On The Go!
This weekend we go through a whirlwind journey of missional activity as Paul travels the known world. He travels and shares the Good News of the resurrection of Jesus—the same news he fought so valiantly against. As a murderer and antagonist of the early Christian Church Paul wasn’t the top choice to be the representative of Christianity across the world. But he went anyway, because God and his faith sent him.
The journey of life and faith is straightforward and yet can seem confusing. Paul could have easily been confused because of his sin or the short time he had been a follower of Jesus. Paul could have easily waited for another disciple, who sat at Jesus feet for three years to go out instead of him. Paul could have stayed at “home” and done ministry there, surely he had enough excuses to justify that idea.
Paul’s longest missionary journey was about 3,000 miles. That is approximately the distance from Bangor, Maine to Los Angeles, California. The known, civilized, world was approximately the size of the United States. Today, the United States has the third highest amount of unbelievers, behind only population giants China and India.
The good news is that we aren’t dependent on one person, Paul. Instead God has multiplied the family of faith. Each of us are as equipped as any disciple before has ever been. That is right, we have more knowledge, more resources and we can travel from one side of the world to the other faster than any people ever before!
The bad news? We can move about so freely and easily we over schedule ourselves and miss the opportunities to make an impact. We travel more ground and have a wider range of impact than Paul ever did, but our depth of relationships and conversations are shallow because we don’t have the time to give to each other.
What can we learn from Paul? Paul was aware of and participated in multiple cultures. Many other cultures, especially South American cultures, see time as something to give, not “keep”. Next time you are a slave to your schedule and the demands of life around you, consider what it would mean to give some of that time in service to the Lord. What would it mean to offer time in relationship to a neighbor or person in need?
The Mission of God’s church hasn’t changed. The number of people who need to hear about Jesus is growing. But, so are the abilities of God’s people to make and impact. So Go! Go and make an eternal impact in the name of Jesus. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Mark 1:17