Tuesday, June 27, 2006

missions futures and the cross of christ

When you're away from the comforts of home for long enough, where you are starts to become home. I had been in Singapore for a year and a half before returning to Canada for my friend's wedding. For a little while that trip had felt like travelling to a foreign country. But soon, you realize how really comfortable it is to be home. The people speak like you and think like you; they've had similar experiences and share common dreams. Sometimes I struggle to remember what it is was that made me leave Canada so hastily to come here - even having the thoughts of not returning home.

After the first bout of bringing up my plans for missions and not receiving a positive response like I had hoped for, I packed up and moved on to Singapore, to a better launch pad where I felt I might have people behind me. On visiting Canada again, I realized that the mircocosm that I had originally left is not the norm for all 2nd Gen Koreans. There are more people like me - I'm not so unique afterall; I'm no trailblazer. There are churches who are zealous for foreign missionary work. There was no reason to write off Canada as being spiritually dormant on such issues.

There seem to be two main factors that influence my philosophy of ministry:
1. Where is there a lack of emphasis or workers in that particular field of need?
- I want to build and work on parts of our wall that people have forgotten and try to avoid.

2. Where are the places that are most Christ-starved?
- I want to climb someone else's wall and see that wall come down.

And so, ahead of me is a year of seeking the Lord and cataloging and 'red-tagging' my own selfish interests. But one thing came clear to me this morning ...

The cross was never and will never be something that we want to do. The joy and the bliss of the cross lay in its finished and final accomplishment, not in the mournful journey up the mountain, nor the nails that pierce the hands - no, that will always suck. When God bids us bear that cross, he bids us wear something we don't want to wear, do something we don't want to do. He bids us lose our logic and reasoning, to reject what is most comfortable and painless. We will always have issues with the cross our Lord wants us to bear. Lest we forget Gethsemane. As far as what could been seen on earth, there was nothing glorious about the cross or the journey up that mountain. The glory of the cross lay in some celestial space in heaven, silent to the ears and eyes of mortals. It was for that joy that Jesus was aiming and scorned the shame of the cross, but while we're on that path up the mountain, we're not expected to like it, we're just expected to do it.