HONG KONG- A group of pastors from Hong Kong shared their reflection after joining the Council for World Mission Assembly 2006 earlier in June. Contextualizing the theme of the Assembly, delegates realized the importance of holistic gospel for every needy in the society.
According to the recent report of the Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China (HKCCCC), around 150 church representatives from Africa, Caribbean Sea, East Asia, Europe, Asia Pacific and South Asia participated in the second Council for World Mission Assembly in Jamaica running from June 17 thru June 28.
Rev. Eric So, general secretary of HKCCCC, led a group of four to represent Hong Kong as part of the East Asia delegation. He begun his sharing by a deep meditation on this year’s Assembly theme "Take Home the Good News" taken from the Gospel of Luke chapter 8. Most of the Chinese churches are used to translate the word "evangelion" from the original biblical text to the word "gospel", defining it as a specific term. The meaning of the word "evangelion" is actually "Good News" and does not necessarily relate to religion.
"For Christians, the ‘Good News’ is the message of God’s love to all mankind, the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus, which has redeemed us from our sins and granted us new life," So declared in his report.
Yet So is also concerned that such message may not mean a "Good News" for most people on this world. He said that for those who live in the terror and violence, enjoying peace, silence and protection is their "Good News"; for those who are sick and in grief, being healed and comforted is their "Good News"; for those who are lonely, depressed and lost, finding the way out is their "Good News".
Conclusively, So suggested that churches should start with reaching out to the real lives of people if they want to spread the "Good News".
"Churches must first understand struggles and desires of people, instead of a set of traditional Christian concept. The Lord Jesus is our great model, he freed the demon-possessed from the devil and he accepted the tax collector Zacchaeus to his house," said So.
So added that each Christian will also meet those who long for "Good News" at their homes, workplaces and schools, therefore, one must be able to understand their situation and let the "Good News" of Jesus to enter their lives.
In addition, the word "home" in the Assembly’s theme, has a much wider meaning than "family". "Home" does not confined to our own living place, but it extends to the city where we live- Hong Kong, So explained. Apart from showing love and care for our family members, a Christian must show concern to how social issues affect people’s lives.
"As a true follow of Christ, we should boldly declare to this era of materialism that whether it is poor or rich, foolish or wise, all men will enjoy the true, eternal and abundant life in Jesus Christ. I believe this is the true ‘Good News’ to many lost souls in this world today," So concluded.
CWM Assembly 2006 has closed with a renewed commitment to building partnership between local churches. The final statement of the Assembly committed CWM to find closer partnership and to find new ways of understanding each other across cultures.
Lastly, the new leadership of CWM for the term 2006-2009 was confirmed. Rev Dr. Roderick Hewitt from Jamaica continued to be the president while the other four vice-presidents are chosen from each region. The representative of the Presbyterian Church of Singapore was elected for East Asia. Rev Eric So from Hong Kong was also appointed as one of the trustees.