“For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me…Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:35-40
What’s the point of missions? Missions is sometimes viewed as just another church committee, or “those people who go paint houses”, or “those people who go on trips to poor countries.” But missions is more than meetings, or fundraising or doing stuff. Missions is a way to live the life of love God has called us to live.
In Matthew 25, Jesus talks about when He will return to sit on His throne and judge the sheep from the goats. He praises the life the sheep have led–the good works they did, and the sacrifices they made for the hungry, the strangers, the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned. He praises the ones who, when they saw those in need, did something about it. It’s as if Jesus said, “You picked them up, you gave them hope, you had faith in them, you showed them love. You did what I asked of you: you loved them as yourself.”
Missions is more than feeding the hungry children in Costa Rica, more than taking a young man off the streets, more than repairing homes or visiting people in prison. A missional life is giving the person in prison hope of a better tomorrow, showing compassion to the lady who can’t afford to repair her home, having faith in young people so they can find faith in God and themselves, and showing agape love to a child half a world away, who may have never felt that kind of love before.
I believe missions is more than a bunch of people in a committee who raise money to go somewhere and do stuff. Missions is the way Jesus called us to show His love to the world. Missions is love.
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your should and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Written By: Michael Oliver,
Cypress UMC Member and Missions Chair