1.2 [Meditation] "What is Missional?"

A few insights from today's reading....

First - the issue here is not being sent, or whether or not we are sent. The issue is realizing that we are sent right now. Where ever we are, God has placed us there on a mission. All the baptized have received that same mission from God and are sent, whatever their vocation may be. What we do as sent people always flows from a realization of who we are. We are God's people. We are justified and forgiven people, united to him in Word and Sacrament, and having such gifts, we are sent. Do you see a difference here? So often we hear, "You need to tell people about Jesus!" Yes... but never as a burdensome task. This is simply part of who we are as sent people. A life that gives witness to Jesus is a life that has experienced the Gospel in all its goodness, not a thing to check off our list of spiritual deeds.

Second - What are some of the fears you might have about living as a sent person? I'm a fairly introverted person. I enjoy my quiet and space. I don't like that to be messed with. I also don't like akward situations (but then again, who does?). I have a feeling that the more I live out my "sentness," the more I may have to bend in those areas. But then again, we must remember that God has created all of us with different personalities, and none of us live out our "sentness" in the same exact way. However, I do know that my comfort zone needs to be messed with from time to time.

Third - What is your comfort zone? Where do you feel the safest? For many of us, church is our comfort zone. And of course, that's a good thing. We need to gather at church to be refreshed by the presence of Jesus in Word and Sacrament. But what about the other six days of the week? One of the most meaningful sermons I've ever heard described the typical habit of Christians in the following analogy.

Have you ever seen one of those old Western movies, where the cowboys all hide out in a fort in the middle of the desert? Every once in awhile they leave to go get supplies or have a gun fight. But for the most part they stay inside the fort. Everything is safe there. It's dangerous out there in the wilderness - out among the teepees. This is the habit we often develop within the church. The world is a dangerous place! And so we spend as much time as we can within the fort - spending time with people that look, act, and believe like us. We even have our own music, movies, book stores, and radio stations. We live out among the "teepees" (or the world) as a necessity, and hope that maybe they will join us. But remember that Jesus said to his disciples GO, not STAY (Matthew 28:19). And so as the church we are called to go out from the comfort of our fort and live among the teepees. This is what Jesus did (Luke 15!!!) and this is what we do also.


  1. I, too, am quite the introvert and have always thought of that as a weakness. I have often struggled with my shyness, while also realizing that God made me this way and many others for a reason. I am most comfortable when I am quiet and listening to others around me. But now realizing that God has sent us NOW, I am wondering how I can use the way that God made me for His glory. I think that my quiet nature makes me a good listener and helps me to connect well with people one on one. I think that maybe this is where I can start. I know I can talk to almost anyone one on one. But with a missional frame of mind, perhaps it's time to take things a little further: stepping outside of my comfort zone and working in what I know of God's love into the conversation (which I mentioned yesterday, is something I am afraid of!). But as is stated above, outside of my comfort zone is where I need to be, as scary as it may seem!

  2. Proverbs 10:19 says,"When words are many, transgression is not lacking,but whoever restrains his lips is prudent," and Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 7 says, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven... a time to keep silence, and a time to speak." I think that being intentionally missional is first and foremost about presence and listening. Speaking will follow and will be well placed. I would definitely say that in today's society, especially with all the baggage that goes along with the word "Christian," we must earn the right to be heard again, and this can take some time. The Holy Spirit can do with a few words what we could never do with a thousand.

  3. Confession: forgot to do this section till today. Woops :)

    Stephanie, it's so true that "when I am weak, then I am strong," and "we are made perfect in weakness." What we think are weaknesses or challenges (or what the world has told us are weaknesses) God actually uses as a gift!

    When thinking about the emotions Abraham and the first century Christians may have felt when they were called to GO, immediately I thought of fear and terror of the unknown and uncertain. I think that's pretty obvious, and something we could all relate to. However, on second thought, I bet they were at the same time filled with a strange sense of confidence and faith in the call. When you have such a powerful experience with God in the ways they did, you've got to walk away with a strong hope and trust in the one who's leading you. Abraham had God speak directly to him, and the 12 were discipled by Jesus himself! I mean, how much more powerful can it get?! Those are the kind of experiences that give you such a strong resolve that you would even die for the sake of the Gospel. If we all could have such a powerful experience like this, our fears and doubts would fail to impact our call.

  4. I'm reminded of the transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17. The disciples go up the mountain and have an amazing spiritual experience with Jesus ("Lord, it is good for us to be here!" v. 4). But then they have to go down the mountain again, and they walk into this crazy mess of people with needs and lack of faith (v. 14 and following), which is like our daily lives.