Perspectives by Rev. Manasseh Maniragaba

The mission and your role

In my last reflection on the church ministry, I shared my religious experience on the physical nature of the Church, and our concerns toward it. 

God has entrusted the Church to us, and one of the primal metrics that really matter about the life and ministry of the Church, is the individuals and families the church has been able to help, to become better people.

I’d like to shortly reflect on the mission and ethos of this very aging Church of Christ, and the role each one of my readers can play in it. 

It is evident that the Christian church is going through various upheavals that affect not only its future, but also its present authenticity in the actual society.

The church’s mission is to make of all nations disciples of Jesus the Christ, through sacraments, teaching and preaching the Good News that transforms peoples’ lives into the likeness of Christ, and all this done in the power of the Holy Spirit.

How do you see this mission successful? What was, or is your investment in it? Truth is: the church mission reveals that to be a Christian is conditional. To choose not to be Christian is relative. 

After all, all of us are the children of God: therefore, whatever claims to be of God is ultimately our responsibility not our right! To make a concrete point: the majority of our church members are boomers. The seniors are the wise and the cornerstone, even the pillars and, or the potters of our pride or irritability today.

While churches and communities strive to offer them the care worth their sweat, here is some food for thought as noted by Gary Nicolosi, about few crisis facing our elders: There is the crisis of purpose…Physical breakdowns, loss of parents, the surrender of youthful dreams and forced retirements are making Boomers ask, “What else is there?” 

There is the crisis of disillusionment…The ideals of the 1960s seem to be unrealized as the world goes from crisis to crisis. Boomers are asking, “Is changing the world even possible or has cynicism won the day?” 

There is the crisis of priorities…Consumer culture claims you can have it all, but there are too many choices, too much debt and too little time. “Can anyone really have it all?” 

There is the crisis of relationships…“Should anyone say forever?” For Boomers and their children, the answer seems to be no. 

There is the crisis of loneliness…Boomers value their freedom and autonomy, but they still seek connection, conversation and community. “Where do you find meaningful relationships in a superficial world?”

There is the crisis of security…Economic uncertainty has led to spiritual anxiety. 

There is the crisis of spirituality … Organized religion has given way to a nebulous spirituality. Where do you find something rock solid for your life in a world that is falling apart…is the church a refuge place?” 

The quest for satisfaction is immensely exacerbated by the desire of the resurrection. By resurrection I mean, a revisit of our former truisms, or the good memoirs of the past: I want those glorious moments to happen again. 

The good news is: our souls never age: the spirit of God in us is ever fresh, the heart of love is Christ-centered and ever loving, despite the dusting body which returns to ashes as naturally ordered. 

However, when life becomes the party we did not wish for, while we are still here, the church and community are invited to offer the dance.

To conclude: what is so exciting about serving in these conditions? What is compelling to believe in a church whose future is dependable on freewill donations? 

While the church cannot answer why bad things happen to good people, the church can offer comfort and guidance to God’s children to deal with some heavy dilemmas, in the name of Jesus the Christ, the head of the church. 

All for Jesus, and Jesus for all.  

Rev. Manassé Maniragaba, 

Associate Priest for the

Morrisburg Anglican Parish

 

The dying Jesus is the evidence of God’s anger toward sin; but the living Jesus is the proof of God’s love and forgiveness. ~Lorenz Eifert

 

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