During the past several weeks, our Sunday morning sermons have focused on the mission of Christ as revealed in the first few chapters of Matthew. Why did Jesus come? What did he preach? What was important to him? Now that we have finished that series, it’s time to pull these pieces together and see how our Lord’s mission relates to our own.
- Christ’s mission was to fulfill the Old Testament expectations of the coming Messiah, the Savior for all people. This truth gives us exceedingly great joy as we do our work in the kingdom.
- Christ’s mission included human participation: Jesus was baptized by John as a sign of his alignment with God’s purposes. In the same way, each of us is essential to the work that God calls us to do in today’s world.
- Christ’s mission was to preach a short, simple message of repentance and the nearness of the kingdom of God. At the same time, he established the faith community that has grown into a worldwide enterprise today. Our mission is the same: to preach a simple yet powerful message, and to live in a community marked by repentance and discipleship.
- Christ’s mission included powerful healing acts so that the message of the kingdom of God might continue to expand. We are called to proclaim the God who can do the impossible: even to be crucified on our behalf and to rise from the dead in victory over sin and death.
- Christ’s mission was to show us that “the good life” is found in our connection to something greater than ourselves: namely, the very life of God himself. Our mission is to live the truly blessed life – and to invite others to join us on this journey.
- Christ’s mission showed us what true obedience to God’s law looks like: authentic obedience without legalism. We are called to live the same way, as salt in a flavorless world and as light to reveal truth to a world living in darkness.
- Christ’s mission was to bring about unity and holiness in the church, because the stakes of disunity and sinfulness are frighteningly high. Our mission is to live in such a way that the world can see these two principles through our fellowship and community.
- Christ’s mission was to challenge the people of God to be perfect as their Lord is perfect. This perfection is not restricted to moral choices, like we often think today; instead, it has more to do with God’s completeness and his ability to love those who do not love him. Our task is to grow into this image every day.
Is Christ’s mission our mission also? Absolutely! Jesus changed the world through his years of ministry and his self-sacrifice on our behalf. And he would not call us to do something that he is not willing to do himself.
Brothers and sisters, as we consider the mission of our congregation, let us keep the mission of our Lord directly in front of us as we walk together in faith.