The Father and Jesus were talking one day in heavenly places. Throughout the old covenant, the righteousness and faithfulness and compassion of God had been poured out from heaven onto the brokenness of humanity,
But still mankind rebelled. So one day Jesus was talking with the Father, and voicing out loud the possible strategies that would be appropriate at this moment of time for the restoration of His people on earth. Should it be another leader, another disaster, another miracle, another prophet again this time?
But the Father had already turned and was gazing distantly out of the window. He became quiet - very quiet, deeply thoughtful, intensely troubled. Jesus stopped in mid-sentence, and quietly, expectantly, nervously watched His Father’s back. Speak to me, He thought. Just speak to me. But the Father remained silent. Slowly, deeply, silently, the enormous truth dawned on Jesus, and eventually and with a cracked voice He quietly said to His Father, “It’s me, isn’t it? It’s me. I’ve got to go, haven’t I? This time I’ve actually got to go.”
For the rest of the day the Father sat with Jesus and outlined His ultimate plan for the salvation of the world. Every few minutes new depths of awareness crashed into Jesus, Son of God, Lamb, Bread, Bridegroom, Shepherd, Cornerstone, Rock, Vine, Word, as the Father outlined what sort of birth He would have, what sort of life He would lead, what sort of death He would suffer, and why.
Incarnation. It’s all about being. It’s all about being here. And it’s all about discovering and connecting with God’s fingerprint. By coming to another culture you are entering into a conversation that is already happening.
So, mission is a matter of finding where God is already at work, and joining in. My friend Gordie Lagore told me once of a First Nations lady in northern Canada, and how she had greeted him when he arrived in her community with a short-term mission team. “If you think you have come to help us, you are wasting your time. But if you believe that somehow your healing is tied up with ours, then come and let’s live and love and work together.”
...has trained and led dozens of Short Term Mission Teams to more than thirty countries around the world, and always urges them to invest into understanding, valuing and engaging with the host culture.