What is interesting to me is that the Gospel call is not fully fulfilled by our individual call; instead we are initiated into a communal life. In our baptism we are grafted into Christ, and into the body of believers. It is in this body that we thrive, that our sin-sick souls are healed, and our identities are clarified in light of the image of God found in us. This body is truly a converting and sanctifying community being made: “One in Christ, One in each other, and one in ministry to all the world.”
That ministry, that call, that mission is our reason for existence: to be agents of the forgiving, healing, and reconciling work of God in the world as exemplified by Jesus’ ministry.
We see this in the gospels again and again as Jesus sends his disciples out into the cities and towns. He sends them only with the anointing of God’s spirit and nothing else. They heal, they restore, and they are agents of forgiveness and reconciliation, agents of helping people become free from those things that keep them captive and marginalized. They return and are awed at what they were able to do!
As you are sitting in your seat this weekend you might be saying: “so what?” How does this relate to me, to us, at this time?
Well, it relates to us because as we look at the horizon and begin to talk about what we are seeing in that horizon, begin to talk about what it is that God is telling us that we are to be about, then we must recognize that what we are called to be about is no different than the call of Jesus, the call of the one true God, from the beginning: to be bearers of the good news.
Empowered by the Holy Spirit we continue the work begun by Jesus as he tells his hometown crowd in the gospel according to Luke:
“The Spirit of the Lord the Eternal One is on Me.
Why? Because the Eternal designated Me
to be His representative to the poor, to preach good news to them.
He sent Me to tell those who are held captive that they can now be set free,
and to tell the blind that they can now see.
He sent Me to liberate those held down by oppression.
In short, the Spirit is upon Me to proclaim that now is the time;
this is the jubilee season of the Eternal One’s grace.”
Luke 4:18-19 (The Voice)
Our founding pastor, the Rev. Rob Weber told us in 2003, we exist to be a “community not of members, but of missionaries. Because is not about us . . . [i]t’s about what God does through us in this world.”
He then tells us:
“[W]e are a church who is about creating a generation of missionaries who will be able to reach out and touch a world that is broken and hurting.”
We are to be a missionary people. A people anointed by the Holy Spirit and sent into the city of Shreveport and beyond to be agents of God’s kingdom; so that the broken, the hurting, the struggling, the lost, the forgotten, the overwhelmed, the fearful, the anxious, and the realistic, can find the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
Next- A Generation of Missionaries: Our Challenge Today