Sunday, November 21, 2010

[wo]Man on a Mission

The word "missional" is being thrown around a lot in today's communities of faith.  There's this feeling that perhaps the church has, in the past, lost a little of its purpose in the world.  I would wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment.  One of the reasons I struggle to attend church regularly is because sometimes there seems to be little point.  It's often a consumeristic experience, where we tend to show up looking for what can be done for us or what we can get out of the service.

But in our pluralistic, tolerant society, the ideas of mission, of ministry, of outreach, well, they make people uncomfortable.  And I can see why.

In the past, the church saw its mission as crusade--converting people to a way of belief through force.  And a little later, but probably just as damaging, the church saw its mission as tied to colonization--bringing not just spiritual beliefs, but also cultural ways of life to the "savages."  And then even more recently, you have Rob Bell's "Bullhorn Guy" as the picture of missional living gone off the deep end.

What if the mission that we've been given is to be a blessing to the world around us?

When I think of calling, I think of Abraham's original call in Genesis 12.  He was blessed to be a blessing, and God promised that the whole world would be blessed through him.  Then there's the idea of being bearers of the message and ministry of reconciliation, or peace, that is talked about in 2 Corinthians 5.  God called me to ministry through that passage while I was sitting in a chapel service when I was 12 years old.

So, what if every day, when we got out of bed in the morning, we prayed that God would show us who is in our lives needs the blessing of God's peace and presence?  And what if we prayed for that person?  And then what if we, being led by the spirit, actually did something tangible in that person's life to serve or love or listen to as a way to show the love and peace of God in a real way?

God, in my life, let it be so.

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