We are reminded once again on the meaning to the birth of Jesus Christ. God has revealed His amazing love to this world by giving His one and only Son as a sin offering. The Lord carried the sins of this world, so that man might be reconciled to God and received peace.
At this Christmas, we ask ourselves what is the meaning of world missions? Isaiah 53:4-6 spoke of the path of Christ.
“Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.”
God knew that it meant to send his one and only son whom the loved into this world: It is so that through His Son, man may discover the path toward salvation whereas the world could provide no such path.
What the Coming of the Lord means to us:
“Man’s soul can’t be free from sin. God knew it and saw the suffering inside our souls. The beginning of anxiety is here that man became enemy of God. God knew even the law couldn’t bring the freedom…We become free from sin through the redemption of Christ and begin to live with new life in Christ. This is the true liberation from the power of sin. By coming of the Lord, the sin of the whole world was cleared.”
Without the gospel, men are destined to die for their sins without the chance of redemption. However, this path is marked with sufferings that most do not desire.
The Lord explained the illogical heart of God in Luke 15:
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’”
What allows someone to give up a life of comfort and luxury to pursue a mission that seem to have nominal value to this world? Why would the shepherd give up the 99 he has just to gain 1? Conclusion: It is because of love and concern for even one soul.
Not many have chosen the path of following the Lord’s steps. However for those that had embarked on this path, the love of the Lord comes close to the heart. The Lord was the one who saw the pain and sufferings of the world, and with the heart of mercy embraced sinners so that they might receive salvation. He gave His life in exchange for men to be reconciled to God, and allow them to discover life in midst of various death and despair that clouds over.
The mission of the Lord is a noble task.
Yet the work of mission is carrying of sins. It connotes that receiving of punishments deserved by others. Whereas sin of man pierces one another and condemns each other to death, the Lord redeems that sin by receiving the condemnation onto Him. And just as the Lord was not deserving of suffering and pain, likewise the hardship of mission is neither desired nor deserved of those that pursued it.
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves…” – Matthew 10:16
The humble coming of the Lord was noticed only by those who knew of the bright light that His life would shine upon this world. The shepherds and the Wise Men saw the star in the sky and followed it to the manger in Bethlehem, yet it was unnoticed by everyone else in Israel.
Work of missionary likewise is a light hidden among darkness. This season, we should meditate further on the meaning of mission and pray for those who have chosen to stand on the frontiers. The task of a missionary entails the acceptance of a life that could be inferior to the norm, yet it carries great nobility. Furthermore the life of the Lord, and the love of God, is revealed through the testimonies of their work. May our missionaries go forth into their fields with abundant prayers and strength from the Lord in pursuit of salvation work.