The American myth of the rugged individual (see last post), for the Jesus community, needs to be morphed into thinking as a community together in the Triune God. And this community being missional- on mission in Jesus to the world.
This mission is about a holistic gospel whose vision is the kingdom of God come in Jesus. It has to do with all that God reconciles to himself in Christ, all creation. So it means an attitude, on the part of us in the Jesus community, that all peoples as well as all of God's creation matters.
As Jesus told his disciples, "As the Father sent me, so I am sending you." We receive the Holy Spirit in this context for mission. We are Christ's Body to the world.
As Christ's Body we must be "hands on". Doing this together. But each having our unique part. While it's not about any of us, or even all of us together, we each have our unique contribution in this mission. This includes concerns from saving an animal from extinction to concern and love expressed for our neighbor across the street. And everything in between. A general interest to us all, while each have our own special interests.
This post anticipates my next post on Scot McKnight's profound book, Embracing Grace: A Gospel for All of Us. Taking ideas from the chapter we will look at next.
Have you seen a faith community that seemed strong on community, at least for a time, but lacked a proper missional focus beyond its own communal concerns? Of course strong community is important and needed, but in Jesus' eyes is only as strong as their abilility to come to live not only to themselves, but to the world in bringing the gospel in Jesus to bear on it. What seems to happen to such a community that seems more than less turned in on itself? What does a community look like that is missional, and how might that compare with a community that is weak in missional focus? We must beware thinking any two local communities must be the same in how they live out the mission in Jesus. For just as each individual member of Christ's Body is unique, so surely each community of the Body of Christ in the world, is likewise unique in its expression of faith and mission in the following of Jesus in the world.