Mission Possible

The “Mission Impossible” movie franchise now
boasts seven films, and is reportedly extending to
at least an eighth installment (film websites show
the release date for movie #7 as July 10, 2023,
and the release date for movie #8 as June 28,
2024). Most of us know this, but maybe some do
not: these movies are based on the classic
“Mission Impossible” TV series from the 1960s
and 1970s. It was a TV series about spycraft and
espionage. Each episode typically followed the
same formula. The agents—IMF force—were
tasked with a highly secretive mission. Yet the
agency maintained its deniability. That is, if the
main agent or any of the rest of IMF force were
ever caught or otherwise discovered, the agency
would disavow any knowledge of them, or of their
mission. This is the reason that at the beginning of
every mission briefing, the one giving the brief
would state, “Your mission, should you choose to
accept it …” The IMF force was always tasked
with impossible missions. Thus the title, “Mission
Impossible.”
We each can certainly recall “missions” with
which we were tasked in our lives that we thought
impossible. I can remember times growing up
when I was given particular yard work tasks, or
other cleanup duties, that I believed at the time
were impossible to accomplish. In music, the
budding musician sometimes runs across a
musical assignment that seems far beyond what
he or she could ever master (as a terrible guitar
player, I can relate to that sentiment!). Human
relationships can become complicated and
seemingly impossible to untangle. Work
responsibilities can pile up and overwhelm,
eventually becoming—at least in our minds—
impossible to accomplish. Whatever it may be,
when it comes to “Mission Impossible,” we have
all been there—in one way or another.

It has been said that God did not create
a mission for his church. Rather, God
created a church for his mission. God’s
mission has been in force since the very
beginning—since he promised to Abram
that through Abram all nations would be
blessed (Gen. 12:1-3). This mission was
also intended to be effected through Israel,
whom God formed as a “light for the
nations” (Is. 42:6, 49:6). The mission of
God would reach its ultimate fulfillment in
the person and work of Jesus.
God’s mission is a universal mission, in
the sense that everyone is invited. God
desires all humanity to know him and come
to him. His mission is also a particular
mission, in that the only way to God is
through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Because
we are people who have been saved by
the grace of God through faith in Jesus
Christ, we are tasked with God’s mission.
In Jesus, we are called into a kingdom life
to live by kingdom ethics and to impress
upon the world—by our lives—a better way
of living. Our very lives are intended to
challenge the ethics of the world. Because
we are in Christ, our actions and our words
are being molded by the power of the Spirit
to be actions and words that honor God,
and that show the world the eternal value
of being in Christ. This is our role in the
mission of God. And, as Paul states, “the
surpassing power belongs to God and not
to us.” In other words, we are simply
imperfect vessels who are called to live out
the mission of God. We are “jars of clay”
containing the greatest treasure
imaginable.
–Ricky

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