As we gather this Sunday, we will delve into a conversation that's really not optional if we're following Jesus—the necessity of engaging in God's mission as His Church. In a world saturated with distractions and counter-narratives, the simple yet profound call of Jesus beckons us to reorient our lives, our practices, and yes, our church culture.
We Often Miss the Point
You know how we humans do odd things that just don't connect to their intended outcomes? Like accumulating a lot of student loan debt, only to pursue a job that has nothing to do with making money. Or sipping on our third cup of coffee, pretending we're after 'energy,' while knowing deep down that we just love the ritual.
Church can be like that, too. We do all the 'churchy' things—Sunday services, small groups, even outreach events. But we miss the point. We forget why we're doing them. So, let's focus in on Jesus' incredibly straightforward mission statement for us: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:19-20)
The Relentless Call to "Go"
The Greek word for 'Go' in this text is poreuthēte. And guess what? It's more than just a one-off event. It implies a movement, a journey, a lifestyle. This isn't a call just for missionaries in Africa. No, this is about your everyday, mundane, wake-up-and-make-coffee kind of life.
In an era where digital missions reach the other side of the globe faster than you can swipe up, the power of being present, of being in the flesh, is transformative. How you treat your server at the local café, or the colleague who irks you, matters. You carry the presence of God into these spaces. Yes, you.
The Radical Task of Making Disciples
So, we've got this. We're called to "go." But where? Well, to make disciples. That word, 'disciples,' we've so domesticated it, haven't we? In Matthew's Gospel, disciples aren't merely fans of Jesus; they are followers who learn by doing. They are people shaped by the Sermon on the Mount, willing to lay down their dreams for the kingdom vision. People willing to take up a cross, to embrace self-denial and sacrifice.
The Assurance That We're Not Alone
The cherry on top? "I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Jesus isn't a disconnected CEO delegating tasks he wouldn't do himself. He's Emmanuel, God with us, going before us, beside us, within us. Our local church, right here, right now, is a living, breathing expression of Christ's ongoing presence in the world.
The Historical Backdrop: A Lineage of Mission
The beauty of all this is that we're not the first to be caught up in God's grand story. From Abraham, who was promised to be a blessing to all nations, to David, whose eternal throne set the stage for the coming Messiah, the Old Testament serves as a compelling backdrop to Jesus' mission. It's all connected. It's all a part of the same narrative—God's relentless, never-ending, earth-shaking plan to redeem the world through a people He calls His own.
We as God's Church exist by sharing Jesus, just as a fire exists by burning. This is non-negotiable. This is our 'why.'
To be the Church is to live in that sweet spot where theology meets practicality, where ancient rhythms meet modern chaos and say, "There's a better way." Let's be that Church, shall we? After all, this is what we're here for.