By: Chad Hyatt
Reflection—v. 33 ‘today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way’
The Jesus we encounter in this Gospel is a missionary Jesus and his model calls us to be a missionary church. Is there any other way to truly be church? I don’t think so. Mission isn’t a separate, distinct line item in our annual budget, sitting alongside worship or education or facilities. Mission is the whole thing. And just to be clear, by mission I don’t mean knocking on our neighbors doors up and down the street trying to bring them inside our building. Nor do I mean raising money to send our kids to some far flung corner of the world for a week. Nor do I mean supporting other folks doing work that we are not doing ourselves. That is often what passes for mission when it is nothing more than a budget line-item. So what is mission? What might it look like to become a truly missionary church? Let us look first to Jesus. Jesus is casting out demons and performing cures, getting the attention of the powers that be, responding to the brokenness of his community. Tall order, you say. Yes, it is. But it is what Jesus means when he invites us to follow him by asking us to take up the cross. And this is an important, even critical realization: taking up the cross is a call to mission, the liberating kind that Jesus is engaged in. Mission is part one—the first movement—of the cross-story. The story of the Passion doesn’t begin Holy Week. It begins here, in mission. It begins in confronting the powers and trying to bring wholeness to human brokenness. It’s mission that leads to the cross, because the powers that be—and we as individual persons—resist our own liberation. We trust more in violence and death than we do in healing and life. This is where the story of the cross begins for Jesus, and it is here that it must begin for us, too.
Prayer Jesus of the way, lead us with you, bringing wholeness to our broken communities.