In which Jesus appoints 12 to be apostles (messengers of the Kingdom). In common with elsewhere in the Gospels, Jesus sends his followers out to do three things:
to proclaim the message of the Kingdom, to heal and to cast out evil spirits.
We’ve been having some discussions in our class about the nature of evil and what it means to confront evil. Experiences from the two thirds world suggest that our post enlightenment scientific world view is not capable of explaining all that we see and experience. This comes as a bit of a shock to those who think that science is the end of everything. (The view that a scientific worldview has put an end to other ways of seeing the world, along with the view that science is also the end (as in goal) of everything).
One of our friends here is from a Mennonite congregation in Colombia. Like most Christians working in similar settings, he has witnessed individuals being delivered from the power of evil spirits. His view is that evil presents itself in different ways according to the culture. Evils in the Global North & West are more likely to be encountered in the structures and institutions that work to maintain oppression and injustice.
What I am learning here is that there is much to be done, in different ways, to engage with the powers that prevent people from living with peace and justice. Part of the Mennonite way of engaging with evil is a commitment to Pacifism. However this does not equate to passivism!
‘The ‘Pac’ part is traced back to the Latin word, Pax that means peace or harmony. Fism derives from the suffix ficus which comes from the Latin ficere that means to act or take action.’
The word pacifism then is to do with acting in such a way to bring peace. In the Bible the Greek word eirenopoios (peacemakers, Matthew 5:9) is translated into Latin as pacifici, which means those who work for peace.
I am praying that those of us who would call ourselves followers of Jesus discover more about ways of living such that peacemaking and peacebuilding flow from our daily lives.