As my Father has sent me, so I send you. - John 20:1
Abrahamís original contact with God involved a mission. God said, ďI will bless you and I will make you a blessing to others. I will make your name and nation great and through you, all nations will be blessed.Ē God brings blessings to all, followers and non-followers alike, with this promise. Through Jesus, we inherit that promise. Jesus selected twelve and trained them in a new way of life, then sent them to teach everyone else this new way. Some believed and became practitioners and teachers of this way to the benefit of many. Indeed, the oppressed were freed; the poor were fed; sinners were loved; the sick were healed; minorities were respected; the homeless were housed; widows were supported; orphans were nurtured and the Kingdom of God came -- not everywhere all at once, but gradually. God sends us to practice and teach this way of living so that the world will be blessed.1 This work begins in Vienna, moves through surrounding communities and on to the world.
Jesus shows us a radical way to love and serve in washing his disciplesí feet (John 13). God, who is all-present, all-knowing and all-powerful, steps to the lowest level to wash their filthy feet. Beyond that, he even washed the feet of Judas, the one he knew was just about to betray him. He leads the way to radical servanthood and then tells us that we will be blessed, happy and fulfilled if we understand and practice this way of loving and serving.
Our church is not a building or a group of people who show up Sunday mornings as consumers of religious services. Christís Body is people who are spiritually connected by their mutual and stated love for Christ and by their commitment to each other through Jesus. We demonstrate our commitment to one another by loving and serving each other. Through our loving care, we witness to the power and presence of Godís reign (John 13:35).
1 McLaren, Brian, a Generous Orthodoxy, Zondervan, 2004. p. 110, 111