mission & the kingdom

some great thoughts by the venerable Newbigin

“The concern for mission is nothing less than this: the kingdom of God, the sovereign rule of the Father of Jesus over all humankind and over all creation. Mission.. is the proclamation of the kingdom, the presence of the kingdom and the prevenience of the kingdom. By proclaiming the reign of God over all things the church acts out its faith that the Father of Jesus is indeed ruler of all. The church, by inviting all humankind to share in the mystery of the presence of the kingdom hidden in its life through its union with the crucified and risen life of Jesus, acts out the love of Jesus that took him to the cross. By obediently following where the Spirit leads, often in ways neither planned, known, nor understood, the church acts out the hope that it is given by the presence of the Spirit who is the living foretaste of the kingdom.” (Newbigin, The Open Secret, 64)

“I have described mission in terms of the proclamation, the presence, and the prevenience of the reign of God. The reign concerns the whole history of the human family and of the cosmos. At the heart of the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples is the petition: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” God’s will is to be done on earth. The call of Jesus to believe the good news of the impending kingdom leads at once to the call to “Follow me.” There can be no separation between believing and following, between faith and obedience. The prayer “Thy will be done” is in vain if it is not made visible in action for the doing of that will. Consequently, missions have never been able to separate the preaching of the gospel from action for God’s justice.” (Newbigin, The Open Secret, 91″

HT: NextReformation

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