6. Jan, 2022

Local Mission

The Christmas story was told in such a beautiful way by our Families Worker during the Christmas Club she hosted recently in Tuckingmill. I was reminded that the Shepherds were the first evangelists, telling the good news that the Messiah was born. These lowly men had been chosen by God to spread the word. The shepherds were ordinary folk. They didn’t come with a glitzy package of perfection but were rough round the edges and weather warn. What an honour to be chosen for such a glorious task!

I wonder how many people listened and believed? The bible doesn’t really tell us. We are left to imagine, but I expect that whether they were believed or not, all eyes were on that new family in Bethlehem, freshly arrived from Nazareth. Word travels fast in community and after all, a baby had been born among animals, with homeless and exhausted parents and there had been strange bright star-like happenings in the sky above. I think the locals were watching.

You and I are also chosen to be carriers of this message of hope and joy. It isn’t left up to the TV evangelist or those popular Christian singer-songwriters to do the job. Of course, they are privileged to share with such a wider audience and carry a weight of responsibility there. Yet nothing is more convincing than when someone you see day in and day out, a neighbour or colleague, hears the testimony of their peers. There is something more undeniable about a friend’s testimony.

No one can take away the relationship we hold in our heart, our personal experience of God talking and walking with us in the everyday. God is interested in the daily drudge of life, and those walking along the valley floor. He listens to the shepherd and to the official, to the homeless and the homeowner, to the poor and to the wealthy. Somewhere in that broad spectrum is us. Each of us can carry the good news to people and places that others can’t. We all have a part to play in local mission.

Epiphany could be a catalyst for mission. What a great time to start on an adventure of revealing Jesus as Lord today. The Magi, John the Baptist, Jesus turning the water into wine all signified his deity. Reflecting on this I see the opportunity to continue pointing to our Lord in a very personal way.

As Radiant continues to focus on the importance of a transformational relationship with Christ, we now move into a season of carrying his light into local mission. I sense what God has poured into us in the secret place is about to be poured out on the streets.

"You prepare a table before me…my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me…”
Psalm 23 v 5-6
Knowing that our cup runs over with his goodness there is a need for this to be seen among a world hungry for love and who are welcome to the table of the Lord. I have reflected on this a lot in past blog shares; we are God’s vessels. Our good Shepherd uses his church to reach the world. It’s humbling when I contemplate this.

The question to ask ourselves is ‘What does mission look like for me and where does it begin?’ Sara & Samuel Hargreaves explore how our gathered worship inspires our scattered worship on our frontlines, our homes, our workplaces, schools, colleges etc. We carry Jesus to these places with humility and love fuelled by the encounters in our worship gatherings. Our scattered worship then shapes and informs our gatherings. I recommend reading their book, ‘Whole Life Worship.’

I have been contemplating how mission will look for Radiant and I can see worship flowing out into Camborne, testimonies shared, and prayer offered. The marginalised may not come to us, but we can go to them with arms wide open. I see walls coming down and a welcome that Camborne hasn’t seen for a while. Expectancy is rising in me to see the glory of God revealed in our town.

Heavenly Father, in this season of Epiphany, help us to see you clearly at work in our everyday lives. Let us not forget the power of our testimony and the call you have extended to all your children to reach the world with the love of Christ. Lord, reveal the mission to us and soften our hearts for the lost, the lonely, the broken and the needy. Prepare us, for the sake of your glory. Amen.