A Guest Message From Pastor Emely in El Salvador
Dear brothers and sisters,
Receive a very warm Salvadoran greeting, wishing that God the father accompany your ministries.
As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.
We can say that this reading presents us with the second part of the sending of the disciples and the characteristics of that mission. This is the task, not only of setting out, but of commitment which leads to transformation. It has to do with conversion, attitudes and of leaving material goods behind as well as a mindset that is open to people who are in need and excluded without judging the person’s condition and social position. An evangelism plan is not defined as increasing the number of members in your church. Rather, evangelism is about living out Jesus’ lifestyle, sharing, bringing hope to people who believe that everything is lost, finding the presence of God in the anguish of the storm. Freely-made actions such as curing the sick, resuscitating the dead, healing lepers, expelling demons – these are signs of the presence of the Kingdom of God.
For the disciples, it meant that they were to welcome into the community those who were excluded, regardless of the reasons for which they had been expelled. Through this practice, they criticized the laws of exclusion and rescued the old values of community co-existence. Announcing the Kingdom does not consist in truths and doctrines, but in trying to live in a new and fraternal way; sharing the Good News that Jesus presents to us. He proclaimed that God is Father, and we are all brothers and sisters. When Jesus asks us to rescue the community values of the past -- hospitality, sharing, communion around the table, the welcome of the excluded -- when we return to these values we will rescue the wisdom of the people and especially our seniors in the age of wisdom.
The instructions that Jesus gives are very clear: live with compassion and generous dedication, believe, trust and love. It is from these instructions that it will be possible to create awareness in the population of the need to take care of children and God’s creation. Why look after children? Not just because they are the future, but because we need to demonstrate the values of the Kingdom of God by cultivating justice with equity,solidarity, fraternal love. Children and adolescents must grow up with a realistic hope that a new world is possible. We must show them by working to change the negative aspects of life, negative aspects which will destroy. The legacy of Jesus Christ is that God has placed into the hands of human beings the task of development and caring for creation, protecting it, thus guaranteeing life.
We as a Pan de Vida Lutheran church, in addition to teaching the faith, also include the issues of health and sexuality in adolescents and care of the environment. Living in discord leads to community destabilization and division. Our great mission is to seek reconciliation in families, communities and neighbors.
This month we are making preparations for the anniversary to be celebrated on July 21 when we will have first communions. Next Sunday, we have a baptism of a girl named Ursula Carolina. We ask for your prayers for the baptized and her family.
This is how we work to make possible the values of the Kingdom of God in our church.
In Christ, Pastor Emely Chavez