the church in witness and service in the world deserves to be accredited'. He is absolutely right.

He also urges that the 'Western captivity of all theology ... must be broken', i.e. we must now incorporate and learn from our sisters and brothers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. These are the Christians at the cutting edge - we have much to learn from them.

This accords with my own experience whilst on a short term trip to Zambia with Mission Direct, where I was able to see first hand Christians getting stuck in and doing all the kinds of things that are written up as theory back home.

The world we live in is quite different to the one from even just a couple of decades ago. The stage is now different, with multiple heartlands of the Spirit's activity reaching out and interconnecting across the globe. As we appreciate these interconnections, we must learn from each other rather than assuming that one heartland has the monopoly on answers for all the rest.