Weekly Reflections: Fulfilling our prophetic task (6/6)
By REV. LUNA DINGAYAN
“Then the Lord said, ‘I have seen the afflictions of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and Jebusites. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring forth my people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt’. But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?’ He said, ‘But I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God upon this mountain.’ ” — Exodus 3:7-12
GOD’S ABIDING PRESENCE
Finally, to fulfill our prophetic task is to realize God’s abiding presence even as we do God’s mission in the world.
When Moses said to God: “I am nobody. How can I go to the King of Egypt and bring the Israelites out of Egypt? “,God answered him saying, “I will be with you “.When Jesus Christ our Lord gave the Great Commission to his disciples, he also concluded saying, “I will be with you always to the end of the age” (Mt.28: 16-20).
The God we believe in is not only a God who calls, but also a God who provides. When God calls us to fulfill a particular task, God in wondrous ways will also provide the necessary resources to fulfill that task. I am saying this not only as a cold doctrinal belief, but as a testimony of my own personal experience as a servant of God.
The fulfillment of God’s mission in the world does not depend upon us. It does not depend upon our own strength and resources, not even the help of our mission partners. Rather it depends ultimately upon God’s abiding presence. God said, “I will be with you.”
In his letter to the Romans, the great missionary of the Early Church, Apostle Paul, said, “If God is with us, who can be against us? Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it, or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or danger or death? No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us. There is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:31-39).
God’s abiding presence transforms our fears and anxieties into courage and faith. Moses knows that doing God’s mission in the world is not an easy task. He knows that he has to face the powers-that-be in Egypt. He knows that he has to convince the people that their genuine aspirations as a people are also God’s own aspirations for them. He has to convince the people that there is more to life than slavery and oppression. As a matter of fact, in Moses’ experience it is far more difficult to convince the people who are slaves about their need to be free than to break the hardened heart of the Pharaoh and let the people go.
Moses knows that in doing his prophetic task, he would be treated harshly by his own people, that he would be criticized by those whom he loved, that he would be charged with all sorts of things, that he would be betrayed by those for whom he would risked his own life. Moses has realized that he could not do his prophetic task in the world by his own strength alone. But with God’s abiding presence he knows that he can do something in order that his own people who have been slaves for so long will be free.
At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus Christ our Lord knows that in fulfilling his prophetic task he would ultimately face the cruel cross. But nevertheless, he said to the Tempter in the wilderness, “Worship the Lord your God, and him alone you shall serve “(Mt 4:10). And to those who would like to be his followers, he also said, “If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget himself, carry his cross, and follow me “(Mk.8:34).
But God’s promise is so great to those who remain faithful in their prophetic task in the world, “I will be with you”. Prophet Isaiah reminds us that “they who wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isa. 40:31). # nordis.net