VM Series: Discerning A Local Church’s Work In Global Missions (April 2019)

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Easter is for Missions

This blog piece is part of an ongoing, monthly series, as we journey with Red Bluff Vineyard in their process of discerning the specifics of their global missions engagement. Click here to start back at Part 1 from October 2018.

Easter Is For Missions

Holy Week is an important time for the Church, and Vineyards across the globe spend time remembering Jesus’ last days on this earth. Good Friday reminds us of the death of Jesus, a central aspect of the message of the gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-6). This is one of the most important messages we who engage in missions can share with the world around us. Why? Because the death of Jesus is how God communicated his deep love for people (Rom. 5:8).

But it’s important to remember that it’s not the only central message of the gospel. In 1 Corinthians 15, we also read that the Resurrection of Jesus is also essential. Missional work, both local and global, is focused on sharing with people the story of Jesus, both his life, death, and resurrection. In addition to serving and loving our neighbors, we have a hope that we need to share with everyone!

And guess what? After Jesus was powerfully raised from the dead by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:11), he told his followers that one of the reasons why they could (and should) go all over the world telling people about Jesus is, he would be with them. How could Jesus be with them if he had been crucified? Because he was alive!

Christ is risen. Christ is risen, indeed!

As Christopher Wright states,

“The identity and the authority of Jesus of Nazareth, crucified and risen, is the cosmic indicative on which the mission imperative stands authorized... The limitations of Jesus’s earthly ministry and the early mission trips of the disciples to the borders of Israel are now utterly removed. The Messiah is risen; the nations must hear and be drawn into covenant faith and obedience.” (The Mission of God).

The Resurrection is fuel for missions! Jesus is alive and through the Spirit promises to be present with us to the ends of the earth!

Implications Of The Resurrection

This truth stood out to me last week when we were giving a short “mission update” at the Red Bluff Vineyard. One of our members, Cheyenne Houghtby, is going to be heading to Africa for the summer and was giving our church an update on her fundraising, as well as thanking those who had contributed.

While she was sharing this update, I was struck by how important Easter is for missions. Somehow it just “makes sense” (or is at least reasonable?) to leave our homes and go. Why? Because we are not spread the message of a king who is in his grave; rather, we spread the message of hope about a king who was killed but is alive and whose kingdom has come and is coming.

So we continue to move forward in our missional planning because we know who we follow...and he is alive!

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Luke Geraty is a pastor-theologian living in Northern California, and he and his wife, Dawn, lead the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing children, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family or doing church stuff, he enjoys reading and writing theology, fly fishing, and listening to underground hip hop. He blogs at SpiritChurchMission.com and can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.