Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sent Ones

"As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."

This is John's version of the Great Commission. Unlike Matthew's sweeping statements about having all authority and the end of the age, or Luke's expansive vision of Spirit-given power and reaching the ends of the earth, or Mark's bizarre statements about playing with snakes and drinking poison, John keeps it short and sweet.

Jesus's statement draws us back to the beginning of John's Gospel, where the eternal Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, revealing God's glory and embodying grace and truth. Jesus wants us to follow His example. You know, the example of sacrificially entering another's world to love and serve and offer grace and compassion and relationship and hope.

So often missions is relegated to the overseas professionals. We go on mission trips; we work on missions projects; we send money to missionaries living on faraway continents. These are all beautiful and Godly endeavors. Yet I'm not sure Jesus meant for us to view missions as only two weeks out of the year or for the spiritual elite who are "called" to being missionaries.

If you're a Christian, you're a missionary. Your neighbors, your family, your friends, your co-workers, your acquaintances, the people in your regular Starbucks--you're sent to them. It's not a question of whether or not you're a missionary. It's a question of how aware you are of the mission of God around you and whether you're living out the whole Gospel in your everyday life. This requires a change of identity, seeing ourselves as "sent ones" that are imitating the ways of Jesus.

Where is Jesus sending you today?

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