THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2013
SERVING AN AWESOME GOD
The New Evangelization is all about spiritual warfare. Those
who evangelize are sent to assault the dominion of the enemy.
Thus, starting with the Twelve and coming down to us in our
day, Jesus “gave them authority over unclean spirits.”
(Mk 6:7c). The authority, and corresponding power, are from
God, are exercised in the name of God, are intended to accomplish
God’s plan and will. Thus it is God Himself at work
in and through human instruments. Thus the work of evangelizers
should be powerful, and should be accompanied by signs and
wonders. “They drove out many demons, and they anointed
with oil many who were sick and cured them.” (Mk 6:13).
awesome indeed is this power and authority? The Korahites
sing of the splendor of Zion, the invincible city. God is
like Zion, invincible and eternal. “That this is God,
our God for ever and ever.” (Ps 48:15a). “God
is in its citadel, renowned as a stronghold.” (Ps 48:4).
Just the sight of Zion astounded, terrified and put the kings
to flight! (Ps 48:6). They trembled, were in anguish, and
were wrecked (Ps 48:7-8). “Your right hand is fully
victorious.” (Ps 48:11b).
the awesome magnificence of God during the covenant at Mount
Sinai. There was “a blazing fire and gloomy darkness
and storm and a trumpet blast and a voice speaking words”
(Heb 12:18-19). “Indeed, so fearful was the spectacle
that Moses said, ‘I am terrified and trembling.’”
(Heb 12:21). Then, the Israelites could not even approach
the holy mountain lest they die (Heb 12:20b). But now, “you
have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God,
the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb 12:22a). And it is awesome!
There are “countless angels in festal gathering, and
the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God
the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect”
there is “Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and
the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that
of Abel.” (Heb 12:24). It is Jesus who shed his blood
for us. Unlike the blood of Abel that cried out from the earth
for vengeance, Jesus has already paid the price, and his blood
cries out from heaven for redemption. It is Jesus who mediates
a new covenant by which we can approach and enter into the
very presence of God. It is Jesus who sends us forth to proclaim
this great news of salvation in him.
It is such a God who backs us up as He sends us into the world
to evangelize. Now if God is the great, awesome, all-powerful,
eternal King, if God is the one who sends us forth, then we
have nothing to worry about when we do His work. He will provide.
in sending out the Twelve, Jesus “instructed them to
take nothing for the journey but a walking stick--no food,
no sack, no money in their belts.” (Mk 6:8). Why? Is
it not prudent to have even just a bit of provision for an
unknown journey? Well, what was of utmost importance was faith.
It is faith that works wonders. It is belief in the God whom
we serve that enables us to act effectively in His stead.
is the self-emptying that enables God to fill us. It is the
total dependence on Him that causes Him to act in and through
us. It is having nothing, in effect being nothing, by which
we can become everything in experiencing God’s power.
It is being humbled by the awesome majesty of God that causes
Him to raise us up. It is leaving everything we depend on
for life that allows God to provide richly for all our needs.
were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.”
(Mk 6:9). They had to wear sandals so that they could cover
more territory, because the work was urgent and widespread.
But they did not need a second tunic. It did not really matter
how they looked or how they smelled. The beauty of the Lord
would shine in them, and their work would be “a sweet-smelling
odor to God the Most High” (Sir 50:15d).
How about evangelizers today? We probably would have to have
a bit of provision for our missions, but the principles remain
know the God whom we serve, and He is an awesome, all-powerful
always have the posture that God is everything and we
are nothing, but that He still insists on using us; such
is our great privilege.
trust in the One who sends us forth, to provide and care
for us and to empower us.
empty ourselves--of personal priorities, of our own agenda,
of self-reliance, of sinful pride; we allow God to take
total control over our lives and just respond in obedience.
work at having the faith that truly works wonders.
The New Evangelization proclaims the same Christ and the same
good news of salvation in him. What is different are the method
and the “madness.” We are to be fools for Christ
who leave everything behind to serve him, who trust not in
our own abilities and resources but only on God, who know
that we are nothing apart from empowerment by the Holy Spirit.
This is faith. And it is precisely such faith that works wonders.
we still hesitate? Perhaps not in going out to evangelize,
but in expecting signs and wonder? Then think again. Consider
who is sending us and who is empowering us. “Go about
Zion, walk all around it, note the number of its towers. Consider
the ramparts, examine its citadels” (Ps 48:13-14a).
Then, with great confidence, go forth into the world, “that
you may tell future generations: That this is God, our God
for ever and ever.” (Ps 48:14b-15a).
they went off and preached repentance. They drove out many
demons” (Mk 6:12-13a).