Accept Your Mission (Part 4 of Month's series - Road of Acceptance)

Blog Topic: 

Nehemiah 8: 1-3, 5-6, 8-10

1 Corinthians 12:12-31a

Luke 4:14-21

Pray

We continue this journey on the road of acceptance. This morning we are invited to consider what we are to do on this journey, for we are not just walking aimlessly or for ourselves. We are on a mission.

That mission is:

Inspired by the Word of God

Enabled in the Body of Christ

Powered by the Holy Spirit towards the impacting of lives

 

1. Inspired by the Word of God

In the texxt read from Nehemiah 8, we see an example of the impact that hearing the Word of God can have on the people of God. We note that they listened to the reading of Word from early morning to midday and remained attentive. The people stood for the reading and their response to the reading was Amen. They then went into a time of worship and prayer after the reading, which was followed bythe interpretation of Scripture so that people could understand.

Not only did hearing the word inspire worship, but it also touched the hearts of the people who heard, so much so that they began to cry. They cried mostly because they recognized that they were not doing what they should be doing. When we recognize that we do not measure up to what we should be doing our response should be to repent and do differently.

As in the time of Nehemiah, we too should not languish in despair when we recognize this, we should go away and decide to do better. The Word should inspire us to do the right thing. In the case of the Israelites, they needed to send portions of their food to those for whom nothing was prepared. What will the word of God reveal in and you and I today and what will we be inspired to do about it? Not out of guilt, but rather out of the sustaining joy of the Lord, the source of our strength and the one who will allow us to do what is right.

The mission is also

2. Enabled in the Body of Christ

The mission that the word of God inspires us to do is not a solo, it cannot be done by a one man gang or a crew. It is effectively completed by a group of mutually inter-dependent people which Paul refers to as the Body of Christ. Each of us are drawn together into this body by the Spirit of God. Every person is of value and has a role to play in the overall success of the mission. There is no room in the body of Christ for inferiority or superiority complex and no one should underestimate the value of others or overestimate their own value. But Paul reminds us that it happens for in 1 Cor 12, the foot and the ear are complaining and claiming that "because I am not the hand/eye, I am not of the body". So this inferiority complex is real in the body of Christ...but you know what is also real jealousy. For also embedded in that statement "because I am not the hand/eye, I am not of the body", the foot may be jealous of the hand because of the hand's prominence(in the public, in the limelight). The same goes for the superiority complex with the eye wanting to say to the hand, "I don't need you."

 Paul seeks to lay this competition to rest in two ways:

1. by admitting that the body would not function if it did not have all its parts

2. by indicating that those that may seem to contribute the least or seem weaker are just as vulnerable as those who appear to do more. That the weaknesses and strengths we have are designed to complement each other, so that together we can care for one another, if one member suffers, all suffer together with it, if one member is honoured all rejoice together with it. 

What is that mission?

3. It is a mission powered by the Holy Spirit towards the impacting of lives

St. Luke tells us that Jesus being filled with the power of the Spirit, went to the Synagogue on the day of worship and after reading from the writings of the prophet Isaiah, confirmed that his mission was to fulfil what Isaiah spoke of. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free and to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour. 

We who follow Jesus are invited to carry on this mission.

- for there are people who need some good news

- there are people who need a way out of their situations

- there are people who need direction and guidance

- there are people who are oppressed who need to be free

- there are people who need to hear that God care for them and Jesus intercedes on their behalf

This is hard work, this is thankless work, this is a wearying task and that is why it has to be sustained and powered by the Spirit of God.

We have a mission, inspired by the Word of God, enabled by us the body of Christ and sustained and powered by the Holy Spirit. Let us accept the mission.

Amen