Tuesday, December 20, 2011

mission vs. missions

Don't get me wrong. I am a supporter and contributor to several organizations that speak of "doing missions" for the Gospel. Most Recognized Service Organizations for th Lutheran Church Missiouri Synod have a mission statement and, in one form or another, a promotion of their missions approach. It popular in the last few years to heighten the awareness of missions trips or missions boards. That all fine and good as long as the Church remembers that our Lord has given us one mission--proclaiming HIs Gospel to a lost and dying world, the Gospel that says, "Jesus Christ is Lord who has died to take away the sins of world." He offers eternal life free for the trusting in HIm alone. "Missions," as it we understand, puts a face or expression in place. WE fall prey to the lure of hyping this expression over the message. WE know the true preaching and teaching of God's Word is there, beneath the masks of whateve oranizational trappings. Yet, we so easily proclaim the organization or the work "we" do for the Gospel. Lord have mercy upon us! Thanks be to God, He does. He still lifts the veil of confusion to shine the light of His Law and Gospel in our eyes of faith. He stil puts in our mouths the words to speak to others on the street, at work, and anywhere else He places us. Mission is, after all, nothing more than the message of salvation in Christ alone He gives us to proclaim, be we laymen or pastors. That's why, Pastors, your seromons need to always preach the cross of Christ specifically, not by assumption. (1 Cor. 1:18, 2:5, Gal. 6:10, 14) Don't just tag your delivery with a passing mention of Jesus Christ to give an otherwise crossless pep talk the guise of Christianity. Too many lampstand have faded because they have failed to shine the Light of Christ's saving truth to the world and have turned to merely a social show of skin-deep piety, which can save no one. Rather, speak to us in the pew the same saving Gospel whose Light directs our human care, parenting, learning, and speech in His peace. The glory is Christ's alone, so let's keep it there. Then, all who believe in HIm through the words He gives us to speak may glorify our Father in heaven. Tab sheets on how many people attend a "missions" event are great for recording keeping. They are not status symobls or proofs of true effectiveness.Rather, the fruit of God's mission is a person's trust in and proclamation of Christ crucified and risen for us and our salvation. (Rom. 10:8-17) AS we look forward to celebrating our Lord's blessed Nativity, we pray that He will fill our lips and hearts with the same Word which the shepherds told abroad after worshiping the Christ the Lord, the newborn King in Bethlehem. (Luke 2:15-20) We, too, see HIm by trust when, though the hands of our called ad ordained pastors, He gives us His very body and blood in the Sacrament of the Altar. Refreshed by this "fount and source of all godness," we proclam His death until He comes. (1 Cor. 11:26)

No comments:

Post a Comment