John 15:9-17; Acts 10:44-48
Jesus commanded us to love each other as he has loved us (John 15:12). Sometimes this seems to be a form of defeat in the world but paradoxically, this love is radical because it is engaging with new life. Specifically, this love commanded by Jesus is to save or make safe spaces for those who would have been sacrificed against dominion powers, which deprive life to sustain its privileges by any means. Jesus was killed by the collusion between the Roman political powers and the Jewish religious authorities. It is paradoxical that in Jesus, life-flourishing creation is being caused by life-demolishing forces, especially the followers of Jesus. Jesus says in the Scripture that greater love is laying down one’s life for friends (John 15:12-13) as Jesus himself was crucified on the cross to give life to us. Radical love is practised by sacrificing oneself against unjust evil authorities in order to flourish others’ lives, as Jesus did.
This radical love, therefore, calls Christians to struggle against any discriminating and excluding tradition, law, dominion or authority in the world by manifesting God’s love for others. Peter witnessed at Cornelius’ house that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the gentiles as on the Jews. In fact, accepting Cornelius’ invitation and visiting his home was to break Jewish tradition (Acts 10:28). However, Peter obeyed God’s word in his vision from God, namely, “Do not call anything impure that God had made clean.” (Acts 10:15). He proceeded to break Jewish tradition by going to Cornelius’ house to baptise him (the gentile). If Peter obstinately kept Jewish tradition rather than obey God’s word, he would have been a discriminating and exclusive disciple of Jesus who ignored God’s love for the gentiles, the others.
It is the power of radical love given us from Jesus that enables us to defeat earthly evil powers, cracking down their discriminatory and exclusive traditions and laws that favour only their vested interests and privileges. Practicing this radical love means to manifest our love for God, believing God’s promise that His commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3-4).
-Sangdo Choi, Presbyterian Church of Korea
Life-giving God, let us sacrifice our lives to save others’ lives against life-depriving powers. Encourage us to practice this radical love even though we may be under risk due to breaking the established traditions of discrimination and exclusiveness to make an inclusive and peaceful world.
Covid-19 places an impetus for churches to adapt to the ever-changing needs of their constituents. We ask that you keep CWM staff in prayer as they navigate uncharted waters as they continue to support the missional work of member churches.
As CWM embarks on its 2020-2029 missiological and theological vision, we ask that you keep CWM staff in prayer as they explore innovative, contextual and practical ways to implement and embody what it means to rise to life in Christ and contribute to co-creating life-flourishing communities.
As CWM commits itself to repent for our complicity in enslavement, racism and colonisation, we ask that you keep CWM staff in prayer as they confront systemic issues around whiteness, white supremacy, racism and imperialism to move CWM towards radical systemic changes that are anti-racist and anti-imperalistic.
-Lynnette Li, Council for World Mission