Monday, January 21, 2013

God's Mission as a Way of Life

Read Ephesians 2:8-10.

It is a useful exercise, on Martin Luther King Day, to read one of the preacher's sermons and consider what that call of God might look like today.   "The Drum Major Instinct" is famous as his last sermon and includes the often remembered:  "Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter."  It was based on a sermon by a Methodist preacher and encouraged the congregation to seek greatness through service and love.  The sermon was based on Mark 10:35-45 where the disciples are all trying to be higher ranking.  Jesus says they, and we, are to show a different way of life modeled on the Kingdom of God and shown in the life of Christ.

Jesus shows us a life of service, expects us to follow that way of being servants to others, and shows how the salvation lifestyle is tied up in the redemptive life connecting the present and the future.  Sometimes in our thinking and our living we forget that "now" has eternal connection to "later." 

Holiness and sanctification are treasured old Methodist ideas that still seek our experimentation today. Such thoughts aren’t intended to guide us into a holier than thou self righteousness, but instead lead us into an abundant fullness of life that is found in Christ. This gift of God- that grace that comes through Christ and which saves us- is not taken for granted. It’s more like the gift that so transforms, renews, inspires, and re-creates us that we can’t help but be a gift giver ourselves!

Yet, like a child on Christmas Day, it’s oh so easy for us to get hung up on a narcissistic reveling in our own gift. We can get so absorbed in our own world that we don’t see beyond our own fulfillment. The temptation is that we abuse the gift of God and use such blessing for our own gain, our own fame, our own fulfillment (read Matthew 4:1-11 if you aren’t aware of this danger).

The Messiah, the Suffering Servant, the lamb of God shows us another way of life that exhibits the power of God through a compassion and humility and servanthood that we are to take on for our own lives. This model of life is consistent throughout the Gospels and in Paul’s writings. The hymn fragment in Philippians 2:1-11 recalls the power of such service and such obedience and reminds us of our calling to imitate the Son of God in our own lives.

Ask yourself: What is my obligation to the orphan, the widow, the prisoner? What is my responsibility to the poor? How might I be a humble servant to those who are so different than me? How might I become part of the solution to the problems of our neighborhood and community?

Pray for the North Georgia Housing and Homeless Council. This agency of the North GA UMC was created to help churches and other non-profit organizations in ministering to very poor and homeless persons.

Learn more: Housing and Homeless Council

Meet one of our presenters:  Kim Torres

Register for the TOC at

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