Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Living the Missio Lux Description

Missio Lux is a faith community
where everyone participates,
serving out of our gifts and resources
for the building up of everyone else.

My husband Bill always says, “There are two kinds of people. Those that build others up and those that tear them down.” Isn’t that the truth? I think that we all have people in our lives that are negative influences on us; they can drain us of valuable energy, focus and production.

Think about someone in your past that spent time building you up; making intentional effort to listen to you, to value your thoughts, to take interest in your academic or vocational pursuits. When we think of them, our mouth automatically smiles because of the impact that they made on us!

The last phrase of our Missio Lux description is about building one another up. The Bible is very clear that we are to live a lifestyle of building into those around us, as well as the world.

Ephesians 4 takes great care to give us specific ways for us to build others up:
1. Unity: (vs. 1-3)
2. Spiritual Gifts: (vs. 7-13)
3. Speak the Truth in Love (vs. 15)
4. Complete the Body: (vs. 16)
5. Walk in our New Nature (vs. 23-24)
6. Speak Encouragement (vs.29)
7. Sacrifice for Others (vs. 5:1-2)

The entire chapter is filled with loving, but firm, encouragements that Jesus’ Church (that’s us) is not to exist to have our needs met, but to seek to meet the needs of those around us so that the whole Body is built up. I believe that as we commit ourselves to live with an attitude of service and building up that we will discover that our needs are being met too. The road to fulfillment is not to have our needs met first; it is through serving those around us and putting them first.

Jesus said, “I did not come to be served, but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

If we are truly going to live a lifestyle like Jesus, contextulized for the 21st century, we need to follow Jesus’ path. He humbled himself and took the role of the lowest servant, getting on his knees and washing his disciple’s dirty feet. He told them to go and do the same for one another.

Practically, how do the themes of unity, service, encouragement and maturity live out in Missio Lux?

What is our response when something doesn’t go quite like we expected it to happen? Do we grumble and criticize or do we offer to give what may be helpful to make it better?

What is our response when someone in our missio community is sick or has an accident or needs childcare? Are we willing to go out of our way to help, or do we pretend that we didn’t get the news?

What is our response when we hear of a need in the Celebration or a missio and we have a spiritual gift that could make a big difference? Do we offer it or do we justify it away, claiming we are too busy?

What is our response when a member of our missio community offends us? Do we lovingly confront or do we distance ourselves?

The Bible is a practical book. It is the handbook on how to live a Jesus lifestyle. The Apostle Paul spent a great amount of time (almost half the New Testament) writing to small house churches like Missio Lux who were dealing with regular life issues like ours. He directs us to look to the way of Jesus in our responses.

As we do, we will find ourselves living out the Missio Lux description:

Missio Lux is a faith community
where everyone participates,
serving out of our gifts and resources for the building up of everyone else.

This is my challenge to you: rewrite the description to read:

I am part of a Missio Lux faith community where I participate,
serving out of my gifts and resources
as I seek to build up of everyone else.

Now, say a prayer and ask Jesus to give you the grace to live it out. If we all make this commitment, we will have a faith community that others will want to join.

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