On the very first page of our United Methodist Book of Discipline, we are reminded of the mission of the United Methodist Church. Our mission is…
To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
That’s why we’re here. That’s why Southside United Methodist Church exists. Our ultimate purpose is to glorify God and we do that by making disciples of his Son who will change the world with his Gospel.
Once again, I love the way our Discipline puts it. It says…
The local church provides the most significant arena through which disciple-making occurs. It is a community of true believers under the Lordship of Christ. It is the redemptive fellowship in which the Word of God is preached by persons divinely called and the sacraments are duly administered according to Christ’s own appointment. Under the discipline of the Holy Spirit, the church exists for the maintenance of worship, the edification of believers, and the redemption of the world.
Amen! I love that mission and the language used to express it.
And who could argue that our world is presently in serious need of redemption? In Egypt, Iran, New Zealand, Libya, China, and in our country – just to name a few – we find overwhelming sin, devastation, unrest, brokenness, war, death, and more. The fallen, sinful, broken human condition is on display for all to see.
If ever the world-at-large needed faithful disciples of Jesus Christ to bring redemption, it’s now.
But it’s not just “over there,” is it? It’s here in our own backyard. It’s our own lives, our families, our workplaces, our local community. Every sphere of our lives needs the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s why we’re called to make faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.
I want to briefly share with you two stories. The first is about an incredibly tiny and seemingly insignificant group of people who began turning the greatest empire in the world (at that time) upside down with nothing more than the Gospel. The second story takes place about 1,700 years later. It involves another small group of people who, armed only with that same gospel, helped turn England upside down (or better, right-side up)..
We’ll take a look at Story #1, next time.
Grace and Truth,
Based on a sermon preached February 27, 2011