A Macedonian Call

In Acts of the Apostles in chapter 16 there is a simple story of how St. Paul was guided in his missionary work.  While planning to launch his journey to Bithynia (in Asia Minor), the text says that “the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.” (Hence, there is no New Testament letter “to the Bythinians.”) And the text continues at verse 9:  “During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’  When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.”  Ultimately, the text explains, they arrived at “Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony.” (v.12)

Our Letter to the Philippians is the result of this Spirit-guided travel.  The letter was written about ten years after this visit when Paul was in prison for the second time, a much more harsh imprisonment than his first Roman “house arrest” imprisonment.  Writing from that place of confinement and isolation, Paul’s Letter to the Philippians is not a treatise on theology, but rather, it is a personal letter dealing primarily with personal matters that concern the Christians in Philippi for whom Paul has the greatest affection.  It is a beautiful example of a pastor’s heart, speaking to his flock, his family in the Macedonian city of Philippi.

This original Spirit-call to change direction is referred to as a “Macedonian Call” and it to just such a call that our beloved Ada+ has responded in hearing the cry of the parish of Our Saviour in New York City, a Cantonese language church without a Cantonese-speaking priest for several years now. 

Paul’s consistent pattern was to stay in one place only long-enough to set up a local team of leaders to carry the ministry forward. The longest stay of St. Paul in any one place during his journeys was his one-and-a-half-year stay in Corinth, after which he returned to “home base,” which was in Jerusalem.  This is the model that Ada+ is following—to prepare the lay leadership to carry forward the ministry, perhaps with the help of non-Cantonese-speaking priests until the time that such a priest is brought forward.  Pray for Ada+ is this holy missionary work as she responds to this Macedonian Call.

And…  This Sunday SUPPORT her call and her mission by coming to the FORUM and CANTONESE BREAKFAST at 9:00 a.m., October 2nd!  Bring a gift of cash or check (check to “Ada Nagata”) which she will NOT use for herself, but to help her respond to this Macedonian Call to purchase theological training materials to nourish her new flock.

See you Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Cleaver Hall!

1 Comment