20 Dec Merry Christmas from Storyline
Emmanuel, God with us.
For me, it took a flight over the Sahara desert to a church at the end of a dirt road in Kampala, Uganda to hear the word “unreached.” A tattered map was tacked to the front of the church, pointing to the 10/40 window. Believers sat shoulder to shoulder looking at the proximity of the Ugandan church to the unreached. Heaviness fell over the body of Christ at the reality of those living and dying without ever hearing the name Jesus. Never had I felt such the weight of the Great Commission.
But, it was after the service that my perspective shifted.
I knew about the need in Uganda. My heart broke seeing street children huffing fumes in order to cope.
What I hadn’t seen was the wealth of the Church in Uganda. As the speaker concluded, the crowd’s heaviness was replaced with excitement, even in the reality of neighboring North Africa. Our King commissioned the Church as ambassadors to the nations, and here were men and women responding in faith-filled obedience.
Their questions were not when westerners could come. Instead, what tools did we in the Western world have to equip them to go.
This is the heart of mobilization.
Emmanuel: God with us. The Old Testament declared He was coming.
The New Testament unveils an incarnate God that fulfills the law for all nations.
“He says, ‘You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.’” Isaiah 49:6
It is an exciting time to be part of the Kingdom of God to earth, one where it will take the entire body of Christ to accomplish the task of bringing the Good News to the unreached.
Oh, come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Oh bid our sad divisions cease,
And be yourself our King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!
(Oh, Come, Oh, Come Emmanuel)
Translated: John Neal, 1818-66
Our great King came as a child, commissioned us to the ends of the earth, and empowers us with His Spirit. The Ugandan church is unpacking their role in the Great Commission, alongside believers around the world. The face of missions has shifted as we link arms as a global church.
“Now, according to your word, Sovereign Lord, permit your servant to depart in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in presence of all peoples: a light, for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” Luke 2:29-32