World Mission Sunday
Mission arises from the heart of God himself, and is communicated from his heart to ours.
Mission is the global outreach of the global people of a global God. (John Stott)
Most of you know by now that I rarely refer to our new building as a “church.” Since the summer of 2020, I’ve called it our Mission Outpost, confident that Tod Bolsinger’s description of the church is biblical and applies to us: “To live up to their [apostolic] name, local churches must be continually moving out, extending themselves into the world, being the missional, witnessing community we were called into being to be.”
Once our building began construction, several of you reminded me that it is to be not only a place for mission, but also a place for worship. That led me to start calling our building a Worship House as well, and brought to mind John Piper’s famous statement, “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t.”
This Sunday, our Worship and Mission are set within the global context. The Anglican Church of North America designates the second-to-last Sunday of Epiphany as “World Mission Sunday,” a day on which we remember that the Holy Spirit has empowered us to be Jesus’ “witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The phrase “to the end of the earth” will show up repeatedly in our readings this Sunday, as will mention of “the nations” – a word which refers not to political boundaries, but to people groups defined by shared language and culture.
Our Father’s desire is for every people group on earth to be invited into true worship of God through an understanding of who Jesus is and what he has accomplished through his life, death, resurrection, and ascension. For a preview of the culmination of this mission, turn to the book of Revelation to behold “a great multitude…from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages standing before the throne and the Lamb,” thundering out their worship (Revelation 7.9-17; 21.22-27).
This week we remember that we are participants in this historic, ongoing global mission. Our music, liturgy, preaching, and prayers will be oriented toward world mission. Additionally, our Mission & Outreach Team will set up tables in the Narthex with information about our Mission Partners so you can learn more about our current opportunities for participating in God’s mission in our world.
Mission is an overflow of worship, and has worship as its goal. Come join us in both this Sunday.
Your Pastor in Christ,