July is designated as Rural Life Emphasis Month. Rural life reminds us of our rootedness to the earth. The lush and verdant tropical islands surrounded by waters teaming with life and beauty are God’s gift to the Filipino people. The tillers of the soil and the fishers of the sea, who comprise a large part of the Filipino population is recognized and acknowledged in this month. A majority of the UCCP Local Churches are located among the countryside, and most of them are small rural churches that do not have full time church workers.
This month reminds us of whom Jesus Christ chose to work with in his life and ministry. He had started in Galilee, a small backward province of Israel. He did not start in Jerusalem, the capital city that was considered the economic, political and cultural center of his society. Instead, Jesus started his ministry with rural folks: the fishermen, shepherds and farmers from a small young town named Nazareth – not with theologians, scholars, lawyers, nor politicians.