The Gospel in a Suitcase

Priming the Pump

You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. -Acts 1:8 NASB

This week, I again have the amazing opportunity to travel to some faraway place that I’ve never been before, meet people I’ve never met, work with folks with whom I have little in common (culturally), and likely find myself in many situations which I do not understand (let alone speak the language)…

all for the sake of the witness of Christ… the Gospel.

So, as I get closer to leaving, I’ve been making preparations such as updating my travel documents, going through the material which I’ll be teaching, and getting out my travel gear (suitcases, travel wallet, etc). In the course of these preparations, it occurred to me that many folks would call this a “mission trip.”

Now, when I say those words they bring up all sorts of ideas and images in my head…thoughts of people in need and opportunities to meet those needs in tangible ways, preaching, praying for people, seeing folks being transformed by Jesus, and all the while being transformed myself.

Yet, I think for me, the term “mission trip” is meaningless. It makes me feel like one or maybe two weeks a year, my life is filled with the things that I just mentioned, but the rest of it is just “regular life.”

Wow, really? What is regular life? I’m not sure I want to know. And I’m really not sure that any of us are called to live there.

Frankly, I don’t see this as a “mission trip” at all and furthermore I think I’ll personally abandon the term all together (I have similar feelings toward the terms sacred and secular though that’s a discussion for a different day J). In all honesty, I think I just see this as any other week.

Understand, I’m really not trying to sound super-spiritual here or whatever, I’m merely trying to say that I believe that our everyday lives should constantly be filled with responding to those in need around us, preaching, praying for people, seeing transformation in those around us and in us. We shouldn’t need to travel somewhere to see these things in action… they should be in action through us and around us at home, work, church, the store, and wherever we find ourselves.

Jesus said that we’d be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. I think that this is a pretty “all-inclusive” mandate, geographically and culturally speaking…

So, here’s the question to ponder today…

Is the Gospel something that we store with our suitcase?

Or, are we living an everyday life of naturally supernatural transformation wherever the Lord has us?