What comes to mind when you think about the word, “mission?” I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about this word and its implications for a life of faith, in fact, I have invested my time, energy, and resources to pursue a doctorate degree which specifically studies MISSIONal leadership and spiritual formation! Think about what it means that God is on mission:
Luke’s narrative begins in the margins – the messiah, God-come-to-dwell-among-us, a baby born to poor, soon-to-be-immigrants, among an occupied people, revealed first to vagrant shepherds, hidden from those in power. He grows up, and brings the message that the kingdom of God has come near – near to the poor, the oppressed, the prisoner. A kingdom of healing and hope and promise. A kingdom where the first will be last and last will be first. A kingdom where everything is turned upside down, and where the demand for allegiance is to Christ Jesus rather than Caesar. A kingdom where power structures are reversed and self-giving love is the currency. A kingdom whose servant-king is killed, outside the city, shamed, mocked, and humiliated. But a kingdom whose servant-king doesn’t stay dead.
What? It’s foolishness! A kingdom whose story is life through death, and whose message of new creation is offered to everyone, beginning with those on the margins and spreading like holy fire through all of creation.
That’s God on mission.
What, then, might it mean that God invites us to participate in mission?