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A Mission from God

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go 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 I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV)

The idea of mission came up in our most recent Prayer Lighthouse, as we were praying for Creekside. All of God’s Church has been given the Great Commission (above), and the Leadership Team has been evaluating new wording to articulate the current mission and vision of Creekside Church specifically. But how often do we, as individual Christians, feel like we’re living out that purpose in our lives? More to the point, what would it feel like to do so?

I don’t remember much about Blues Brothers, but I remember two guys in suits and sunglasses saying with certainty, “We’re on a mission from God.” The movie is using the phrase parodically, but think how amazing it would be if we actually woke up every day with that much certainty—knowing for sure what our priority was and maybe even how we planned to accomplish it. I don’t know about you, but I think it would be energizing!

Many mornings, I wake up already tired. Parenting two little boys through their “me me me” phase is emotionally exhausting. It takes so much energy to get them to do the littlest things, like wash their hands before they eat and not hit each other when they’re upset. I tell myself that I’m investing in a future when they’ll have good habits and be nice to each other, but by the end of the day, I just want to turn off my brain. I don’t want a mission—one more thing to do.

Some days I feel weighed down by all the bad things happening in the world. If I’m not careful, I can get overwhelmed by the anger, hatred, violence, disaster, and oppression in the world, all of which come through my Twitter and Facebook feeds. I want to turn off social media and read a book to escape. What good is a mission when you feel like you’ll never be able to change things?

Or perhaps you feel hopeless yourself—weighed down by bad things happening to you. They might be your fault or not, but either way, you’re feeling sad, lonely, or worthless. You don’t want Jesus to give you a mission; you need him to give you a hug.

Sure, sometimes we need rest, hope, and comfort, and Jesus knows that. He sympathizes with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15) and offers those things to us, too (Matthew 11:28, Ephesians 1:18-19a, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4). But the antidote to fatigue, hopelessness, or sadness could be mission. Humans crave significance. We want our lives to matter. We don’t want to live our lives leaving nary a ripple in the stream.

Think about the last thing you were excited about, that woke you up in the morning with joy and left you energized throughout the day. That’s the kind of abundant life Jesus wants to give us. I wonder if it might not come from having both a purpose and a vision of what it looks like to fulfill it. That would be glorious, indeed.

Abigail’s email address is in the directory.

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