February 12, 2013

Psalm 35:11-28
Ezekiel 1:1—2:1
Acts 10:23b-33

The United Church of Christ’s motto, “That they may all be one”, is a high ideal – and an aspiration to which missionaries around the world are committed.  John Campbell-Nelson, Global Ministries’ missionary serving in Indonesia, knows that religious concepts can also divide.  When a Timorese grandmother, who was very active in the church, refused to be baptized, it was a puzzle.  Her reason was that her husband died without being baptized, meaning that if she were baptized, they would be separated throughout eternity. “Throughout Eastern Indonesia there are many communities who face the same dilemma as this Timorese woman. By culture and tradition they are one people, but they are divided among followers of tribal religion, Christianity, and Islam, and in recent years these divisions have been exploited to create communal conflict,” Campbell-Nelson said. The challenge to the churches is to proclaim that the Gospel of Christ is also the Gospel of our common humanity.”

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