John Morrison – 14 May 2017

Today is a special day. We could say that about every Sunday, of course, because we have the opportunity to gather together and unite in praising and worshiping God. But this Sunday is extra special.

For a start, It’s Mother’s Day – a dedicated day to remember mothers and to thank and bless those who are still with us. When I went on-line to work out whether it is Mother’s Day or Mothers’ Day, I learnt that the original campaigner for the day, Anna Jarvis, explicitly wanted the apostrophe to go before the “s”. She wanted the singular possessive, and for each family to personally honour their mother, not the plural possessive commemorating all mothers of the world. Nonetheless, have a happy day, especially all mothers.

Today we also welcome back Belinda, Aron, Grace and Zac after their travels in Europe. Miriam returns in 2 weeks after some further touring. They no doubt have plenty of stories (and photos?) to share with us, and we look forward to those and to reconnecting.

Today is also special, as are all Sundays in May, because of the focus on cross-cultural mission. May Mission Month is promoted by Global Interaction, our Australian Baptist mission agency, and is celebrated by Baptist churches throughout the nation.

GIA’s mission is: “empowering communities to develop their own distinctive ways of following Jesus”. GIA says: “Our mission flows from the radical commitment to God’s mission to fulfil his redemptive purposes for his creation. God calls his people to be participants and it is the church’s privilege and responsibility to live out God’s love for the world.”

On it’s website, GIA has a laudable theology of mission statement which is worth reflecting on. The main points are that mission:

* flows from the heart of God;
* is centred in Christ;
* is directed and empowered by the Spirit;
* is by people to people;
* is contextual and corporate; and
* involves all areas of life.

One further thing that is special about today is having Bonny and Avo Resu and their friends Nibu and Apheu Nagi with us. Welcome! Bonny is the General Secretary of the Asia Pacific Baptist Fellowship and will bring a very appropriate mission emphasis to this 2nd Sunday of May Mission Month.

The ABPF is a regional organisation of the Baptist World Alliance and represents over 33,000 local churches in 21 countries with over 5 million baptised members across the Asia Pacific region. Its next congress, held every 5 years, is in September in Indonesia. The theme, based on Acts 1:8, is “Never-ending Good News”.

We celebrate that Good News today – yet another reason why gathering together today is special. Welcome to worship on this special day.

John Morrison