Every now and then, you encounter a moment that reminds you why you d what you do and what the kingdom of God is all about. I love such moments, and we all need more of them.
One of those occurred a week ago at the conclusion of a Sunday worship service. The pastor’s wife introduced me to two young women, coworkers with the pastor’s wife at a nearby hair salon.
Both of these young women seem bursting with something. Their faces could barely contain a flooding joy (the kind I wish we saw more of at church). As we met, the first woman told me this was the first time she’d been in church in a long time, and that she’d felt something that morning that told her she would make this church a new part of her life.
The second woman told me she had NEVER been in a church before. Tears threatened to pour from her eyes as she stood there, overwhelmed by the love she had felt in this new place. I was intrigued by her newness to everything so familiar to me and wondered what she had felt during the morning with us. But there was little reason to ask. Her face told the whole story. She was stunned and amazed at the way God said He loved her.
It was a great moment after a great morning. But as I drove toward the airport, the real story emerged in my thoughts. Those women had encountered a life-changing moment because a pastor’s wife lived what she and her husband preach. She hadn’t been so busy with the constant demands of the church that she thought reaching out was somebody else’s job. She hadn’t insulated herself in the very available Christian bubble, but was making a real impact on the people in her life every day.
The love those women responded to didn’t begin on Sunday, but had been building for weeks and months as they cut hair alongside a Christian woman. They entered the unfamiliar sanctuary that morning, anticipating the love they’d been already receiving. And when the morning matched what they’d already encountered, well…they were ready to respond to this God who loves them.
That’s the mission!
Jesus gave it to us in two commands. “Go…” and “Love…” The Great Commission is the directive Christ gave to His Church, and the Great Commandment to love God and others is the means by which we do it. As we’re obedient to both, the mission is fulfilled—just like it was for two twenty-something young women a week ago.
I don’t cut hair, but I drink coffee, play basketball, pick up my dry cleaning, eat at familiar restaurants, and do a dozen or more other things that regularly connect me to people needing to be loved. And in those moments, I have a better opportunity to live His mission than I may ever experience inside a church building.