Sunday, Missio Dei
Genesis 12:1-3 “ Now the Lord said to Abram, … I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
The book of Genesis starts off with so much hope and promise. A beautiful world created by God filled with amazing plants, creatures and potential. A perfect man and woman are given the privilege to represent the whole of humanity and creation and to produce offspring and produce culture that would benefit and bless the whole of creation and bring glory to the creator God who had made all things. Can you imagine what that must have been like? A place where everything was working together and everyone was living in harmony with one another, with all of creation and with God himself. It only takes us a few short chapters to see everything unraveling and by the time we get to the 11th chapter it seems that humanity is doomed. As I think about these chapters that are often debated more than meditated on I was once again caught up in the promise and encouragement that chapter 12 and following hold out for us. Abraham was a man like us and he was a man who struggled like all of us and he was a sinner like each of us but God’s mercy and his determination to redeem people began with him. Think about it God’s mission is workedout with one man and his barren wife. As we keep reading we see God miraculously take this couple and grow them into a large family within a few short generations. He then grew them into a nation. That nation was to be a beacon for what God was doing and they were to be a blessing to others as they were being blessed by God. The rest of the Old Testament shows God’s people frequently failing but God’s mission continuing to go forth through his people.
When we get to the Gospel of Matthew we are met with a chronology of one man Jesus going all the way back to Abraham. So from the one man Abraham through the one man Christ Jesus God grows a a multinational community from every people group, nation and language. So what can we learn as we consider this passage? First, we see that Abraham was willing to leave what and to go to the place and people God called him to serve. Second, Abraham was a man of faith who believed in the faithfulness of God to his promises and lived out a life of trust and obedience to his will. Finally, Abraham was blessed to be a blessing. Abraham lived among the people of the land who did not know or trust God but his faithful presence impacted that community for good.
We might wonder how this applies to us and it is ultimately seen in who Jesus is for us and how we who are recipients of the blessing of Abraham through him and so are also called to his mission.
What might Houston look like if God’s people were to live on mission willing to leave behind even heaven itself so that others might come to salvation? What might Houston look like if God’s people would trust in him who is faithful even in death and obey his will which leads to life and not death? What might Houston look like if those who have received the incredible blessing of God’s goodness and grace through Jesus were determined to bless others by praying for, serving, eating with, pursuing justice and sharing the story of God’s amazing grace?
Lord, thank you for not giving up on humanity. As we pray andreflect on the purpose and promise that you gave to Abraham and realized in the person of Jesus Christ my we have a renewed commitment to being a blessing in the way we have been blessed. We pray that we would live out a faithful presence that reaches from the hearts of your people through every part of the city of Houston. Would you allow the love and commitment you have shown to us to open our hearts to the mission of reaching people and communities with the message of Christ’s redeeming love. Today, we pray for your Spirit to be poured out on this city. We pray that we would would be burden with your burden for the hurting, the depressed, the brokenhearted, the doubting and the unloved and we pray that through your Church, represented by 100’s of congregations, here in Houston would be unified to in speaking, demonstratingand blessing this city with the good news about Jesus so thatevery man, woman and child would have an opportunity to hear and believe. We offer this up as our prayer today. Amen.