Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Primary Question

I think one of the primary questions that the Church needs to ask is “What does it mean to be mission oriented?” In other words, what does it mean to take seriously the Biblical mandate to carry forth the ministry of reconciliation as ambassadors of Christ the King? A desire to seek and understand the answer to this question should shape our Church into a body that moves into the hard parts of life and the difficult places of the world. Now, the reality is that we as humans will not have a totally clear understanding until Christ returns. Enter faith in the King. But, we can be motivated and animated by Hope through Christ that He is currently working out the renewal of the world as we move toward a completely redeemed Creation.

This matters in our families and relationships, and the way we understand the call to love our neighbors as ourselves. This matters in our work, and the way we are called to labor as unto the Lord. This matters in our recreation, and the way we understand joy and its origin. This matters in our service to our city, and the way we understand its need and God’s desire to use us as Repairers of Broken Walls and Restorers of Streets with Dwellings.

While the New City will ultimately be consummated in Christ’s return, these days are not fleeting. While, within Christ the Revolution exists, our hope here and now is that He is at work in us and through us, his beloved people, to redeem us and raise us as sons and daughters of the Kingdom.

A friend recently passed along a quote to me that I think encapsulates this reality well. What is the mission of the Church? Read and consider:

“The task of mission is, in the first place, to awaken hope by the proclamation of the gospel promise, but also to seek the present transformation of life in accordance with and in anticipation of the promised eschatological transformation. Not only are individual lives and the community transformed in anticipation of the future new creation, but because the promise is for the transformation of all this worldly reality, Christians must seek to realize in society at large those possibilities for change which correspond to their hope for the future. In this way the ultimate future projected by the resurrection of Jesus is brought to bear on the immediate temporal
future of the world, and the church in its mission to the world is understood as an agent of eschatological unrest, charged with keeping society on the move toward the coming kingdom of God.(Richard Bauckham, The theology of Jurgen Moltmann pg. 102)”

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