For the past four years, I’ve thought a lot about my “calling.” Indeed, we are often exhorted to discover the calling that God has placed on our lives. Being at Westmont for the past few years has shown me that God’s plans for my life often tend to be different than my own. Moreover, his plans and will are always far better than my own.
Having received the opportunity to attend Urbana this year (which is a missions conference hosted by Intervarsity that is attended by 12,000 college students), I have been thinking about what it means to be called by God into his global mission. The Lord has called us all — no matter what major we study or profession we enter — to participate in the redemptive work that Christ is doing in the world. While being here, I’ve been struck by how Christ isn’t calling His people to be saviors of the world, rather He is calling us to faithfully and humbly point others to THE Savior of the world.
Often when we think about “missions,” we tend to think of the work that human beings have done throughout history. I’m forced to ask myself — “How do we reconcile going into all the world (including our own neighborhoods) while living humble lives of servanthood?” I’m learning that the book of Revelation calls us simply to be faithful witnesses — acting as signposts to the faithful witness himself — Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:5). Jesus brought redemption and hope into broken spaces by laying down his own life for the sake of the other, and I am called to the same. We are called to do the same.
The Church around the world is accomplishing incredible things through the power of the Spirit. While I’ve been here at the Urbana Missions Conference, I’ve been able to behold the beauty of Christ’s redemptive work in newfound ways. The global people of God are bringing hope through evangelism, justice, showing tangible love to marginalized communities, caring for creation, and the proclaiming the Gospel across the world. I’m discovering that I am invited into this work as well.
God is a missionary God. Indeed, I consider how Jesus “moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14 MSG). Jesus, the Son of God, not only commissions us to participate in acts of redemption and hope, he models how we are to do so. He didn’t enter broken spaces to bring victory with force or worldly power, rather He came to be “faithful unto death” (Revelation 2:10; 5:9 ESV). In Christ’s Kingdom, the victory that the Lion of the tribe of Judah brings is through the death of the slain lamb. The Hope of the world was ushered into time and space not through a powerful army, but on a cross. That which seemed to be defeat declared life, hope, and resurrection.
We, now, are a part of this remarkable story. God is still writing his story in the earth, and because we know the end of that story (Christ returns and makes all things new!) we can be announcers of that hope and ambassadors of the kingdom of God.
I am learning that my calling is simply to be an announcer of hope. Jesus, the one who was faithful witness unto the point of death, is calling His people — His body — to be faithful witnesses as well. Regardless of the subject that we study or the career we enter, may we be a people who announce the hope of Jesus. I am excited to head back to Westmont for my final semester, to continue to discover how I can announce the hope of Christ in the places that I live and to the people that I encounter.