I remember sitting in a class listening to people answer the question, “What is God’s mission in the world?”
To be honest, I was really disappointed by the answers.
They were almost all kind of individualistic in nature.
Many of them were violent and kind of “end-times” oriented … the idea that all God cared about was getting a bunch of individuals into heaven before he blew the rest of the world to bits.
There were no answers that seemed big enough to be God’s, you know?
My heart and soul were uninspired.
And so I went searching, both in the Bible and from great thinkers: Where could I find a richer, deeper, truer understanding about what God’s mission is in this messed up world?
I went back to one of the modern day classics, NT Wright’s book, Simply Christian, which many compare to CS Lewis’ classic, Mere Christianity.
Here’s how Wright spells out God’s mission:
“Christianity is about the belief that the Living God, in fulfillment of his promises and as the climax of the story of Israel, has accomplished all this – the finding, saving, the giving of new life – in Jesus. He has done it.
With Jesus, God’s rescue operation has been put into effect once and for all. A great door has swung open in the cosmos which can never again be shut. It’s the door to the prison where we’ve been keep chained up.
We are offered freedom: freedom to experience God’s rescue for ourselves, to go through the open door and explore the new world to which we now have access.
In particular, we are all invited – summoned, actually – to discover, through following Jesus, that this new world is indeed a place of justice, spirituality, relationship and beauty, and that we are not only to enjoy it as such but to work at bringing it to birth on earth as in heaven.
In listening to Jesus, we discover whose voice it is that has echoed around the hearts and minds of the human race all along.”
Now that … that motivates me!