Summary: The Mission of the Church is to love people to Jesus, to love God and all people, and to be part of the enfolding of humanity into the love of God in Christ.
Our Mission in the Community
This week it was discovered that there are at least 10,000 more galaxies than we thought there were before. That’s like 10,000 worlds. That’s a lot of matter out there in space. I don’t know about you but I find it completely impossible to relate to that concept. Our world seems quite huge enough, thank you very much, for me to get me brain around.
But is there some way that this abstract, other-worldly information relates to you and me? I believe there is, and I want to share it with you this afternoon. It relates, believe it or not to our
mission in our community.
First the big picture, the biggest picture of all actually and the reason that we’re here. The biggest
picture of all is that God created the universe so that He would have a people with whom to dwell. God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit existed in perfect and complete unity and love before time or matter was created.
God, whose very identity is relationship, wanted to share the love, the completeness and the joy that He had in Himself in the Holy Trinity. 1 John says that “God is love”. In order to share this love He needed to create beings that were in some ways like himself, with a personality and a will to choose to love.
So all matter, including every star and all those freshly-discovered galaxies out there were created so that God would have a people. The sheer number of galaxies and planets tells us at the very least that our God is extravagantly and limitlessly creative. And God chose to have a people who would start out their existence on this planet the planet we call home.
What is Our Big Purpose?
To put it in a nut shell our mission as a church, and the mission of the church universal, is to be part of the enfolding of humanity into the love of God in Christ, and to live that love right here, right now with all that we have and all that we are.
There are two parts to this: A Commandment and a Commission.
The Commandment - Live lives of love right here, right now. Jesus said: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments”.
Jesus said that this principal of love and this practice of loving matters more than all other
commandments, all other guidelines, all other high and noble themes. Everything else found in the Old Testament hangs on, is related to and lesser than this first principal.
The Law of Moses or Torah, which has really been extremely important and still is for many, many people as the groundwork of living life. It contains the 10 Commandments which are really the basis that Western culture was built upon.
It contains the revelation of how we were created, how we rebelled, and, in the story that started with Abraham, how we were to be reclaimed and redeemed by God in Christ.
There is something more important than all that, and it is one little four-letter word. Love. This is
not to say we don’t need the Bible - of course we do because God transforms us through his Word and we are told to read and reflect and meditate and keep God’s Word very near to our hearts.
Loving God and loving people is what happens when we apply and live out God’s Word. Faith and hope are extremely important things, but in the end love is what will remain eternally.
Again, we need to keep the big picture, the end goal in mind: Enfolding Humanity in God’s love. When we do that we understand why Jesus said that loving God and loving others is so hugely important.
Jesus said that loving God and loving people was more important than the Prophets. The prophets were the revealers of God’s will and mind and heart. They wrote of profound mysteries, they had deep insights into the character of God and the character of humankind.
They predicted the coming of Christ. They suffered for the truth they spoke...most of them were killed by the people their message was designed for. There is something more important than all that. One word that is a world of understanding, a font of joy, and the binding first principle of life: Love.
So it’s clear that our mission in the community is rooted and grounded in love. It has to be.
Humans will always have mixed motives - we unfortunately can’t get away from that because of