Sunday, April 26, 2020

The Great Commision or Missio Dei

Isn't it incredibly difficult though to find opportunities to make disciples, especially in our online world? This discussion goes even deeper, if you like. The question of who is the driving force in the call to make disciples to me is a big question. Some say that the call is to the Church, after all the Church was founded only a few pages/days later. Others point to the Missio Dei (Mission of God), which they believe places disciples following the divine work of the Trinity which means that the divine "mission" is given not just to the Church but also to every disciple/believer.

If we think through Jesus' words to his disciples, we see, I believe, a focus on the later. In John 5:17 we see Jesus speaking, "But Jesus answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I am working" and he continues in verses 19-20, "So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father5 does, that the Son does likewise". It doesn't take away from the purpose of the Church, but it adds to the understanding that the Church and all disciples/believers are being more than "prompted by the Spirit" but they are following the path that God through the incarnation of Jesus walked and continues to walk with his people.  It happens as Jesus said at the beginning of John 15, "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing". 

This means that what we do or create can be created with the mission of God in the forefront of what we are doing as the Church or as a disciple.  I believe though that the Church is only as strong as the disciples of God - no disciples - no Great Commission - no Missio Dei in the Church



Saturday, April 25, 2020

Go Therefore

The Great Commission is the marching orders for the people of God. It was the foundation for the creation of the Church.  Jesus himself walked with his disciples for nearly three years to prepare them to receive the commission. 
We understand that the words, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them" tells us that the primary command of the Great Commission is making disciples, which involves identification (baptizing) and instruction (teaching).  Taking this further, we realize that the ability to make disciples is something that is taught and not, as the saying goes, caught.  It is an intentional undertaking. The Church was created to proclaim the Great Commission, but the Great Commission was not given to proclaim the Church.  
It then is practical that the Great Commission must be a part of our professional undertakings.  The expression of one's faith in word and deed is central to the core of making disciples in our work life. It gives greater meaning to our work. Being able to do more than integrate our faith into work, but instead to allow our faith to be a goal of our work fulfills Colossians 3:23-24, "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ".
In the online social world that we live in in 2020, the opportunity to be seen and heard becomes drastically increased as we realize that our words and deeds can be carried to a global audience.  The risk of success often is found in the emotional triggers that we all have.  To be successful and a humble representation of Jesus has proved impossible for most people. The ability to be recognized as one who produces a great product or gives a compelling message is, in many ways, easier to execute than staying faithful to the call of Christ.
When Jesus stepped into the story of humanity in human form, he provided a path for humanity to follow.  If we watch carefully the path on which he led his disciples, we see less notoriety than fireside chats and more conversation than proclamation. Jesus was well known and did proclaim the Gospel, but at the core of his message was servanthood.  He placed others above himself. 
It seems that humanity has a problem with pride to the point that we become proud of how humble we feel. We take the risk of cheapening the love of God, to simply loving tasks like helping the poor.  If we buy someone lunch behind us in line at the drive-through, we often feel that we have shared the love of Christ, but isn't it more than that. Isn't it meant to be face-to-face, person-to-person, and heart-to-heart?  When Jesus saw the lepers in front of him, he did more than just love them and touch them; he saved them.  Their lives were better, but the life that he was concerned with was the life beyond the moment – going forward.
Our ministry should look like more than love; it should look like the path that Jesus took.  It was dirty, difficult, deeply personal, face-to-face, and heart-to-heart.  He chose people to walk with him who were ugly, beautiful, rich, poor, good, bad, simple, low class, high class, and everything in between.  He didn't offer a whitewashed one size fits all Gospel; he offered his life. That is what discipleship, as presented by the Great Commission, looks like.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Coffee Journal - Guji from Moustache Coffee Club

I recently started subscribing to a bi-weekly delivery from Moustache and have really enjoyed the coffees.  The complexity of the flavors that hey have sent have been amazing along with really great delivery and service (even when my debit card died)!!

This week we are enjoying the following :

Sidama, Ethiopia

Distinctive Flavor
Tropical Fruit, Sparkling Acidity

Roasted By:
Bar Nine

The flavor is what I would describe as sweet with a fruity aftertaste.

If you are interested in trying the Moustache Coffee Club then use this link to get $5 off!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Haiku

A cool, crisp mountain morning
The river is roaring nearby
A hot cup of coffee and a bowl of grits while sitting by the campfire
Fly rod and waders at the ready perched against a nearby tree
A day of fishing and contemplation ahead
I hear God

I wish I were there. A chance to breath and clear my head. We all need that - time to be silent and listen. For me it's on a river, especially in the Fall.

It's been a long, long time since I have been there.  I'm ready!