Saturday, January 9, 2010

missions

There is nothing like reading a missionary biography to kick my butt. (In the best way possible.) I read the story of Mary Slessor this week, and I am again amazed at how missions of the 19th century looked so different from missions of the 21st. Yes, we have made good advances since then--contextualization, moved away from white imperialism, ecetera, but those pioneers of the faith were playing at stakes that very few of us choose to today. I remember a missions instructor in college saying that in the early days of foreign missions, "short term" missions meant packing your stuff in a coffin as you headed to the field because you might not live longer than a few years. So different from today, when we can hop on a jet to the other side of the world for a few weeks. I'm not saying all short term missions are wrong; it is just sobering how easy and quick and painless they often are.

Mary's life makes me want to be more bold. Is the Gospel of Jesus Christ really the most important thing to me? Am I living toward my eternal home or living grasping the dirt here?

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