Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Day: A Reminder for Jesus' Mission to the World for the Church

Richard Angelus
: What is the Church? The word ‘Church’ is from the Greek word ‘Ekklesia,’ which means “an assembly” or “a gathering” or “a fellowship.” It is derived from the verb ‘ekkaleo,’ which ‘ek’ mean ‘out’ and ‘kaleo’ mean ‘to call,’ which together means ‘to call out.’ Therefore, the church is theologically, logically, is not a building or a location; it referred to the people who are called out by Jesus as they assembled together. Technically, it’s impossible to “go to Church” – we are the Church. So, when we think, thank and worship God during Easter day, remember the reason why Lord Jesus died on the cross and why the Church exist: We – the Church – exist to tell the world the Good News about Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and how He has made a way for people to be reconciled by God and to represents Jesus by caring for those in need, the marginalized and oppressed, just like Jesus would. Celebrating Easter Day should remind us of this mission.
Dan Kimball: (from Adventures in Churchland) When we look at what Jesus said to his twelve disciples when he first called them and what he said to them years later the last day he was on earth, it’s interesting that both times he emphasized their unique mission. When he called his disciples, he said, “Come, follow me… and I will send you out to fish for people” Jesus was speaking to vocational fishermen, so he used the fishing metaphor to communicate a new purpose for their lives. Unlike the fishing they were used to doing, this new type of fishing involved being sent out into the world to find other people and share with them they joy, life, and peace that come from knowing Jesus. They would now be fishing for people.

Notice that Jesus doesn’t say to them, “Come, follow me, and I will send you into buildings to retreat from the world, protect yourself from evil, and create your own Christian subculture.” Jesus didn’t say, “Come, follow me, and I will send you once a week into a church building where paid religious professionals lead you in singing some songs, preach a sermon to you, and then send you home to go about your own business for the rest of the week.” Jesus didn’t say, “Come, follow me, and I will turn you into a judgmental, inwardly focused people.” He called his followers to lovingly share his message and represent him to the world. From the very beginning, when Jesus called people to follow him, he called them to focus on others. Jesus told his disciples that following him was not just about living for themselves; it was about serving others.

Not only were Jesus’ first recorded words about mission, but we also find that his last recorded words were about mission as well. According to the gospel of Matthew, after Jesus resurrected and prior to his ascension to heaven, his last words to his disciples were, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus didn’t send his followers to settle down comfortably in Churchland; he wanted them to be outwardly focused, going out into the world, not just to make converts or have people make quick decisions, but to make disciples. Disciples are those who model themselves after another person, like an apprentice does. This means building relationships, teaching, and committing to adjust life to the teachings of Jesus.

May the Message of Easter Day remind you of Jesus’ Mission for us to the World
Jesus is Risen, are We, the Church? Happy Blessed Day.

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