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When the Lord establishes the great commission (1) it does so from the periphery, a remote province such as Galilee. It does not do it from the center of power that is in Jerusalem. Galilee was a region of little importance called the land of pagans or gentiles (Isaiah 9: 1, Mt 4:15). It was a place of rich land but exploited by latifundistas (Large agrarian property that belongs to a few people and is characterized by the bad exploitation of its resources). In caudillo, people lived marginalized, with shame and contempt. Galilee is synonymous with poverty while Jerusalem had political and religious privileges. "It is very possible that all of Galilee was overpopulated in relation to the possibilities of the earth. The orphans, the widows, the poor and the unemployed abounded "(2). There were many disinherited, men without a country "The disciples are summoned to a pilgrimage … from marginality to commitment. Jesus is still telling us: Follow me (Luke 5:27, 9:59, 18:22) »(3).
The first words of the risen Jesus Christ were addressed to women "Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me "(Matthew 28:10) Galilee was the place of revelation. That is where God would reveal himself. "The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain that Jesus had indicated to them" It was in Galilee that Jesus began his ministry (Luke 4: 14-15) and chose his first disciples (Luke 6: 12-16). Darío López comments that Jesus' choice for Galilee was not circumstantial but an intentional choice. Why did not the option come from Jerusalem? Jesus chose to fulfill his ministry among the masses forgotten by political and religious leaders and then go to Jerusalem. The periphery represented an urgent task and unavoidable commitment. It included everyone whether Jews, Samaritans and Gentiles. Jesus sends them to bring the good news of the Kingdom of God and this mandate is for all generations. A message that has to do with the total transformation of human existence. Therefore Jesus Christ commissions us from the periphery to take the whole gospel to all nations.
The missionary awakening in caudillo emerges outside the decision centers. This happened in the history of the missions with Guillermo Carey. He was a person who touched his generation (1761-1834, XVIII century). He came from a low middle class family in England. He learned the trade of shoemaker and was a pastor. His motto was: Expect great things from God, risk great things for God (Isaiah 54: 2-3). His contemporaries presented him with several objections to the challenge of world evangelization: Why should we go there if there are so many people here without reaching? Carey answered that the question was valid, but the fact that we have people who do not reach locally is not an excuse not to take the Gospel to other cultures or to cross political, geographic, cultural and social borders. The fact that they are not reaching here is not a valid argument to abandon the task of reaching them elsewhere.
The response of many leaders was: "God will do the task without you and without us. Have a seat". But Guillermo Carey was not a person to sit down because he had passion and his heart was burning for the task of world evangelization. He understood that the church involved in world evangelization is a task of each generation and each era and involves the whole church. He left for India in 1793 and its impact was tremendous. He lived as a missionary for 40 years without interruption. Carey believed that those who did not know Christ were lost. He understood the mission as a mandate of obedience. He studied Bengali, preached to the Indians, began to learn Sanskrit and at the same time translated the Bible into Bengali. He founded a native church and contextualized through circunscrito preachers. At his death he had translated the Bible or portions of it into at least 35 languages and dialects of India.
Carey's fight is the same today. Each generation has to do its work. "The church itself requires, again and again, to be challenged for the task of world evangelization. The great Commission does not grow old, the task of missions never ends, therefore each generation must make it theirs. Large and structured religious institutions have a tendency to focus on their own universe and needs, so they lose sight of the universality character that is inherent in it and can not be separated from its ecclesiological vocation. The missionary awakening emerges, again and again, as an initiative outside the decision-making centers or, as Gustavo Warneck says, on behalf of the "silent of the earth," one might say, of the "cobblers" of life. " (4) As a church we must ask ourselves: Can the institutions we represent make a more intentional effort to take the whole gospel to the whole world? "The mission is a daily task of the church in any place, at any time and in every generation" (5) We are called to be key people so that the gospel is available to every person everywhere.
Local and Global Mission (GloCal)
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(1) Gospel according to Matthew 28: 16-20
(2) Norberto Saracco, The liberating options of Jesus, Mission No. 3 (Oct-Dec), 1982
(3) Darío López R., The liberating mission of Jesus, Ed. Puma, p. 55, 1997
(4) Valdir R. Steuernagel, The Mission of the Church, World Vision, pp. 89-90, 1992, S. Jose, Costa Rica.
(5) Valdir R. Steuernagel, Church and Mission Magazine, Kairos Website at: http://www.kairos.org.ar/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1338&catid=90%3Articles-of-la- -review-church-and-mission & Itemid = 156
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Author: Carlos Scott
Carlos is a member of the executive committee and general leadership council of the Missions Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), Resides in Buenos Aires.
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