Taking Up the Cross and Missional Living
Mar 02, 2010 by Don Payne | 0 Comments
Our president, Dr. Mark Young, keeps before us the primacy of the mission of God for all we do at Denver Seminary. As I've been reflecting on this, alongside my reading of Christopher J.H. Wright's The Mission of God, implications keep unfolding in front of me; some stirring and invigorating, some frightening.
When our Lord sets forth the challenge to take up one's cross and follow him, he gives a missional call. The cost of discipleship (to borrow Bonhoeffer's phrase) is the cost of mission. What are some of those costs? For one, we have to hold relationships with open hands as God deploys people into the harvest. And if He truly is the Lord of the harvest, He has the right to do that . . . and He does! Think about the costs incurred by those who are deployed into military service. We have no right to pretend that participation in the mission of God will be devoid of that pain. This means we must develop appetites for deeper satisfactions; not pretending that the costs are less exacting than they really are (no artificial smiley faces allowed!), but letting God's grace absorb those costs and redeem them.
What I have just said raises all kinds of important and legitimate questions. Fair enough (and I'm still wrestling with some of those questions!). Let this be our starting point, though. When we set out to follow Jesus Christ, we set out on mission that may take many forms but will always somehow force open our grasp on what we think we can't do without. Only from that starting point can the capacity for receiving and living by grace be developed.