- Today, what would you celebrate today about your missional community?
- Today, what would you confess or lament about your missional community?
- Today, what are you hopes for your missional community?
Scripture: Hebrews 10:19-25
Simple Prayer: God, lead us to be a community that is deeply aware we have been brought together in your love. And God, lead us to be a community that stirs one another up to love and good deeds.
Community That Reflects God’s Love: We value community because we believe in one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three in one, both now and forever. God is love, and loving community is demonstrated in the very nature of the Trinity. Out of the overflow of this love, God created all things. He created human beings for community with himself and one another. As a community, we are called to experience, express, and model God’s love. In our sin and brokenness, our communities always fall short. However, in God’s grace, God keeps inviting us to work at creating loving community – and this is renewed every time we approach the Lord’s Table.
When Jesus gathered his disciples in the upper room, he gave them a meal. A loaf that reminded us that his body had been given for us. A cup to remind us of his blood that was shed for the forgiveness of our sins. To respond to Jesus’ invitation to the table is to remember Jesus’ sacrificial love
He told us to “do this in remembrance of me” whenever we come together. Jesus said, “do this”. He did not say, “Understand this”. Saying “yes” to Jesus invitation forms us as a community of love far more readily than common understanding.
At the table, we remember that God’s love is costly, painful, personal, redemptive, hope-filled, and victorious. It cost blood of Jesus. It involved a painful death on a cross. It was a real and personal experience for Jesus. Our sins put him on the cross. His blood paid for our sins. And his action was filled with hope. In spite of all the failures, betrayals, injustices, and evil in this world, in spite of all the power that came to bear on Jesus, he said he would rise after three days. What must have sounded like foolishness proved to have been a sure and certain hope! His resurrection was a great victory
And “we love because he first loved us.” (I John 4:19). The best way to think of mission is to think of loving our neighbors with the love of Jesus. The Bible tells us to love our neighbors. Jesus said it was the second greatest commandment. He illustrated this by telling the story of the Good Samaritan, which is a story of costly, painful, and personal love for an enemy in need! If we are to reflect Jesus’ love, it will likely be costly, painful, and personal before it is redemptive, hope-filled, and victorious. Loving others this way is hard. So in a practical sense, we need each other to stay on task.
To address this, the writer of Hebrews reminds us of God’s great sacrifice and emphasizes we need to come together regularly for the purpose of “spurring one another on to love and good deeds.” Spurring has to do with moving cattle. To spur a cow, you poke it with a pointy stick. Modern spurs use an electric shock! If you don’t spur the cow, it won’t move. It will stay where it feels safe and comfortable. The same is true for us. Without coming together to spur one another on, we may stand still – especially if “moving” means loving our neighbors in ways that may be costly, painful, and personal.
Jesus loves our neighbors. And to them he is sending us. It is not accidental that his Word calls us to the Table and into community with one another in order to stay on task when it comes to love and good deeds. We need community to stay on mission.
Reflection and Practice:
- Do you recall times when actively loving your neighbors (staying on mission) got difficult? One of the purposes of our missional community is to encourage people for life on mission. How’d we do?
- What’s your definition of mission? How does it line up with loving neighbors with the love of Jesus?
- How does coming to the table and being together in community help us imitate Jesus while on mission?
- Is there anything you need to do in response? When and how will you do it?