May Mission Month: Crossing the Street
Who are missionaries?
“Again Jesus said, Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
This month is May Mission Month. The month when we particularly focus on Australian Baptist Mission. Mission is not an exclusive Christian word - lots of companies have mission statements. The word comes to us from Latin, meaning ‘to send’. A missionary is someone who is commissioned and sent. The Greek equivalent is apostle. By convention we tend to refer to the twelve as ‘The Apostles’ and others as missionaries.
Who are missionaries? It’s not wrong to have a group of people who we specially think of as missionaries but there is a sense in which we are all missionaries. One of the least quoted Great Commission verses is John 20:21 “Again Jesus said, Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” In Greek there are two different send words. It goes: As the Father has apostello me so I pempo you. I love this distinction! Let me explain. Jesus was specially commissioned and sent by the Father and apostello has this sense of being commissioned and sent. Whereas pempo is a more general sending.
Some of us have had an apostello call on our lives. The rest of us are pempo type missionaries. We are sent to be missionaries as we go to work, do the shopping, buy a coffee, talk to the neighbour, and go about our normal life being salt and light in the community. One is not more important than the other. Both are important in different ways. Today God has pempo-edyour world to witness for him. Go in his power.