“When did we see you?”
This question serves as a refrain in Matthew’s 25th chapter. Neither goats nor sheep in the text perceive the presence of Jesus among those whose needs they do — or do not — choose to meet. But, in every age, this question also serves as an invitation to the Church, to locate and meet its Savior, among the “least of these.” In this season of deep pain, anger and civil unrest following the murder of Black people by white police officers — “the fruit of institutional racism,” says the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett. A protracted and unrelenting season of earthquakes in Puerto Rico. A season of unimaginable loss and grief in the wake of a global pandemic. “In a very real sense during the colossal challenges of coronavirus and civil protest, God is calling the church out,” says the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II. And the church must respond.
We are the Church, together — congregation, mid council and Mission Agency — living out the call of Christ. Your gifts to Shared Mission, given without restrictions, allow for the Church’s timely response when and where it is needed most. Because they are fully flexible, every dollar contributed to Shared Mission Support allows support for all ministries, and innovation at every level of the Church to serve needs that arise suddenly — in times of pandemic, injustice and disaster. For every season, and every age, the Church is invited, anew, to answer the question of Matthew 25, and, today, act to eradicate systemic poverty, dismantle structural racism and foster congregational vitality.
Since our earliest days as a denomination, we have joined together in support of the mission of the whole Church. As Presbyterians, we live and engage in ministry as members of a connectional system, professing by our actions — and with our gifts — that we can accomplish far more together than any one of us can do alone.
“When did we see you?” Let us see, together, Jesus among the least of these. Embrace the call of Matthew 25. And offer our gifts to Shared Mission, empowering the Church to further the love and justice of Christ and spread the good news of the kin-dom of God to the farthest corners of the earth.