Vol 2:5 In the Midst of Mission Let us Not Forget to Love God

Last week I was at the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries in Elkhart, IN for a week-long Pastor’s Conference. Two things shaped me that week that focus my thoughts this week.

I picked up Stanley Hauerwas’ Hannah’s Child: A Theologian’s Memoir, which I read whenever I could find a place to sit down to read. Also, on Thursday morning, Leonard Dow, a Mennonite pastor from Philadelphia, preached reminding us not to forget to say “I love you Jesus” in the midst of our living.

In walking with Hauerwas as he reflects on his life journey and being reminded to say “I love you God,” I was reminded how human we are in the midst of our living – and how God is with us in the midst of our humanity. We are not alone – God is with us; we have been and are being set free from all that seeks to destroy us through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; we are sustained as the Holy Spirit dwells within us; we are loved by God!

We are loved by God and God involves us in God’s mission because God loves us.

One of the things I have noticed about me is that in being missional I can quickly be caught up with the task of being involved in mission. I recognize that God is the initiator and accomplisher of God’s mission, but I realize that I am so caught up in “doing mission” that I forget to love the Lord my God. I may think it at times, but I find myself not saying it to God – hardly ever. I do love God, very deeply, and with all of my being – but in being caught up in mission I have forgotten to say these words outloud:

“I love you God, I thank you for all that you are doing in me, for wherever you are leading me, that you are leading me. I love you. I thank you that, as inept as I am, you trust me more than I trust myself in participating with you in seeing your will being done on earth just as it is in heaven. Jesus, I love you. You are with me – I am not alone – you sustain me, your flood me with your grace, your peace – and in times of loneliness or self-doubt you are with me, loving me. I love you Lord.”

Our involvement in mission is not to be a task, nor being a missional people is to be a mere duty-filled act of obedience. Our involvement in mission, in participating with God, is an act of worshiping God, an act of loving God. If it is not, no matter how engaged in mission we are, no matter how we move back into the neighborhood, we will miss revealing that God is redeeming the world because God loves the world – that God so loves the world that God sent the One and Only Son to be with us, not to condemn the world, but to set all humanity free (cf. John 3:16-17).

Our being a missional people is a call that is lived out in response to worshiping God, to loving God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, with all our strength. We are so good at doing – Lord help us to express our love to you with our words, with our voices, with our lives, and with our actions.

Join me in expressing our “I love you’s” to God.

iMissional.org | Roland Kuhl