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Facing the Unknown

“Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.”

1 Peter 1:3-4

Like it or not, every day we face the unknown. Some changes we greet with joy, some with despair. We may see change coming from a long way off or it might come when least expected.

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Four Things the Western Mission Movement Needs To Pay Attention To

The modern Western mission movement has seen huge success over the past 200 or so years. But now, partly to the efforts of that movement, the world has changed dramatically and if Western missions are to remain relevant they will need to make some radical changes. I would like to suggest that there are three areas in particular that we need to pay attention to.

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Mourning

Mourning is something that many western cultures don’t do well.  Unlike our Mediterranean neighbours, or more expressive people from tropical climes, we think holding our feelings in check is a Good Thing.  “Stiff upper lip, old boy.”

Christians are often even less inclined to mourn than others, because we have a sure and certain hope that our departed have gone to be with Jesus.  We use terms like “promoted” to express our positivity.  I was even once told by a family member at a funeral that we were not going to cry, because it was a happy day of celebration for our friend who had gone to a better place.  Which left me with a lot of grief and no outlet for it. Sometimes we need to express our emotion and have a good wail.

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Incarnate

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

The word incarnate means “to become flesh.” Jesus did this, literally. He laid aside his rights to godliness and took on our fragile human form – living, laughing, loving, bleeding, dying.

In a profound reversal, we the Church also use the term ‘incarnate’ to describe OUR life-long process of growing in Christlikeness. But what does it look like to become like “the Word made flesh?” (John 1:14)

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