Thursday, May 08, 2008

The church as a mission, not fortress

Last Wednesday at worship we looked at the following scripture:

Matthew 16: 13-18
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ,the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

I've heard this many times, but only recently read the distinction that gates are defensive. So the church is to be a like a rescue mission, going "behind enemy lines" to rescue the captives.

I think that is such a cool image. The church isn't a fortress keeping bad people out, and keeping teenagers locked in so they can't have sex. It's about being on a mission with God. Is this new? No. But I think it's very profound.

Pastor John Drage from a church on the campus of Mizzou came and spoke, and it was wonderful!

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