BLOG. 1/14/20. THE CHURCH: A MISSION COMMUNITY, GATHERED AND SCATTERED.
It helps us to remind ourselves, from time to time, that the church is, as the community of God’s new creation, a community that is called by Jesus Christ to be sent into the world to engage in the very same mission that was given him by his Father in heaven: “As the Father has sent me, even so do I send you.” … But right away comes the reality check: When are we to be engaged in that mission? The answer? 24/7, every day, all day, in every place that we find ourselves. The church is as much the church on Thursday afternoon as it is on Sunday morning (or whenever your Christian community gathers).
It is the church gathered weekly for mutual encouragement, to “teach and admonish one another with psalms and hymns” to be equipped for mission and refreshed in our sense of calling. But, … it is no less the church when it is scattered into homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, etc. on Thursday afternoon. As a matter of fact, a case can be made that it is more in contact with the human community/world that Jesus came to reconcile to God on Thursday than it is on Sunday morning. Communal gatherings on Sunday morning are to re-evangelize us anew, to encourage us, to let us know that we’re not alone, and bond us to one another in love.
Ah! But then comes the “Monday morning world” into which Christ sends us to be contagious with the life of his new creation, to be his glory, the “the radiant display of his divine nature.” The Monday morning world is where the rubber meets the road. It is where the darkness is the most realistic and complex, yet where we are called to be the light, to be the demonstrations of new life in the Spirit what with all those fruits of a contagious and radical love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, and so much more.
The Monday morning world is our mission field, and is that specific place to which Jesus sends us. When we become aware of this and pray about the realities, … it is amazing what kind of conversations you can get into in the most unexpected place, i.e., over a cup of coffee, or stuffed into the middle seat of a commuter plane!
Got it? Run with it. And pass the word along.