Jesus is continuing on his way to Jerusalem. In this past Sunday’s lesson Jesus is confronted with a question that many of us struggle with: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” While passing through the Samaritan villages on his final journey to Jerusalem he teaches another lesson on discipleship. The story of the Good Samaritan is one of those stories all Christians are familiar with. Jesus touches on deep seated cultural, political and religious wounds. He challenges the crowd who followed him and he also challenges us who stand on the shoulders of those who went before us. We need to look at the status of our relationships and the status of our discipleship.
In this intimate encounter between Jesus and the lawyer we hear ourselves negotiating with the master with regards to our own commitment to witness. Our own levels of commitment. We too negotiate and try and work out a good package. Think of yourself in a consultation where key performance areas and indicators are discussed. How far are we willing to go in our being good neighbors, in bearing witness to Christ and being His disciples?
The Christian finds him/herself in this back and forth struggle between the direction God has for our lives and the pressures of the world we live in. Our key performance area is here, where we are situated, where we live and work, where we share our lives with others. We are called to witness and discipleship here.
We live in a country that has led the world in many areas, we have Nobel peace prize recipients, we have pioneers in diverse fields covering a range of disciplines and today in particular we celebrate one of those. A son of the soil that changed the world and keeps alive the hope of humanity. A man who was determined that we can prevail over the temptation to close its eyes to the plight of those who are the least in society. Out of the cruelty of dehumanizing laws that stole his life Nelson Mandela stood tall and said it is impossible until it is done.
As we continue the theme of discipleship we encourage the community to keep on being doers of the word. Join the efforts in the parish that brings the message of Christ into action among fellow parishioners and the community at large. Join the movement for action rather than lament and criticize the evil that is being done.
Joining the theme for this year’s Mandela day celebrations we align our call to discipleship and this week’s invitation to fulfill our call to love our neighbor. We have the less fortunate in our own parish community. Those who struggle to find gainful employment, those who need assistance in one or the other form. There is the real need for spiritual and emotional support that so often go unnoticed. Let us reach out to the members of our community.
Make your needs known through the welcome desk, volunteer your services or share your networks and connections. Speak to the parish leadership if you need assistance and if you can offer assistance.
Establishing St. Monnica’s as a precinct of hope should have new impetus during
this time of discipleship. We invite all parishioners to look at the different programs
already offered in our parish and get involved. We are starting small
Christian committee meetings or cell groups in the different areas and we invite
parishioners to become involved, let us organize ourselves and reach out to parishioners
staying close to us and organize gatherings where we meet and share
scripture and encourage one another through prayer. We are proud to announce that we had our first cell group meeting in Fourways and we are looking forward to many more.
Together as the parish we pray for our rector and her family who are currently on
holiday and we pray that she enjoy every minute of this special time and return
to us renewed and re-invigorated.
Yours in Christ,
Revd. Allie Josseph