An important part of our Diocesan Mission is the recognition of our commitment to worldwide evangelism.
The Lord Jesus Christ is not one of many saviours in the world. He is the creator of all things and Lord of all lords. He is the one Lord over all peoples.
Having been given all authority in heaven and earth he directed his disciples to make disciples of all nations. He foretold that repentance and forgiveness of sins would be preached to all nations in his name.
The outworking of this plan of salvation for all nations can be traced in the Book of Acts. There we see the entirely Jewish Messianic movement turn into the Gentile mission being led by the apostle to the nations: Paul. Each step of the way – from the Samaritan conversion and the first Gentile Cornelius to the evangelisation of the God fearers, the pagan idolaters, and the followers of sorcery – God confirmed the apostles’ actions. The Gospel spread from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the world.
Today nearly two-thirds of the people groups of the world have access to the gospel message. But still one third do not know of their Lord. There are many people groups, especially in the Western world, who have access to this saving message but are cold and indifferent to it. The challenge of taking the gospel to the nations is still before us.
The Diocese of Sydney has always been actively involved in overseas missionary work. Samuel Marsden’s sterling contribution to overseas mission, especially in New Zealand, is recorded on the commemorative stone in the Cathedral. We have not undertaken this missionary work through a centrally organised diocesan missionary society but rather our members have been actively involved in voluntary societies.
The Church Missionary Society has long held the pride of place in the Diocesan commitment to voluntary societies. With offices across the road from the Cathedral and its solid commitment to Anglican evangelicalism is most closely resembles the Diocesan ethos.
Last week the Church Missionary Society display was set up in the Cathedral replacing the Cathedral building presentation, on display since the re-opening of the Cathedral.
This new CMS display not only shows us something of the breadth of the work of CMS but also something of the gospel that CMS is seeking to preach throughout the world. It is hoped that as members of the public look at the display they will not only learn of CMS and its work but also learn of the Gospel and its implications for all people – including tourists in Australia.
As the mother church of the Diocese, it is important that the Cathedral is the centre of support for the Church Missionary Society. Our own missionaries David and Leonie Painter are serving in Cambodia with CMS. But all the CMS missionaries should be able to look to the Cathedral, as they do the Diocese, as their home.
Please ask one of the Cathedral staff or inquire at the Cathedral office during the week, about how you could become a member of CMS or attend the CMS Summer School in Katoomba.