the last week: reflections

texas_sunsetThe sun is setting on the Holts’ time in Texas. Friday marks our’ last full day as residents of Abilene, TX.

We ship out on Saturday morning on our three-day, U-Haul-dragging trek to Boston, Mass., our new home. This reality has not fully set in yet, but I’m sure the process will begin as the ACU Tower of Light goes from toothpick to non-existent in our rear-view mirror.

This has been a strange week, full of awkward goodbyes, emptying rooms, and meals. We have eaten lots of food with lots of people. People have taken us out for lunches, dinners, ice creams, coffees. We’re saying goodbye to folks that we have come to love, folks who have journeyed with us as fellow pilgrims in God’s story.

While Chrissy (and her friends) have been boxing our stuff and running last-minute errands, however, I have been in class. One might think sitting in class from 8-5 the days before moving across the country would be a nuisance at best, completely deplorable at worst.

Not this week.

This week has been refreshing. I can honestly say that it has been because of God’s teaching through this week’s conversation and class material that I finally understand what this move is all about. We’re not moving to Boston out of obligation to God, because of the city’s great “needs,” or even because of the Great Commission. While these motives may be in the mix somewhere, our primary motive is much more basic.

It is this: Mission is at the heart of the triune God (God, Son, Spirit). God is a sending God. The creation of the earth was missional. God’s interaction with Adam and Eve was missional. God’s care for (and admonishment of) the Israelites, the sending of God’s son, and God’s watching over the early church was missional. Before the foundations of the world, the nature of the Trinity was mission, eternally moving toward each other in what some authors have called “the cosmic dance.”

Here’s the beautiful thing, though: Humanity is invited to join in the life of the Trinity, which is relationship and mission. As the Trinity exists in mission to each other, it in turn moves into creation in an effort to bring redemption and glory to God. Our joy is in joining in this mission. If we are joined to the heart of God, we cannot separate ourselves from this mission. God’s nature will become our heart’s desire. For the most concise and accessible description of the Trinity (and how ministry is derived from the life of the Trinity) that I have ever seen, pick up Ministry in the Image of God: The Trinitarian Shape of Christian Service, by Stephen Seamands.

So entering into an even more intentional and permanent mission in Boston, God has shown me through this class how Chrissy and I need to be postured. Mission is simply living more fully into God’s story, the greatest and most fulfilling story in existence, and inviting others to do the same.

Here’s my plea to all who are reading this: Begin to truly live in Christ. I don’t mean increasing church activities. I mean new life in Christ. The kind of life that gets you up in the morning. The kind of life where connecting to the heart of God is your life’s singular desire, which includes the invitation to others to find this connection and new life. This is the life God is on mission bringing to all creation, and the kind of life for which our fallen world is crying out. Quit living “do’s and don’ts” Christianity in which “sin avoidance” is the first order of business. Consider N.T. Wright’s definition of sin in his book Simply Christian: “The refusal to live.” Wow. Start living.

Well, we’re outta here come Saturday morning. The next time I blog, it will be from Beantown. Blogging will likely become more frequent as school drops out of the picture, so stay connected to us through this site. Pray for us, and let us know how we can pray for you. Whatever you do, however, make sure you’re living in all the joy, peace, and passion that God’s journey affords.

Shalom, friends.

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