Posted by: Titus Presler | December 3, 2011

God on Mission: Meditation for Lent I Saturday

God on Mission

Sending and being sent are the source of Jesus’ coming.  In love and longing, God sent Jesus to be with us.  In sending Jesus, God sent God’s very self.

Sending is the literal meaning of mission.  Space missions, trade missions, military missions, peace missions – the content among these differs greatly, but they’re all called missions because someone is being sent to accomplish a task.

As we celebrate the sending of Jesus, then, we celebrate the inauguration of the central phase of God’s mission in the human story.  God was on mission in the coming of Jesus, in the life and teaching of Jesus, in the death and resurrection of Jesus. 

For us this mission is both gift and task.  It’s gift in what God offers us: “I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).  It’s task as God asks us to join in carrying out the mission.  “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you,” said the risen Jesus to his followers (John 20:21).  We see both gift and task in Paul’s summary of the Christ event: “In Christ God was reconciling the world to God . . . and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19).

As Christians, then, we’re invited, asked and sent to carry out God’s mission, to be a people on mission in the world, each of us a missioner of God in Christ, serving in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Mission in the world means mission in our actual daily world: the world we wake up to every morning, the neighborhoods where we live, the places where we work, the venues where we relax and recreate.

What’s God up to?  That’s the key question, because being on mission means joining what God is up to in the world.  Discerning what God is up to means watching for signs of God’s presence and action.  Where in our particular place do we see signs of the reign of God pushing up through the debris of people’s confusion and wrangling?   Where do we see signs of God reconciling?  God healing?  God renewing?

Let’s ask those questions.  Let’s probe.  And stay alert.

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