“Missio Dei” in Ireland

“Missio Dei” in Ireland

Jan 24, 2013

“Missio Dei” in Ireland

by Clinton R. Brown

While in Ireland, driving the wedding party to the site of my daughter’s ceremony, the classic Beatles 1967 song “All You Need Is Love” came on the car radio. I would not have characterized the Beatles as great guides to a life philosophy, but that song focused on what I was going to talk about as my family blessed and confirmed the covenant Amanda and Kory were pledging to each other on the Irish seacoast.

As I thought about it, I realized “All You Need Is Love” is the only message I’ve preached as I have visited congregations around the world for the past year. I have tried to make others know I’m not talking about some romantic infatuation or attraction that people have for each other. They need to know I am talking about the sacrificial commitment to other people’s good.

It’s the kind of love that God demonstrated throughout the Bible and culminated in the ultimate sacrifice of His Son. It was His commitment to be in a life-changing and saving relationship with each of us—for eternity.

I have been trying to impress on people, and myself, that John 3:16 is about a God that has been on a mission to bring people to Himself in that kind of relationship since before time began. In theological studies they call this Missio Dei, or the “mission of God.”

So often we get it backwards and try to get God to bless and equip our mission activities. However, as Alan Hirsh said in a 2010 church planters conference, “The church does not have a mission, the mission has a church.”

Remembering that God is Love (1 John 4:8) and we are seeking to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29), then being about His mission to reach the unreached should be our priority.

But we need to remember it is not our mission. He gives us air to breathe, food to eat, designed us from the sub-atomic particle up, yet we often have the audacity to act like we in some way own His mission. We should not just seek Him for our daily bread and forgiveness of our trespasses, but should earnestly pray that He equip us to join in HIS mission of bringing His Kingdom to the hearts of those who live lives of futility. We should be loving others towards the relationship that ultimately matters.

All of our “solo” efforts are like little noises in the symphony of God’s orchestrated plans and movements. For us to be part of the Missio Dei we really need God to be part of it. NO, that’s not right. We need God to be the beginning, middle and end of what we do.

Now let’s do the math and see if the Beatles got it right. God is ALL we need. God is Love. All we need is Love.

 Focus Missions IrishCoast

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:5

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