Easter is around the corner and its time to reflect on the person of Jesus his life, death, and resurrection. I pray that this season is a rejuvenating one.
For today, I wanted to talk about mission and two missions in particular: the bigger mission of God and how that connects to our mission here at camp.
Mission is a helpful way of understanding the larger story of humanity and our connection to God. There is, for those particularly interested in pastoral theology, a whole church movement built around the idea of God on a mission that we call the missional church.
One key author in this area, Christopher Wright, laid out the grand narrative of scripture through God’s mission for the world. He outlined four key movements. Let’s look at each briefly.
God on a Mission:
From the outset, the story of the Bible is one of God acting on behalf of humanity. The garden, perfectly made, is home for Adam and Eve. Noah is given a plan to save part of humanity. And all of this moves from person to person until we reach Abraham, who receives the first real invitation into God’s mission: go to the promised land and I will make you a great nation. And it is this nation that is meant to join into the mission.
A Mission to Israel
And so the people of Israel were called to join in the mission. Israel was called to be God’s Holy Nation. Set apart for the purposes of God. But it goes farther than that. Israel was meant to be the foothold, the first place, the source of light in a dark world that would ultimately call all other nations to repentance and welcome them into the fold. Isaiah 49:6 says it this way:
“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
Israel was to be a light to the nations and in this way join in on the mission. And from Israel came the light.
Jesus on a Mission
And when Jesus enters the story he comes proclaiming that he is here to save, to give life, and to restore people and not just on his own authority but on behalf of God, the father. The same mission started by God and given to the people of Israel was now being fulfilled in Jesus. As he said:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
It was God that instigated and Jesus who fulfilled.
A Mission to the Church
And as Jesus concluded his work on earth he left us two things:
A call to mission, to go and make disciples and a helper in his Spirit, to continue to blow the winds of change over the world. And so the church has been swept up into God’s first mission for humanity. To bring about change, to restore people to a right relationship with God, and be a light to a dark world.
And it is here that we arrive in April of 2020
We find ourselves, as people who serve together at Mini-Yo-We, under that mission and a mission of our own:
Developing tomorrow’s leaders through life-changing adventures in God’s creation.
What is the connection between the large mission of God and the specific mission of camp?
We have a chance to make a difference in the lives of our campers. To give them good experiences in nature and call them toward adventures.
We have a chance to show love to the people we serve. To offer friendships, guidance, and trustworthy relationships to young people from across our province.
We have a chance to make life-changing moments. To build programs and activities that will create lasting positive memories for our campers and their families for years to come.
And all of these things suit the larger mission of God who is calling people toward himself through adventures, experiences, and love.
We have a chance to show people what it looks like to be God’s people on a mission of love and forgiveness. We are called to live that and share that with the world around us.
My challenge for you today is to ask yourself:
How are you on that mission in your life?
Have you found ways to walk with God and his purposes?
Have you considered how you will spend your summer?
Have you thought about joining us this summer to make that difference in the lives of our campers?
And if you have: how are you going to keep the mission in the focus of your day?
Missions help us to be focused. They give us purpose and direction.
It is my hope that you are driven to join God in his mission to restore people to himself and I am so looking forward to doing that together this summer.
We are thinking and praying for you as you wrestle with God’s mission and particularly the challenges of right now. You are not alone. We are here to help you and chat with you anytime. You can reach Pat at 519-870-9145 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the mission and get ready to see what God has in store for you and for us all.
And in the meantime keep being awesome.
This post is part of our Leap of Faith Audio Check-ins. We want to encourage you to leap into your faith and continue to grow at home, at school, and in your church. These audio check-ins are meant to encourage you as live out your faith every day.
Want to keep growing?
There are more episode of Leap of Faith and other resources for you to grow in your leadership and faith here.