Thirty years ago, I was in a small group Bible study in college, in which the leader was talking about Matthew 28:18-20, our scripture reading for this Sunday’s Missions Celebration. Jesus utters these iconic words to his disciples:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.”
My Bible study leader pointed out an insight on the first word in that sentence that I have never forgotten. He said that in the Greek, the tense of the word “go” is better translated “as you are going,” rather than simply, “go.”
This nuance makes all the difference in, well, the world. Jesus was not telling his disciples that engaging in missions is solely relegated to programs at a distance. Missional engagement is primarily a way of being,an orientation of one’s life in alignment with God’s love for the whole world.
It means that we are called to make disciples as we go about the everydayness of life, not just in our support of mission partners and agencies working around the world.
THIS SUNDAY: MISSIONS CELEBRATION
To give us even greater insight into this text and to inspire us with the work of the worldwide connection of the United Methodist Church, we are eager to welcome the Rev. Dr. Martyn Atkins as our guest preacher this Sunday.
Dr. Atkins has 40 years of experience in British Methodism, as President of the Methodist Church in Britain, as well as professor and President of Cliff College, a Methodist institution. He was Superintendent of Methodist Central hall, Westminster, working closely with Westminster Abbey and Parliament. He is also a leader in the Fresh Expressions movement and the World Methodist Council.
He is currently serving here in Florida, as the interim pastor of Lighthouse UMC in Boca Grande, which was severely impacted by Hurricane Ian. We pray for his congregation and his community, as we welcome him this Sunday to offer his insights and wisdom.
See you Sunday!