— Daniel 11:32
Acts 17 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.
I recently had to submit a 1500 word assignment entitled “Reflecting on your own journey of faith, how has the mission of the church impacted on your own faith journey?” The assignment was an attempt to make me think through the various paradigms of church mission and their influence on my christianity. However the concept that I came out of my study most appreciating is that of God on mission or “missio Dei”.
Missio Dei flips the idea of asking God to help us in our mission and instead forces us to ask the question “what are you doing God”? I find it wonderfully helpful to think of God as being on mission, he is in the world working in peoples lives drawing them to him. And we need to live our lives with eyes open looking for what he is doing so that we can get stuck in.
This passage from Acts demonstrates it beautifully. Paul, speaking to the men of Athens points out the alter to the unknown god and links this to the God who made the heavens and the earth. Who built that alter? How long had it been there? We don’t know. Could it be that God had been up to something and the men of Athens had no idea, could it be that God had arranged for that alter to be in that place knowing that one day his servant would follow up on what he was doing, and use it to bring people to himself.
Father: help me see the unnoticed things in peoples lives and in my world that is actually you at work. Help we me to get onboard with what you are doing. Amen
p.s. I got 74% for that assignment :-]
And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. Mark 9
Whenever I read the story of the transfiguration it makes me think about the second coming. It was as if Peter, James and John got a glimpse of the true glory of Jesus. This was the Jesus that one day all will see, the Jesus that Paul describes in his letter to the Philippians.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
It is this Jesus that will put all things right, he will fix all that is broken, and mend every injustice. All of creation is waiting for that to happen and Peter, James and John got a small glimpse of that future day.
Father: help me live my life in a way that is always pointing towards that future day. Help me to be prepared and to prepare the world around me for the moment when all you have been doing will be completed, renewed and restored. Help me live in the now but declare the not yet.