“Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything” (1 Peter 4:7-11, The Message).
Years ago, the television show Mission: Impossible always began with a scene in which the team leader, Mr. Phelps, would receive a tape describing his next mission. The tape invariably began, “Your mission, should you choose to accept it…”
This iconic line came to my mind as I read through the final chapters of Peter’s letter to the early church. The early Christians of Peter’s day, many of whom were pagan converts, were faced with a nearly impossible mission. First, they had the difficult task of living out their faith in families, workplaces, and communities that largely rejected and were hostile toward their commitments and belief. And second, they had the even more daunting task of speaking up and sharing this Good News they had come to believe with those very same people and even as far as to the ends of the earth.
When you think about it, our mission today is just as difficult and daunting. We, like those early Christians, are called and sent out to our families, our workplaces, our neighborhoods, and even to the ends of the earth. We face discouragement, rejection, doubt, and disdain just like the people Peter is writing to in this letter. But yet, this is our mission, should we choose to accept it.
Peter gives advice to his first audience that holds true for us today. Don’t get bogged down, don't be discouraged, don’t give up in spite of hardship. Start small. Be intentional. Love. Give. Share. Small acts repeated over and over again, in faith, can have monumental impact. The ripple effects of one small faithful act magnified and multiplied over time can make all the difference in the world.
Early on in my ministry I was given advice by a Bishop in the United Methodist Church that I remember to this day. He said that what made all the difference in his life and ministry were the small things that he did over and over and over again, week in and week out without fail. They weren’t big things, they were small things like writing thank you notes every Monday morning, connecting in a meaningful way with one person a week, and praying for each member of his congregation on a regular basis.
Being on mission to the world can seem like an impossible task, but as the old adage goes “the best way to eat an elephant is to take one bite at a time.” What is one thing that you can do over and over and over again, week in and week out without fail, that will make all the difference?
Is it prayer? Is it a Faith Promise offering? Is it serving in a local ministry? It is inviting a friend to church? This is your mission, should you choose to accept it…
**A reminder, that this Sunday we will be collecting your Faith Promise Commitment Cards in all worship services. Be sure to bring the card that you received in the mail earlier this month (additional cards will be available on-site if needed). If you are unable to attend this weekend, please mail or drop-off your commitment card to the Financial Office as soon as possible.**