At the end of this month we have a great opportunity to learn more about our mission links, local and overseas, through the tea party organised by our Beyond Yeovil Group. It’s on Saturday 29th June at 3:00 p.m.
I would love everyone involved in both our churches to come if you possibly can. I am grateful to the BYG group for their preparation for this, and for all their ongoing work. Please come along and make it a great afternoon for us all. And meanwhile there are new mission noticeboards to see at the back of St. John’s.
Last month we progressed through Ascension Day and Pentecost. Jesus ascended above the heavens ‘in order to fill the whole universe’ (Ephesians 4:10), and the Spirit came to give power so we could be his ‘witnesses … to the end of the earth’ (Acts 1:8). All Christian mission is conducted for the glory of the universal Christ, by the power of the Spirit. This means that we are not just supporting a family in Benin or a food bank for the poor of Yeovil or a doctor in Tanzania or a project supporting local people in financial debt. It’s nice to be helping Muyunda and Cynthia, it’s good to be supporting our Street Pastors, but there is a bigger and more exciting vision than that.
In all these things we are co-operating with God in his mission to the world. He is glorifying his Son by the power of his Spirit. That is what excites me, when we pray for the Deneufchâtels, or for Alison Bush. It’s not just that we are helping them to live in exotic locations like Pèdè or Bedford, but that we are bringing glory to the Lord Jesus, who lived and died and rose for Hilary and Marc, for Alison, for us all. I suppose I am trying to say that it’s not just about the personalities (though of course we are to love them and care for them and take a personal interest in them as best we can). But more than that – we should be driven by a burning desire for Jesus to be proclaimed, known, loved, and honoured across the world. Because it is his world, and we are his people. He has a claim on us all, from every background, in every street of Yeovil (at every time of night!), and in every nation upon earth. It is his mission, not ours, and it is for him that we do what we do.
Jesus has been carrying forwards his mission from eternity. The church has been co-operating with his Spirit since the Day of Pentecost. If that had not been so, you and I would know nothing of the gospel here in Somerset. The mission of God has brought us to the knowledge of salvation; we now have the privilege of working and praying and giving towards that mission for the future. All for the glory of our Lord Jesus.
With all best wishes – James