God's Mission Matters April 2010 podcast - Open your eyes

Faith stories: Encountering Jesus with new eyes

April 15, 2010

By Karla Koll
“Come and see what God has done” (Psalm 66:5)

When we venture into new places in mission, we often encounter sisters and brothers whose experience of God has been very different from our own. Many of them have learned the stories about Jesus in a language other than English. They express their praise and prayers in phrases that our ears strain to catch. They strive to follow Jesus within patterns of relating that their cultures have formed over centuries or millennia. We may find their worship of God exuberant and bewildering.

When our sisters and brothers offer to share their faith with us, they teach us anew about Jesus. A person following Christ in another culture knows things about God that we can’t even suspect unless that person is willing to share with us. If we open ourselves up, we will learn new things about God and God’s work in the world.

Our sisters and brothers can give us the gift of new eyes, to see not only Jesus in new ways, but also ourselves and our church. In their questions and challenges to us, we see ourselves from a different perspective. We might not always like what we see. We may find we need to change in order to be faithful to the new understandings of Jesus we have gained. We may discover that walking together in mission with believers in other places will change and deepen our faith.

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