Rick, Nate and myself went to a conference a couple weeks ago called Story. It was intended to remind pastors and teachers about the greatest Story ever told. One of the speakers there asked the audience something that was so great that I want to ask you guys. Turn to the person next to you and I want you to share your deepest darkest sin to that person. Do that now.
Okay so you don’t have to. That more than likely made you feel quite uneasy. But if I asked you to turn to the person next to you and share with them your relationship with Jesus, for some of you, it’s almost like sharing your deepest darkest sin. We’ve talked about some pretty heavy stuff this weekend. For some of you it’s gone in one ear and out the other and for others the Word of God really kicked you in the heart.
Every year we talk about becoming Obsessed with God and following Jesus. When we leave here some of us forget the Obsessed part and for others the whole Jesus part about being a Christian. Rick talked about being covered in the dust of our Rabi, that we need to walk in the way of Christ. This is summed up in the great commandment of Loving God and Loving your neighbor. That we need to cast down our idols that come before loving God and rethink who our neighbor is and how can we love our enemies.
When it comes to loving our God and neighbor as our agenda, as the top priority of the way we live our lives, this is when we see the Missio Dei. This is the mission of God. Or even better, the God of mission. Just as Jesus was sent from God into the world to restore it back to Him we also have that mission to partner with Him.
This has been God’s plan since mankind has been separated from Him. When we look at God’s plan through
The basic missional charge, the sending of the disciples by Jesus, the sent one. Yet notice that Jesus did not send his followers out unequipped for this mission. He breathed on them, giving the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is the Spirit who forms and shapes us as individuals and believers. The Spirit at work in us produces the fruit of the Spirit (Gal -23). The Spirit at work through us produces the gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor 12-14). The Spirit alive in us forms us to be more like Christ in our personal lives and in our communities.
Parable of the Good Muslim – Samaritan
Jesus deftly rejects the question, “Who is my neighbor?” and substitutes the only question really relevant here: “To whom will I be a neighbor?” And he knows that we can only answer this question case by case as we got through our days. In the morning we cannot yet know who our neighbor will be that day. The condition of our hearts will determine who along our path turns out to be our neighbor, and our faith in God will largely determine who we have strength enough to make our neighbor.