Sunday, October 2, 2016
When Crickets Aren't Peaceful
But then there are those times when the sound of crickets is awkward.
A few weeks ago I experienced one of those times. I was teaching the first session of a Bible Study at church and we were looking at the Great Commission. Matthew 28:16-20 - Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Its one of my favorite passages. I asked the class if they knew what the mission of our church was and to my delight they could name the mission of the UMC perfectly! Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. I should have stopped there. They'll all aced that part. I shouldn't have asked the next question but I felt like I was on a roll....
I asked, "How do we do that here? In other words - do you know our vision?"
It wasn't peaceful. It wasn't soothing.
The good news is that it wasn't peaceful for the class either. They weren't complacent that they didn't know the mission. They were concerned. They wanted to be able to articulate why we do what we do. We spent the rest of the class listing things that we do to live out the mission. Even after getting a closer look at our vision they still seemed to be concerned that "transforming the world" is to big a job for us to do.
Transforming the world is too big a job for us to do...alone. But we aren't alone. God is with us. The incarnational nature of our faith gives us a picture and an experience of God being with us. Our mission IS big -but it's not bigger than our God. Its not too much for us to handle when we are walking with God and living into all that God calls us to be.
As I went to sleep that night I was comforted by the sound of crickets for another reason. They reminded me that not everyone knows the love of God like I do. And I get to get up everyday and transform the world with a God who transformed me.
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