Awakening to God’s loveDecember 2020GP0|#c82282c9-ac80-45f6-8913-587c567bdd34;L0|#0c82282c9-ac80-45f6-8913-587c567bdd34|Extending Beyond;GTSet|#bb9274b4-45fe-43f1-8b69-3df0b933cdb0;GPP|#a82c2124-212e-4f7a-b626-9a0c5a3534c2;GPP|#96e4d92c-656e-45f6-9cd5-ab8aed108e3chttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/publications/Extending Beyond/637/Awakening to God’s loveAwakening to God’s loveExtending BeyondBy Mike Sherrill

 

 

<p>Julian of Norwich, a 14th-century anchorite mystic, is well known for her book<em> Revelations of Divine Love.</em> It's the oldest surviving book in the English language known to have been written by a woman. Still readily available in print and e-book forms, Julian reminds us that in brokenness and strain, "all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well." The certainty with which Julian utters this comfort is based on the pre-eminence of God's love. In the swirling vortex of our lives' pilgrimages, God, who loves all humanity — and each of us personally, is present. This is our hope, that ultimately "all shall be well." <br></p><p>At Mennonite Mission Network, the essential driving force of our work is love. It's about God's love for the world and the ways we as an organization put that love into action. Love requires determination. In Psalm 57:7 (NRSV), the psalmist said, "O God, my heart is steadfast. I will sing and make melody." The term "steadfast" used here is translated from the Hebrew term, <em>nachon</em>, meaning: fixed in place, established, determined. "My heart is steadfast" is perhaps easy to say when life is going smoothly, but often much harder during troubling times. Psalm 57 was likely written by David, while he was in a cave, running for his life from the wrath of King Saul. In the dark cave, David trusts in the Light. He is determined to abide in God's steadfast love — not just for the present moment, but for today and tomorrow. The Psalmist is determined to be awake to God's love. </p><p>At Mission Network, we are determined to abide in God's steadfast love. We are determined to be awake to the actions of God's Spirit. We believe the Holy Spirit empowers and calls the church to engage God's mission in the world. Mission Network exists to serve the church in that shared, sacred calling. We are at a watershed moment in history — an awakening, an energizing wave invigorating our call to engage the cultures and communities around the world. In these strenuous times, the words of 1 Peter 4:11 (The Voice) are timely: "Speak as though God put the words in your mouth … Serve as though you had the strength of God behind you. In these ways, God may be glorified in all you do through Jesus." This is why we do what we do, and how we go about doing it.  </p><p>In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, God's work in the world continues. Therefore, if we believe that God's work continues — and we do firmly believe this — then our participation in that work will continue. With 100 years behind Mission Network and its predecessor agencies, we need to look at the 100 years ahead of us. God will be there. The steps we take now are foundational to that journey.  </p><p>As we continue on this journey together, we are deeply grateful for your continued generous support. This is an exciting time to partner with Mission Network. We are responding to the present challenges with compassion and creativity. And we are building a future by passionately engaging our call to service, church planting, discipleship training, and international partnering. This season of challenge is inspiring us to re-imagine our work as we prepare for the opportunities ahead. God is doing a new thing (Isaiah 43:19).   </p><p>We will ultimately get on the other side of this pandemic, and we will emerge renewed, refined, and ready for cutting-edge partnership in God's work in our hearts, in our homes, in our church, and around the world. May the grace and peace of Christ be your daily companion through the Advent season and into the coming year!  <br><br><br>Mike Sherrill<br>Executive Director</p><p><br></p>

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Awaking to God's lovehttps://assets.mennonites.org/Downloads/ExTendin_DEC_C20.pdfAwaking to God's loveEnglish

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