New Creation

iTunes-A-PeopleThis past Sunday we finished up our series A People of His Very Own at Grace Church. I was fortunate enough to preach the last message of the series, which was on the shared mission of God’s people. As I understand it, God’s mission is new creation, and he wants to partner with human beings, both to make them new, and, through them, to make all things new. The impetus for the message came from a question I asked in the other sermon I preached in the series, Eyes Up. Here is the question:

Will you still follow Jesus when it dawns on you that he has not come to fill the God-shaped hole in your heart, but rather to call you, together with all the saints, to fill the cross-shaped hole in the world?

In other words, are you still going to be committed to Jesus when you finally understand that his top priority is not to meet your needs, but rather to equip you and call you to fulfill his mission in the world, in the same way that he fulfilled it? The primary text for the sermon was Matthew 10:38, but I also went to 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 and 2 Corinthians 6:3-10.


There is a God-breathed kind of life that is ours for the taking, but it can only be found when we lay down this self-centered life to which we cling.
The thing that I was most fortunate to take from my sermon prep was the time I spent listening to the stories of how people at Grace have been walking out this mission, and how God is, in turn, causing his kingdom to grow in our neighborhood. The things that Jesus said about God’s kingdom really are true. You sow a small seed and you reap a massive harvest. You do your work, and the kingdom grows without you knowing it, or, sometimes, even seeing it. While I’ve been living in Boston and Columbus for the past ten years, God has been at work in the church where I grew up in powerful and transformative ways. I’m grateful that I now get to be a part of that work as both a participant and a pastor.