Each day of our 2017 fast will include a short reflection on each of the 7 Movements of Discipleship. The 7 Movements are the way we explain the transformations that come as we follow Jesus.
Day 5 of the fast is drawing to a close. By now you’ve probably settled in, if but for some moments of weakness ;)
Today our focus is moving from Apathy to Mission as we follow Jesus.
Jesus calls us out of apathy and into a purposeful life of mission. This is true of all of us, not just a few.
Apathy means lack of interest or concern. Apathy runs wild in a world with so many needs and where the pursuit of popularity and possessions is so tempting. But, instead of focusing on the apathy that many of us might feel, let’s talk about mission.
God is on a mission in the world. From day 1 of creation in Genesis, He was purposeful about creating a space where the glory of His life would make a home for human beings who made in his image and given the mission to multiply His image all over the earth. (Genesis 1-2)
This mission only intensified as the first people chose to mistrust God and welcomed sin into their hearts, their bodies, their relationships, and the whole created world. From this point, God foresaw a plan to make everything new again—including human beings. (Genesis 3; Genesis 12:2-3)
At the centre of that plan was Jesus—the messiah, the image of YHWH in the flesh, the saviour of the world, the Lord of all. And Jesus, was sent by his Father.
Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, (John 20:21)
The fact that Jesus was sent by the Father meant that Jesus’ life had intrinsic meaning. It had deep, incredible purpose. His life was wrapped up in a mission given to him by His dad.
But, that’s not how John 20:21 ends. Read what the whole verse says to you as a follower of Jesus:
Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
Do you hear what he said to you? He said, “I also send you.” You’ve already been sent. You don’t need permission!
Jesus personally sent you in the same way that the Father sent him!
And the best new is, that even as Jesus’ mission on the earth succeeded, the calling he is giving to you and to me will for sure succeed. Imagine that! You've been given a mission that will 100% be completed! (Revelation 7:9-12)
But what is Jesus’ mission that he’s giving you? Let's look at two verses where he talks about mission.
Then Jesus came near and said to them, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20; emphasis mine).
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19; emphasis mine).
In the passage from Matthew, Jesus says that we all have this calling to go and to make disciples of all nations. Our mission is to live an intentional life of helping people to follow Jesus, to be baptized in water and immersed in their new identity and relationship with God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit—as we do this, we teach them through the bible, and by our example, to obey Jesus.
Complimentary to this, in the passage from Luke, we see that Jesus specifically explained his mission in terms of telling good news to the poor, telling prisoners that they are freed, telling blind people they can now see, setting oppressed people free and proclaiming the Jubilee—that God is rich in mercy and is making the world right again! Since we become like Jesus, we follow in his footsteps, it's only natural that we'll take on these same themes in our mission as well.
Here’s the point. If you follow Jesus:
- Your life has a calling and mission well beyond what you comprehend today.
- You are personally sent by Jesus to live a life of mission.
- Your mission is the result of Jesus’ mission to save us and conquer evil and it is the continuation of his mission.
- Your mission is general and applies to all of us. It is to help people to follow Jesus, to be baptized in water and immersed in their new identity and relationship with God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit—as we do this, we teach them through the bible, and by our example, to obey Jesus. In this mission, we go to the poor and tell them this good news, we look for prisoners to tell of their freedom, we look for the blind to let them know that they can have sight, we set the oppressed free and we proclaim Jubilee to all--that God is rich in mercy and is making the world right again!
- Your mission will be specific to you life, location and time. It will be weaved through your personality, interests, background, and opportunities. It will be like mine, and completely unique at the same time.
Now, why be apathetic? Your life is significant because you were made by God. And on top that, you’ve been sent by Jesus on his mission that you express through your unique identity while helping the next person to join His movement.
If you're interested in clarifying your own sense of mission, that's what The Calling Lab is all about! Sign up now to attend The Calling Lab on Saturday, January 28th. Spaces are limited and the price is free.
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The fast is almost over! Join us this Saturday at 10am - 12:30pm to pray and break the fast! We will be at 680 rue Richmond. Please bring a dish to share.