"It is insufficient to proclaim that the Church of God has a mission in the world. Rather, the God of mission has a Church in the world."
~ Tim Dearborn ~
Our hostess today is Laurel Wreath.
Missions. If you are like me, it's something you don't often think about.
But I thought about it ALOT as a child. As part of an Independent Baptist Church, we often had missionaries come speak. They made the circuit to raise supporters for their work. Our church would agree to send them a set amount each month.
And we had a "missions bulletin board" with a map of the world. They would send us letters, postcards and updates on their mission field. We would post them there and I remember staring in awe at that board; some of them would write to say the people in those countries had NEVER HEARD the Gospel.
WHAT? that was incomprehensible to me! NEVER heard of GOD?! I went to that church since before I was born. Literally. Everyone I knew had heard of God and Jesus; whether they believed or not was their choice. But to never know, never understand about something that was such a major part of my life? WOW.
As an adult, I discovered there are people right here in the old US of A that have a concept of God but do not KNOW Him at all. They have never heard the TRUTH of God nor the message of Jesus birth and death. Even if we can't travel to the jungles of Borneo or the plains of Africa to bring this knowledge to others, we can be missionaries RIGHT HERE at HOME. The person at your bus stop or the lady who lives next door may be your "mission field".
Ummm, here's the hard part, though. You knew there was a catch to this, huh?
How do we know who is a Child of God and who isn't? You can not tell by how someone lives. Some of the most noble, giving, honorable people I know are Pagans and Atheists. My heart breaks.
How do we know? There is only one way. Take a chance. Open our mouths and ask.
Sometimes, with children, it isn't hard. Cuz they do it for you. And you blush six shades of red when the six-year-old boy (who SWEARS he's going to be a pilot and a preacher when he grows up) says, "So, Do you know where you are going to spend eternity?"
My first thought is "I think I've been letting him hang around that Baptist Preacher too much!"
And my second thought is "Why, O Lord...Why not me? Why couldn't it have been me to ask?"
Because I was afraid. I'll admit it. I was afraid of ridicule. Afraid to lose my job. Afraid to get into some difficult theological discussion.
Forgive me, Father! Please Give me the courage to speak when I need to speak. Please give me the wisdom to know when someone needs only a hug and not words. Please help me to see the mission field in my own little ittybitty hometown, at the grocery store and gas station and at my quilting class. Open my eyes to the mission field; I am willing to do what you require.