Photo Credit: Church in Wales
By ACNS staff
The fields are ripe for the harvest in the Anglican Communion, the Most Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon told the Church in Wales in a sermon during its Governing Body meeting last week.
The Communion’s Secretary General noted that in the sermon passage Matt. 9,35-38 Jesus shifted from teaching, healing and preaching to commissioning the disciples to do likewise with the familiar words: “The harvest is ready”.
“Do you believe that?” Archbishop Idowu-Fearon asked the Governing Body. “Do you believe that God has prepared people and that the harvest is plentiful?”
He suggested that a core difficulty for evangelism today was not that people were unready to receive the Good News but rather that the Church was not ready to proclaim the Gospel.
“We need not deny that our Communion is going through a trying period,” the Secretary General said but pointed to the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury in encouraging the Communion to “remain hopeful in obedience to Jesus in spite of the problem of secularism that we face today”.
Rather than being paralysed by timidity or political correctness, the Church was called to see the people around it, in particular young people, who were yearning for the Word of God and to experience its power.
“In Wales and in the other 164 countries where members of our Communion are found, there are millions wanting to hear the Good News and see [Christianity at work in] their life situations.”
In order to take up this call, “our hearts must become like the heart of Jesus” – a heart filled with compassion. As Christ’s disciples, the Body of Church must look around and see people the way Jesus did and feel compassion for them as Jesus did, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion underlined.
He said that Jesus was not only moved by people’s physical needs and their poverty; his compassion came from seeing their need to have freedom and be redeemed children of God.
Thus, Jesus’ next instructions were to pray. “Before we [can] have the compassion of Jesus, we must have the connection with the Father that Jesus has,” Archbishop Idowu-Fearon emphasised.
“When we start to believe the harvest is plentiful and pray that He would send out workers, you never know if we may become the answers to our own prayers – that we would be the workers commissioned by the Lord of the harvest himself,” he concluded.