Posts Tagged ‘Mission’

Google and God

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

A problem – many confuse taste with mission.   Many of those currently engaged in churches see taste and mission as one and the same.  If a given church matches their tastes, specifically in terms of demographics, music and liturgy (style of service) then that church is doing its mission, God’s work.

And yet mission lies in a deeper place than taste.  Mission connects us far more closely to the heart of God than individual taste, creating a living link to the famous passage in Matthew.    “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:37-40  Restated, God appears little concerned with taste but deeply concerned with mission.

Anchoring our spiritual life on taste anchors our spiritual life, in turn, on our own desires and judgments – not the soft ground where God’s grace transforms.

That soft ground of mission based Christianity is a doing place.  It is a place of action, a place of angels!  ”Hidden deep within the desires of every angel’s heart is the current that draws his or her mind to do something.  In that the mind finds peace….   (Emanuel Swedenborg, True Christianity)

The mission is the place to be.  Tastes?  Yes they will be different, and in reality, the sooner I think we put them aside to allow for the ascendancy of Mission, the more we will find the the humble place where God can do His best work.  Google and God!  What appears different – as we see God – is very much the same.

 

The Acceptable Year of the Lord

Monday, March 21st, 2011

If Jesus showed up at church, what words would He offer?  Well, fun that we know what words He did offer when given that opportunity.  The words we looked at came from Luke 4.  Especially instructive to look at the verbs – the actions – in this sermonette.  They are engaging to read in light of the brevity of His comments – He said a great deal in a very short period of time – something critical in this day and age.

The verbs in His charge …

  1. preaching
  2. healing
  3. recovering
  4. freeing

What was deeply moving for me is the sense of peace about the mission of church these words speak to.  These were the verbs Jesus chose in addressing His hometown synagogue.  It is so easy to place “church” into an economic context –  if a church is growing and making money, it is doing what it is supposed to do. That is not what these words speak to.  A church is doing its job if it is speaking to what is true, being a healing presence in the world, helping those who are recovering and freeing those who are metaphorically imprisoned.  If a church does this, I imagine it will of course grow and be financially healthy but those two criteria are not the point.

Not easy to do.  Jesus was not at all interested in engaging theological or doctrinal debate.  His was a clear call to action, a call that when we hear, becomes the “acceptable year of the Lord.”  That is the place to build a church from.