If you’ve been around Alpine for a while, you may have heard someone say this: At Alpine, we don’t believe that the church has a mission. We believe that God’s mission has a church.
This understanding of mission changes how we think about church and how we live our lives. But if that’s the case, then is God’s mission? What are we signing up for?
The way that we’re understanding God’s mission at Alpine comes from Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21. In a nutshell, it describes God’s mission like this: God’s mission to reconcile the world to himself through Jesus.
The key word in that statement is the word, “reconcile.” It comes from an old Latin term that means, “to make good again.” Let’s take a second to pause here. In this one word, there are three ideas that shape everything we believe about what God is up to in the world:
There was a time when things were good.
They are not good now.
Things can be good again through Jesus.
Once upon a time, things were good between God and the world. In fact, in the Bible’s origin story of the world (Genesis 1), God made everything, took a metaphorical step back to look at it all, and declared that it was, “very good.”
But then things went horribly wrong.
People decided that instead of living in God’s good world, they wanted to define good and evil for themselves. All the goodness that God intended for the world was ruined because humanity could not bear the weight of God-hood.
The logical thing for God to do at this point might have been to start over. But instead of abandoning the world, God decided that he was going to make things right again. He was going to reconcile the world to himself.
The way that he would do this would be by sending his Son into the world. Through his life, Jesus would show humanity what it was like to live in God’s good world. Through his death, Jesus would break the power of hate, injustice, selfishness, fear, brokenness, and evil that was the result of humanity’s tragic choice. And through his resurrection, Jesus would prove to the entire world that new life with God was possible.
Through Jesus, the entire world is being brought back into a right relationship with God.
When we talk about being a part of God’s mission, this is what we believe we’re stepping into. We are joining Jesus as he carries out God’s mission to reconcile the world to himself. We are joining Jesus as he is to making everything good again.
This idea should set our imaginations on fire.
What would it look like for the entire world to be reconciled to God through Jesus? What would you family be like if God made all the relationships in it good again? How would you feel about going to work if God’s mission had been accomplished? What sort of neighbors would you have in a world like that?
This is what God is doing in the world through Jesus.
This is what we get to be a part of.
This is mission.