We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who became man, lived the perfect life that God required, died a substitutionary death, and rose from the dead to atone for the sins of the whole world.
“We’re on a mission from God.” That is probably one of the most memorable lines from the 1970’s film, The Blues Brothers. Jake and Elwood Blues were on a mission. They felt it a divine one, too. They were going to get the band back together to save the Catholic home where they were both raised.
They even had a mission statement. They would figure out a way to raise $5,000 for the years’ assessment of Saint Helen of the Blessed Shroud Orphanage in Calumet City, Il and get it the Cook County Assessor’s office in less than 11 days. That’s a very specific mission statement. And it’s rather long.
These days good mission statements are short and should not be awash in jargon or marble-mouthed pronouncements. Some people go so far as to say a mission statement should follow this formula: “Verb, target, outcome.”
Well, Jesus was a man on a mission. Our next statement of belief addresses the divine mission of God. He lived, died, and rose again. All verbs. All actions of a Savior-God. Christ did all of this for the whole world. There’s the target. And the outcome? He has made atonement for all sin.
His mission was clear. It may not reflect a contemporary “mission statement.” It might not be summed up in pithy expression. Something like: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit”? Yup – that’s the mission statement of Starbucks.
Sometimes, we try too hard to concoct mission statements can become awash in jargon and marble-mouthed pronouncements. There’s so much to say, and the temptation is to try to say it all. But remember the marks of an effective statement: verb, target, outcome. Christ, the perfect Son of God, lived, died, and rose again to atone for all the world’s sins.
In a word, it is love. Such love isn’t an emotion as much as an action. Christian love reaches out to the downtrodden, supports the spread of the gospel on earth, and is willing to sacrifice for others. “No has greater love has one than this,” says Jesus, “to lay down his for his friends. And you are my friends.” (John 15:13-14)
During the frustration and confusion of the last several months, we might pause to wonder how we can love like Christ. And so, we turn to a verse that begins John, chapter 14. “Do not let your hearts be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me.” The word “troubled” carries the connotation of churned up waters. I think about the disciples when Jesus first spoke these words. It was Maundy Thursday evening. Jesus would be betrayed, denied, convicted, and crucified. He predicted as much. And so, the disciples were churning inside. They were hurt and troubled. Would one of them be so callous as to betray the Lord? Would the premiere disciple, Peter, be capable of denying his Lord? Would they all disown him? Their hearts churned.
Our hearts churn, too. Our hearts churn with uncertainty over the future. Our hearts churn over what has been lost. Our hearts churn over financial worries. We also see churning hearts in those we serve. People come to us whipped up with anxiety. People are afraid and aggressive. Troubled hearts, one and all.
In answer to all our churning, troubled hearts, Christ says, “Fear not!” Now, he’s not patting us on the head and telling us to stop worrying. Instead, he gives reason for our hope. He promises that he is preparing a place for us. We have heaven as our home. That’s because Christ had his own mission statement: Christ lived, loved, and saved. Christ gave his heart for us and he allowed himself to be sheltered in the quarantine of the grave. He offered his very life as a sacrifice of obedience to his heavenly Fathers’ commands. And he rose again, triumphant from the grave, proving that he is the Lord of all who sends us the Lord and Giver of all life, the Holy Spirit
Jesus’ mission statement now becomes ours. Because of his love, we love him. And we reflect his love in our service to others.
That is now our mission as we go out into the world. The world is chaotic and uncertain. We are called to bring the peace and certainty that only Christ Jesus can provide. It is the promise of sins forgiven, the power to live a new life to his glory, and the promised peace of eternal salvation. That is our purpose. No jargon. No gobbledygook. Just words of authentic Christian mission, a mission from God.
Pastor Edward Frey
1. Do you feel that you, sometimes, complicate the simple message of the gospel? If so, what can you remember to uncomplicate it?
2. How is Jesus’ mission now your mission in life?
Christ Jesus, you accomplished the plan of salvation and have made our greatest dreams into reality. Continue to forgive us and equip us to so that we carry the good news of “Mission Accomplished” to the ends of the earth. Amen.