Mother Lily’s Message
Mission is often misunderstood as something the church does. I confess. When I began my descent into a deeper understanding of it all (church, mission, spirituality, religion), I, too, un-derstood it to be something the church does. My formational journey has taken me to a new place of understanding.
Mission is the church. The church (as the people of God) serve mission, not the other way around. And, not our idea of mission, but God’s, as demonstrated for us in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Mission is the very definition of what we are (or can be) as God’s creation. Jesus Christ is our teacher and mentor in this missional formation we have em-barked upon. God provides us opportunities, every day, to be missional. It doesn’t just take place in our church building, during our worship, or merely among our own congregation. It takes place in all places and in all time. We are constantly being invited to participate. Partici-pating requires a state of being. If you are missional in your heart, mind, and soul, you will be missional in your actions.
There is the parable of the spoons; author unknown, which goes like this. A holy man was hav-ing a conversation with the Lord one day and said, “Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.” The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the ta-ble was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man’s mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The Lord said: “You have now seen Hell.” They went to the next room and opened the door. It was the same as the first one. There was a large round table with a large pot of stew which made the holy man’s mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump – all laughing and talking. The holy man said, “I don’t understand.” “It is simple,” said the Lord, “it requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other. While the greedy think only of themselves.”
Mission is felt and accomplished in community, with community and for community. “Hell” is a world where people only see and act upon their own needs. When we become missional in thought word and deed, we begin to see what God requires of us in this world. And, we con-tribute to this new world; God’s Kingdom. We discover that one skill – to feed others.
Blessings to each and every one of you,