All-Encompassing

Rev. Cliff WarnerCliffNotes

This week’s CliffNotes is a guest post by Peter Coelho, associate rector.

Dear Christ Church,

In his book The Mission of God, Christopher Wright reflects on how Exodus impacts our understanding of God’s mission, and our mission as HIs church. Looking at God’s deliverance of the people of Israel, he makes the claim that the scope of the Exodus itself is the scope of mission. What God does in freeing the Israelites, politically, economically, socially, and spiritually is what He wants to achieve in the world for all people.

The deliverance that God leads his people into is holistic and all-encompassing. What a hope! As we continue to work our way through the book in the coming weeks and months this truth will become clearer and clearer.

The idea that God’s deliverance is total, touching on every area of life has all kinds of implications. One of them is that participation in the mission of God may be far broader and more varied than we often think. God’s mission involves all kinds of vocations and responsibilities, not just “spiritual” ones. As Mark Buchanan writes in The Rest of God, “if you can do it with a clear conscience, you can do it for the glory of God.” We each have a role to play in God’s mission in the world.

As well, because God’s vision of deliverance is all-encompassing then our identity as His people is also all-encompassing. There is no part of our lives that is not a part of our calling as His people. Quickly after God has the Israelites across the Red Sea He gives them the Law, teaching them, in the whole of life, what it means to be His people.

This Lent, as we each step from those things that crowd and fill our lives we have the opportunity to take stock of what it might mean to live as God’s people, God’s person, wholly, in our various contexts. In this season we carve out space to reflect on the all-encompassing call the Gospel places on our lives. One opportunity for such a reflective space is our Parish Quiet Day this coming Saturday, see below for details. I hope to see you there!

In Christ,

Peter