So what is this mission? I will not prevaricate about the bush any longer.
Chris Wright boils the mission down to this skeleton that comes from God’s words to Abraham in Genesis 12.1-3:
and be a blessing…
and all nations will be blessed through you.’*
Now you (like me!) may have various reactions to that.
- Is that all? Isn’t that just a bit simplistic? (To quote the penguins from the film Madagascar: ‘Smile and wave, boys, smile and wave…)
- I can do that! Or I think I can – if blessings means smile & be pleasant to…
- That doesn’t sound like what the Church has done to the world, to me. ‘Nuff said.
- Through me? How? All nations?
And the list might go on. (Please feel free to add other reactions.)
My predominant reaction, though, is the glorious lightness of this task (even if it also promises to take me to dark places in order to fulfil it): I am (we are) supposed to be in the business of being a blessing to others.
And not just when they sneeze.
There are a number of questions that come out of this summary, of course (which is why Chris Wright’s book runs to nearly three hundred pages). Stuff such as – ‘Why Go?,’ ‘Bless how?,’ ‘Which nations?’ and ‘What happened to Genesis chapters 1-11?’ More on these later.
(Bonus marks for those who can spot a hidden penguin in the above.)