Tag Archives: missional church

Go

“Go!”

It’s a phrase that appears a number of times in scripture.  Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, and the disciples are all told to “go!”  The theme of being sent within the Bible is a common one.  Often times, the people being sent are the ones who are identifying their life with the mission of God. 

God is an active God.  God is at work in the world.  If we are claiming to be God’s people and followers of Christ then we must be people who are willing to “go!”  The term “followers” at its core suggests movement.  In reading through the gospel accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry we find that he moves throughout the region at a brisk pace with the message: “The kingdom of God has come near!”

As the church we gather together in worship in order to open our eyes and our hearts to a God who is already at work.  We do not gather for the sole purpose of anesthetizing our senses to the realities of life.  No, instead we gather to heighten our awareness of God at work in those realities.  The realities of:

broken relationships

food

chemotherapy

birth

death

Netflix

community

loneliness

and Facebook

These are just some of the realities where God is present.  In Luke 10, not even halfway through his ministry, Jesus sends out between seventy and seventy-seven (depending on translation) of his disciples into the world with the clothes on their back, a companion, and the message: “the kingdom of God has come near!”  This message wasn’t a threat and it wasn’t a scare tactic.  Instead, it was the good news of a proactive God and a new understanding of what it meant to be human in light of this news.

Today we hear this same call.  We are to “go!”  We continue to gather together in worship week in and week out, but that is not our end-goal.  We gather to be sent into a world with the good news of God’s presence.

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What’s Holding You Back?

I assure you that whoever believes in me will do the works that I do. They will do even greater works than these…” John 14:12

Really, Jesus?  Greater works than you?  I know Jesus says a lot of shocking and alarming things in his ministry, but this may be the most shocking.  Jesus tells his disciples (those who choose to follow him) that they will do even greater things than he did.  Can you believe that?  Maybe the question should be, DO you believe that?

We hold Jesus in the highest regard.  He is the revelation of God with us, for us.  He shows us what it is to be truly human and he exemplifies God’s love for us in his life, death, and resurrection.  Jesus’ teachings form our moral understandings as well as our ethical understandings of not just caring for the poor and the outcast but forming relationships with them.  We claim to have faith in what Jesus said and did, but how many of us believe that we can not only do the work that Jesus did, but maybe even do greater?  That seems sacrilegious.

We are taught from an early age that we should have faith in Jesus – that’s true and that’s good.  What I find most compelling is the amount of faith that Jesus has in us.  Jesus calls us to be his physical presence in the world.  That’s a big responsibility and a huge show of faith on his part.  I mean, he spent time with his disciples.  They weren’t exactly ‘A’ students, yet these are the ones he is talking to.  I can imagine after seeing Jesus walk on water and feed huge crowds with nothing more than a happy meal that they too would doubt their abilities to do “even greater things.”  

I doubt my own abilities: my ability to be compassionate enough, my ability to discern God’s work, my ability to involve other people in God’s work, and my ability to maintain focus and drive.  Deep down I have a fear that who I am and what I have to offer isn’t good enough.  I don’t have enough faith.   So, naturally I have a hard time believing this scripture.

What would it take to be formed into a type of person that believes 1) God is at work in the world; 2) God sends God’s people to be involved in that work; and 3) I am one of those people.  What would need to change that would serve as the catalyst for action?

Seeing others live with this kind of faith inspires me. It is in friends reaching out to their physical neighbors in times of sorrow and crisis, people empowering communities and economies to provide clean drinking water in Haiti, and a man forming a most unlikely friendship and exemplifying the presence of grace of God.  These are the places where I find strength for the journey.  In the people who embody the compassionate love of Christ and believe that they have been sent into this world with purpose and presence.

I assure you that whoever believes in me will do the works that I do. They will do even greater works than these…” John 14:12

So, what is it that’s holding you back?

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