Embodying Good News

I’ve learned the hard way that I can invest a lot of my time and energy into projects that demonstrate and announce God’s good news with very little embodiment…. Yet the good news — life in God’s kingdom — must be more than just demonstrated and announced.

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I’m sitting here in my little office all by myself. It’s a moment of downtime from a rather busy day. And a lecture that I’m listening to sets my mind whirling…

Mission is the embodiment of God’s good news, which is “the kingdom of God is here” (Mark 1:15). Lately I’ve been wrestling with “What should my missional life look like?” I want my life to be more than just about my personal piety. I am burning with a vision of joining with a missional God in the transformation of the earth and its people.

Yet, as a pastor for 16 years, I’ve been involved in so many “outreach” projects and programs, virtually to the point of burning out as well as to the neglect of my family and my health. I’ve also learned the hard way what can happen when I invest a lot of my time and energy into projects that demonstrate and announce God’s good news with very little actual embodiment of the good news. In the majority of those situations, my demonstration and announcement of life in God’s kingdom wasn’t from a natural overflow of an entire life lived daily in God’s kingdom.

Yet God’s good news — life in God’s kingdom — must be first and foremost embodied. It has to be for it to be authentic. Only then can it naturally flow out of me without depletion.

But this brings me back to the original struggle. What does it look like? I don’t want to throw myself into project after project in an attempt to be “missional.” I’m too tired and busy with the daily routine of life. Don’t get me wrong. I love my life. But does a “missional life” have to be tacked onto an already necessarily busy life — a busy life that doesn’t have a lot of contact outside of a small circle of family and friends?

Yet, something whispers in me. I long for God’s influence in me to spread beyond my family, my cubicle and my faith community to touch the pain of the world around me. I want my small number of days in life to actually be transformative and creative as a cooperative friend of Jesus. I want my life to be a living icon of God. I want my presence to be the tangible presence of God.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner…

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