The Sixth Sunday After the Epiphany

The Five Marks of Mission: The mission of the Church is the mission of Christ

  1. To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  2. To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
  3. To respond to human need by loving service
  4. To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation
  5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth

We come now to the Fourth Mark of Mission, the transformation of unjust structures of society. This is no doubt a hotly debated issue and I want to be sensitive to those debates. In light of that, there are three fundamental questions I would like to address this Sunday as it relates to this particular “mark”.

The first is the question of legitimacy: is it a legitimate function of Christian mission to seek to transform structures of society? I hope to make a case in the affirmative. The second question has to do with the nature of these structures: what counts as a structure of society? In short, what determines if something counts as a structure for our purposes is whether or not it has the capacity for justice or injustice?

The third is a question about the means of this transformation: how does one go about transforming the structures of society? And of course, given the language of this “mark”, the answer will revolve around challenging violence as well as pursuing peace and reconciliation.

I am very much looking forward to exploring these questions together. See you on Sunday!




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