November 25, 2013

Giving Thanks for the Judson Legacy

            For the past year Baptists around the world have been celebrating the two hundred year Judson legacy.  This anniversary will culminate next week as many flock to Yangon to join with Baptist friends living in Myanmar.  Central will be represented as ten of us make pilgrimage there.  A pilgrimage is a holy pursuit, a spiritual practice that endeavors to encounter God in a new way through holy places and graced persons.
            We will visit historic Judson sites as well as participate in the services.  One of Central’s create students, Angela Barker Jackson, will make five presentations on dimensions of the Judson mission as we travel south to Mawlmyne and Amherst before returning to Yangon. 
Over the past seven years Central has solidified a strong collaboration with Myanmar Institute of Theology.  The relationship between our schools dates back to the 1950’s when MIT offered its degrees under Central’s accredited aegis.  Pastoral elders still proudly display their Central diplomas.

            Presently Central and MIT share 36 Doctor of Ministry students from all over Myanmar as the above map shows.  This is a mutually transforming pursuit as we work together to enhance ministry excellence.  Somehow I think the Judsons would be delighted as collaboratively we find ways to help the Gospel take root in the Myanmar context.
            As we conclude Year C in the lectionary, we look to Psalm 100, a reading for Thanksgiving Day.  It is a psalm for the thanksgiving offering, and it surely is fitting praise to God for the harvest of the Judsons.
            Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving
                        and the courts with praise!
            Give thanks to God!
                        Bless God’s Name!
            For Our God is good;
                        God’s steadfast love endures forever,
            and God’s faithfulness
                        to all generations (vv. 4-5).

            We will journey with grateful hearts, thanking God for our Baptist forebears and for those who have sustained Christian witness for these two centuries amidst challenges Americans Christians can hardly fathom.  The great faith of these sisters and brothers in Christ will encourage our faith, we trust.
            We look forward to participating in vibrant (and long!) worship services that will give testimony to God’s faithfulness to the generations that have flowered from seeds planted by the Judsons.  It is surely a harvest to be celebrated.

            Molly T. Marshall

To learn more about Central’s global mission, continue visiting our website.

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