Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Urgency of the Mission

Read Matthew 5: 1-14.

If you keep up with the daily news in our community it can sometimes seem like there is more Bad News than there is Good News.  In truth many of the big problems of our community have a spiritual root.  Too many lives are derailed and broken as some of us chase after addictions.  There is too much violence in too many homes and neighborhoods.  Too many of our neighbors seem to have lost their salt, to have lost their light.  This can easily happen to any of us.  This doesn’t call for condemnation or judgment, but for a missional lifestyle as expressed in the Beatitudes which helps reestablish reconciliation with God and with our neighbors.    

In many respects being in mission for God puts us directly at that intersection of the nature, purpose, and action of God AND the great needs and dreams of the crowd of humanity.  We join Christ in teaching and healing giving all the honor and glory to God who we seek to reflect.   

This is a call to tough work which demands consistency and requires we join God’s work in the community.  It’s a call to take some risks, give our time and energy, and jump into the work “in the trenches.”  It’s a call for some to roof houses and rebuild lives.  It’s a call for some to mentor children or adults living in neighborhoods you might not normally frequent.  It’s a call for us to re-prioritize our lives, our spending, our calendars, our goals.  It’s a call to feed the hungry, give a drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and go to the imprisoned (read Matthew 25:31-46).  It’s a call to take the church to these children of God, and for us to bring these brothers and sisters into the church.  This mission is urgent!  It may mean life or death for some in our community.  It requires us to take up the cross of Jesus and follow the way of Christ.   

This won’t come as any surprise to you, but there are two ends to a bridge!  In terms of mission, one end of the bridge might be our outreach relationships and activity in the community, and the other vital, necessary end should be invitation, inclusion, and involvement in the church.  What better way to love God and love neighbor than to express the way of Christ in community and in the family of faith we call Trinity on the Hill?!  

"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose" — Jim Elliot, missionary martyr who lost his life in the late 1950's trying to reach the Auca Indians of Ecuador

Sing if you know these old Methodist hymns.  If you don’t enjoy the powerful words that still cry out for our action today. 

“Come, Sinners, to the Gospel Feast”

Words: Charles Wesley, 1747 (Luke 14:16-24)

1. Come, sinners, to the gospel feast; let every soul be Jesus' guest.

Ye need not one be left behind, for God hath bid all humankind.

2. Sent by my Lord, on you I call; the invitation is to all.

Come, all the world! Come, sinner, thou!

All things in Christ are ready now.

3. Come, all ye souls by sin oppressed, ye restless wanderers after rest;

ye poor, and maimed, and halt, and blind, in Christ a hearty welcome find.

4. My message as from God receive; ye all may come to Christ and live.

O let his love your hearts constrain, nor suffer him to die in vain.

5. This is the time, no more delay!  This is the Lord's accepted day.

Come thou, this moment, at his call and live for him who died for all.

Ask yourself:  What urgent needs in the community do I need to respond to as I follow Christ and respond to the prayers of my neighbors?  What bold steps do I need to take this year to act on the call of the Matthew 25 passage?  How might our church become a “mission outpost” this year due to my efforts?  What steps should we take to make sure both ends of the “mission bridge” are strong?

Pray for:  the “home grown” missions of our church as members have taken this call of God to heart—FROGs (our retired members who do construction for local, nonprofit ministries), community service days, Super Saturday (monthly program and meal for over 200 special needs adults), JOY Club (weekly independent special needs adults who gather for Wednesday Night Supper and a devotion), the regional and national teams that assist in reconstruction after disasters and all the church servants who respond to special appeals in the community and with our mission partners.      

Learn more: Keep up with ongoing opportunities in the Sunday bulletin, weekly e-news, or contact me in the mission office.  In addition to maintaining the historic missions we’re always curious about new “home grown” missions out of our congregation as we respond to God and the needs in our community.

Meet the presenter:  Dr. Winston Worrell.

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