Reflections is the monthly newsletter of the Brookfield Uniting Church.
If you would like a copy, please email Edith McPhee, firstname.lastname@example.org
Following is the Minister’s Message from the February 2021 issue:
FROM the MINISTER’S DESK
Greetings in the name of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ – Welcome to our New Year 2021!
As we celebrate the season of Epiphany, we continue to think as Christians –
about this Jesus as a child – to be adored, a God to be worshipped, a Saviour to be followed, a Lord to be obeyed. And we think especially about Jesus as a healer, a healer with authority – as according to Mark’s Gospel.
The Greek word for authority, exousia, is related to the verb exesti, meaning
“it is free” or “it is permitted.” In other words, exousia is the “sovereign
freedom” of one who acts without hindrance.
Jesus’ teaching in sovereign freedom is contrasted with the teaching of the
scribes. The difference is that the scribes’ teaching depended on their
knowledge and adherence to tradition–especially the traditional interpretation of the Torah. However, Jesus teaches with an independent authority – or rather, on the authority of God.
And then Jesus proved his authority by casting an evil spirit out of a man who had been in the audience. The people there were shocked – they had never seen someone conduct himself with so much authority! The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. (Mark 1:22)
There is good news about Jesus Christ and his authority. The same authority
given to Jesus by God the Father, the Words of God placed into Jesus’
mouth is the same authority given to us by Jesus, to speak in His name!
Both the Gospels of Mark and Matthew attest to this authority given to us by
Jesus to speak in his name, share the Good News and make disciples of all
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all
creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Matthew 28:18-20 The Great Commission
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr was about halfway through his prepared speech
when Mahalia Jackson — who earlier that day had delivered a stirring rendition of the spiritual, “I Been ’Buked and I Been Scorned” — shouted out to him from the speakers’ stand: “Tell ’em about the ‘Dream,’ Martin, tell ’em about the ‘Dream’!”
Dr. King pushed the text of his remarks to the side and began an extraordinary improvisation on the dream theme that would become one of the most recognizable refrains in the world. With his improvised riff, Dr. King took a leap into history, jumping from prose to poetry, from the podium to the pulpit.
“I have a dream,” he declared, “my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. speaking with authority jumping from prose to
poetry, from the podium to the pulpit. Speaking with the same authority of Jesus to make a difference and speak life and hope, not just words!
My dear Church Family, God’s word speaks to us that we must do the same –
not just know these words but live them – put into action with authority exousia – acting without hindrance.
There is a great mission before us – there is a community around us who do not know Jesus!
There is an assumption that we are a Church Community that is not growing – we are about maintaining and existing but not about growing – we are comfortable in our ways.
We are not missional in our direction and in moving forward – What is the future mission of Brookfield Uniting Church?
God’s word speaks to us – Just as God gave Jesus the Authority, Jesus has
given us the same Authority to speak His Life-Giving Words:
o To share the Good News
o To Heal
o To Drive out Demons
o To bring those to Jesus who do not know him to redeeming salvation!
Let us be reminded of our vision,
“TO SHARE CHRIST’S LOVE WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY, GIVING HOPE
AND ENCOURAGEMENT TO PEOPLE ON LIFE’S JOURNEY.”
I have a dream – We have a dream – To submit our lives to Jesus’ authority and power – to be a beacon in our Community and be Fruitful!
Let it be our main mission for this New Year 2021, Church Family – Let people come to know Christ through us by committing ourselves as a church to follow his example. In Jesus Name – Amen!
Much Love and Blessings,