Ephesians 2:8-10 | Luke 10:25-37
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been looking at different words that shape the Christian faith, shape our understanding of God, ourselves, the world. Two weeks ago we reflected on grace, God’s unconditional, unshakeable love for us; and last week, on forgiveness, the reality of reconciliation at the heart of what it means to be part of God’s Kingdom. This week we turn to another church word: mission.
Now ‘mission’ is a word with an interesting history. It’s a word that once belonged firmly to the Church – we knew what it meant, we had missionaries, we sent them (the root of the word, missio, to send) out into the pagan world to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. But then over time the word crept out of the Church and into common usage - and in particular, it got co-opted by the world of management, and reshaped into ‘the mission statement’ – once defined as "a long, awkward sentence that demonstrates management's inability to think clearly."
But we in the Church weren’t going to let a good word get away so easily, and we’ve stolen it back. And of course we’ve stolen it back complete with all the additional meaning that it has picked up in corporate life – so now we too speak of ‘our mission’, and many a Church, ourselves included, now have mission statements, or in our case ‘mission goals’.