Setting Our Faces on the Mission

Text: Luke 9:51
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. (NRSV)

I think I have missed a lot of opportunities to be in God’s will because I have not been “intentional” about seeking God’s timing.  Either I have forced something and gotten ahead of God, or I have not been paying close attention and have gotten behind God’s timing.

I remember one of our Bishops who always had amazing visions of what God wanted the United Methodist Church in Greater New Jersey to do.  His vision for God’s work in our area was always inspired and specific.  The only problem was, he never gave us enough time to properly prepare and therefore execute the plan in the way that would have made it as impactful as it could have been.  I’m sure it was because he was always so excited about the possibilities that he wanted it to come to fruition as soon as it could, but he always seemed to get ahead of God’s timing.

I could tell other stories about not acting fast enough when a vision from God comes into one’s mind and so, even if the execution of the vision were flawless, the opportunity for maximum impact had come and gone.

One of the things that today’s text is saying to me is that intentionality and timing are extremely important when we have a vision of the mission God is calling us to execute.  Jesus knows that the timing for his ultimate act of sacrifice and salvation is drawing near.  With this knowledge, Jesus puts all other things aside and “set[s] his face to go to Jerusalem.”  He knows what he must do, he knows when it must happen, and he focusses on the mission.

This is important for the Church (and individual Christians) as well.  It is estimated that the Church is often seven or more years behind the culture in making the necessary changes that will reach new generations with the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.  We need to spend time in God’s presence, intentionally listening to God for his vision and timing, and then we need to focus on the mission that God has for us as we set our faces on the ultimate goal of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Pray with me:

God of love and God of mission speak your vision into the heart of your Church that we might know your goal for our ministry in this broken world.  And then, fill us with your Holy Spirit that we might set our faces on your mission.  AMEN.

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