When I (Daniel) was teaching seventh grade Bible, I was challenged to come up with a one-sentence explanation of the Bible. Here’s what I came up with: “The Bible is the story of the lengths that God is willing to go to in order to redeem his people.” I think that reminds us that this is a narrative of God’s mission. God is on a mission to bring the world back into relationship with himself.
The story from Genesis 3 onwards is a story of God’s pursuit of humanity. When humanity rejected God, God didn’t reject us. Instead, he put his plan into motion to conquer sin and death. He called Abraham, and promised to use him to bless the whole world (Genesis 12). God called Moses and the people of Israel to be his kingdom of priests and holy nation (Exodus 19) to serve as a light to the nations (Isaiah 49). Jesus came as God-made-flesh to live and dwell among us, to draw us back to the heart of God, and to redeem us through the cross and to conquer death through the resurrection. And God called the church to continue Jesus’ work in the world, calling them “the Body of Christ” and empowering them with the Spirit to achieve his purposes.
From September 13th through October 18th we will be talking about the missio Dei, or the “mission of God.” We will examine how God is calling us to work for him to bring about his objectives in our world. We will also hear from a number of our mission works and missionaries supported by our church, in order that we might better understand how God is using us currently to bless others and how we might partner more deeply to bring about God’s blessings for these individuals.
We will also be joined by the Meyer family, missionaries to Angola who work with a team of Angolans and Americans to bless that nation in a variety of unique and incredible ways. We will hear more about their work on Sunday, September 27th, and at a special dinner on Tuesday, September 29th.
God is doing amazing things in our world. God is still at work redeeming his people. And God asks us to join him in that task. As we move into this season of thinking about missions, may we dream big dreams, encourage with love, and look for new ways to partner with these mission efforts.
This post was the bulletin article for this Sunday. I will be posting more about the Mission of God over the course of the next two months. We will look at how God is calling us to partner with him in what he is doing in our world. God is at work in our world; he was there before we even thought to go; he loves people more than we ever could; and he is moving in culture, time, space, and history, even among those in whom we have a difficult time discerning his moving. These discussions will allow us to think more deeply about the mission of God and our place in his ongoing mission.