Friends, here is what we are about. We are earnest followers of Jesus. We start, continue, and finish with Jesus. We do not so much have Jesus in our hearts as Jesus has us in his heart. We delight not so much that Jesus is part of our lives as that we are part of Jesus’ life. Others depend on an experience they had with Jesus. We depend on a daily reliance upon the real Person of Jesus who continues his life and work in our world today. Indeed, Jesus is the author and finisher, the source and consummator, the alpha and omega of everything for us.
As we follow Jesus we are drawn into whatever Jesus is and does. Following Jesus inevitably means joining Jesus in his mission. His mission is to set right all that’s gone wrong in the world. Specifically, in doing so, he proclaims good news to the poor, announces forgiveness of sins, and freedom for captives. He opens blind eyes and gladdens the hearts of the down and out and the hard pressed. He is and he brings this good news to everyone everywhere. He accomplishes the mission by self-sacrificing, atoning, right-wising love. He hung on the cross and he busted out of the grave; he breathes his Spirit into all who will follow and receive. His grave busting power and presence energize us to follow and guarantee that though we sometimes share in his sufferings, we will surely share in his glory.
Following Jesus earnestly in this way draws us to one another and all others who likewise follow. In our following and joining his mission, we learn to be church. We organize our lives together around following and “missioning” with Jesus. We are so earnest, so ardent that it sometimes hurts us—literally and metaphorically. We live this way until the time comes to die this way. We live this way until it’s the only way anyone lives. And we live this way until Jesus restores and renews everything.
Yes, we are committed to following, to mission, and to the church that results until Jesus is done and Jesus comes.