On Mission

“I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18, NIV)

You’ve heard of Peter, right?  The often brash and outspoken disciple of Jesus.  The former fisherman, turned fisher of men.  The guy full of so much faith (or was it sheer craziness?) that he stepped out of the boat and walked on water.  He’s the man who first confessed Jesus as the Messiah, but then turned around and denied he even knew him not once, not twice but three times.  He’s the same guy who ran as fast as he possibly could when he received word that the tomb was empty.  Peter—a prominent voice in the early church, a performer of miracles, baptizer of eunuchs, receiver of a vision of God’s new creation.  Peter—an apostle, the rock the church is built on, a martyr for the faith.

Do you ever wonder how Peter became Peter?  I mean, what set him on his course?  What brought him to Jesus in the first place?  Many remember the story recounted in Matthew, Mark, and Luke of Jesus walking along the Sea of Galilee, and seeing Simon (soon to be renamed Peter) and his brother Andrew fishing and Jesus called out to them to follow him.  

But have you ever noticed the corresponding story in the Gospel of John?  In John 1:40-42, it’s his little brother Andrew who follows Jesus first and cannot contain his excitement over finding the Messiah that he runs to tell big brother Simon.  It was Peter's little brother Andrew who led him to Jesus.

We are all called by Jesus to be “on mission.”  To be so compelled, so overjoyed, so inspired by our own encounter with the Lord, that we go and tell and lead people to Jesus ourselves.  Many are daunted by this idea.  Scared by the concept of walking up to strangers, knocking on neighbor's doors.  But we don’t have to be.  We learn from Andrew and Peter that mission can begin in our own homes, with our siblings, our parents, children and grandchildren.  

We don’t have to jump on a plane to some far off country to lead someone to Jesus, it can begin with a conversation at the dinner table, a bedtime story, an invitation to a loved one to come along and see for themselves.

This week we are kicking off our month-long Faith Promise focus at Wheatland Salem Church.  As we explore what it means to be “On Mission” in our homes, our places of work, our communities and the world.  This week we’ll consider what we can learn from Andrew and Peter (along with a few other modern day examples).

Until Sunday think on this: Who can I lead to Jesus in my very own home?

As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness.  God said, ‘I am holy; you be holy.’” (1 Peter 1:14-16, The Message)

-Pastor Derek