Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What are you doing here?

In the reading for today from the It's Time materials (a study Southland Baptist is going through) Bo Setzer Jr. commented on the time his pastor kept repeatedly asking a group of guys in their church who were gathered for breakfast, "What are you doing here?" After answering a few times - "Uh, we're eating breakfast" - they realized the pastor was looking for more.

It is one of those ultimate questions we must all ask ourselves from time to time. Why am I here? Why is our church here? Does my life have a purpose? Does it matter that my church exists? At Southland we've begun to hone in on 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 which informs us that we are ambassadors of reconciliation - that is representatives of God's coming kingdom in this world. Now, the application of this ministry of reconciliation can be and is pretty broad taking many shapes and forms. But the purpose remains simple, we are to be signposts of the God whose own mission is to reconcile the world to himself. As his children, our purpose or our mission in life cannot be separated from his. If we forget the mission, then we cease to really be the church. The missiologist Darrel Bosch once put it succinctly, “There is a church because there is a mission, not vice versa.”

Pancake breakfasts can certainly fit into that equation, especially if at that breakfast there is a collection of folks who other than their unity in Christ would find little reason to be together: blacks and whites, rich and poor, male and female, young and old, people with higher education and high school dropouts - all gathered around the common table of Christ. That gets to the heart of what it means to be missional. It means to begin to recognize that in the simplest things of life, eating, drinking, playing, working we can be ambassadors of God's Kingdom of peace and love. What are you doing here? We're here to eat, yes, but to eat together in the name of Christ as a testimony to his coming kingdom where all of God's children will have a seat.

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