Today’s reflection is by HyeRan Kim-Cragg from These Days, Daily Devotions for Living by Faith.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. — Matthew 28:19
The go therefore and make disciples of all nations commandment propelled many Christians from Europe and North America to go to other parts of the world and proselytize. This last word of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew fueled the zeal of many Christians to undertake a so-called civilizing mission in the 19th century. Unfortunately, some of these missionary acts were done with the imperialistic view others were “heathens” who were lost in darkness with little, if anything, to offer the world.
Within this type of missionary thinking, discarding one’s own religious and cultural practices was prerequisite to become Christian. Some modern missionaries have adopted a cross-cultural approach that has a better understanding of the value inherent in all cultures. Many Christians today live in religiously pluralistic cultures and wrestle with how to respect other religions without losing sight of how to live out their calling as Christians.
As we celebrate Trinity Sunday, let us remind ourselves of God in relationships.
Prayer — God, help us build up respectful relationships with those who are different from us. Amen.
HyeRan Kim-Cragg of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK) and has served in pastoral, teaching, and intercultural leadership capacities with the United Church of Canada for the past 20 years. She currently is a Timothy Eaton Memorial Church Associate Professor of Preaching. She holds a BSC from Dong Duck Women’s University; MDIV from Hanshin Graduate School of Theology, Hanshin University; and THD from Emmanuel College, University of Toronto. Kim-Cragg is committed to an interdisciplinary approach to homiletics in practical theology. Her teaching and research address a range of topics related to biblical interpretation, postcolonial theories, feminist homiletics and liturgy, migration, and decolonizing practices. Her current research is involved in the intercultural preaching, as this intersects with race, gender, and multiple identities of the preacher and the congregations. She is particularly interested in language (verbal and non-verbal) issues for preaching as a communicative event. As a recipient of The Rowntree Scholarship at The United Church of Canada Foundation (2019), she will undertake her research project on Preaching and Intercultural Ministry in the United Church of Canada for the next three years. She has authored a dozen books and numerous articles, including contributions to These Days, Daily Devotions for Living by Faith, an inspiring and uplifting subscription based daily devotional. Each issue of These Days features Scripture suggestions; thought-provoking daily reflections written by clergy and lay leaders; inspiring prayers; adult coloring pages; colorful artwork on the outside covers with poems, prayers, and songs pertinent to the issue’s theme; and information about the writers. This devotional is released through The Thoughtful Christian in printed format quarterly in regular or enlarged print. For additional information or to purchase a subscription, call the customer service team at (800) 554-4694.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Encourage one another and build each other up. — 1 Thessalonians 5:11