If you’ve been around Grace for any length of time, you’ve heard us say that our mission is to be a gospel proclaiming, equipping, nurturing, and sending church, transformed by the redeeming work of Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit so that we might present everyone mature in Christ (Col. 1:28). Put in simplest terms, we understand God’s calling for every church is to be filled with disciple-making disciples.
With this in view, we have decided to preach through the Gospel of Luke this year in a series we’re calling Good News of Great Joy for All People. This is what the angels announced to shepherds the night Jesus was born. “Behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people (Luke 2:10).” The good news was that Jesus was the world’s Savior God had promised.
Early in Jesus’ ministry, he declared his mission. “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32)” and in the final verses of Luke’s Gospel, Jesus makes it clear that his mission is to become our mission.
And [Jesus] said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:46-49).”
In God’s plan, the good news of great joy for all people is to be delivered by Jesus’ disciples who make disciples who make disciples. His mission is now our mission.
“This is a major burden of the Gospel of Luke: to define Jesus’ mission and that of the disciples who follow him. The bulk of Luke explains how Jesus prepared the disciples for his departure and prepared them to minister in his absence.” (Darrell Bock)
Bock goes on to say that participation in Jesus’ mission is not an option for the disciple, but at the very heart of what it means to be one. Luke wrote to assure Theophilus (and us!) about…
“…what God’s plan is, what a disciple is called to be, and how a disciple participates in the community’s task to identify and proclaim Jesus, not only through the message that they deliver about Jesus, but also by the way they live in a world hostile to that declaration.” (Darrell Bock)
This Sunday we will begin with our first reading service where we will devote what is normally the time for preaching to the public reading of the first four chapters of Luke. Would you pray for our readers as they prepare this week? Our desire is that the Holy Spirit would use Luke’s Gospel to refresh our vision and renew our desire to participate in Jesus’ mission. Let’s begin asking God for this as we dive into this amazing book.
See you Sunday, Grace. Come hungry!
Song Link of the Week
Shake This Place by Songs of Grace
Holy Spirit, won’t you come and shake this place
Breath of Heaven, fill us with your love and grace
Revive, renew, we’re more than overdue
Shake this place!