In Touch May 27, 2011
Posted on May 27, 2011 by under Touché,

The Vision for Mission

You could say I am “killing two birds with one stone” today.  This afternoon I am headed to Warwick with twenty other people from HRC for a mission weekend working on the camp.  Kevin Phillips asked me to lead devotions for this trip, so I am getting ready for three talks at Warwick to the group.  I will be back on Sunday to preach on the holy catholic church, but before I do that, I will have laid down the vision for mission, the mission itself, and the method for mission in the church today.  I thought I would give you the brief overview in this In Touch.  If you are going to Warwick you need not read any further.

The vision for mission comes from the resurrection of Jesus.  In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul lays out the most complete understanding of the resurrection in scripture.  In fifty seven verses he defines, explains and unpacks all that is tied up in the resurrection, but he does not conclude with a statement that says: “all this was done so that when you die you can get into heaven”; instead he says in verse 58: Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. Because we have seen the first fruits of a restored creation here on earth with Jesus, we begin living into that vision today.  All the mission work that we do is tied to the vision of the work God will bring to completion when his kingdom is fully come.  Our work is not in vain.

From the vision for mission we see the mission itself in the covenant to Abraham in Genesis 18: The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham shall become a great and mighty nation and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? The people of God are called into relationship with God not simply to be blessed themselves, but that God’s blessing for the whole world comes through the people of God.  Abraham’s children often seem to want to keep the blessing for themselves, but the purpose of blessing is to bless the whole world.

Finally, the method of mission comes from Jeremiah where God commands a people in exile to: seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. (Jeremiah 29:7)  The people of God are to be a missionary people, wherever they are, in seeking the welfare of all who live on this earth.  This command finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ who says the whole law is summed up in loving God and loving neighbors as we love ourselves.

We are all called to be on a mission from God, whether this weekend in Warwick or this week in Hopewell.  My hope is that you live into the mission that God continues to call you towards every moment.

Yours in Mission,

Taylor

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