(Pastor, Wellington, NZ)
Central to our faith is our call to be effective agents of the Kingdom of God on earth. The idea of mission, influence, and impact is a thread that runs right through scripture. The idea begins in the garden of Eden, before the fall, where God told the Human beings to be fruitful and multiply and to have dominion, to tend and care for the garden.
This idea grows with each move of scripture as God calls out Abraham, then Moses and then David. In each new epoch there is growth in the relationship between mankind and God. And a growth in the power of the kingdom vision. This vision of the ways of God or the knowledge of the Glory of God filling the earth, flowing to the dead sea. Having impact, influence and bringing life and health.
The manifestation of the Christ is further revelation of God’s great plan to redeem the cosmos. Christ is the ultimate mission, the ultimate impact and the ultimate influence. Paul says in Ephesians that Christ fills everything everywhere with his presence. Jesus Christ is an ‘Into all the world’ God. He is not a ‘settle into church routines’ kind of God.
Paul’s words in Ephesians state that the Christ is the head of the church, His body, through which he fills everything everywhere with his presence. We are an ‘into all the world’ kind of people. It is through his body, the Church, that Christ fills everything everywhere with his presence. There isn’t space in the Christian faith for a ‘settle into churchy routines’ kind of people.
This idea is a constant, deep challenge to every person desiring to live a life of faith. Personally this ‘into all the world’ thought has lead me through career changes, into study, out of New Zealand, into the developing world, through the jungles of high school life, out into the suburbs. It has forced me into conversations with my neighbors, with school principals, with government officials and friends. I have found in middle age that the challenge of an ‘Into all the world’ life is bigger than ever.