Listening to Captain Nyoman Timonuli communicate God's vision for the Jelambar Corps to his congregation was inspiring on a number of levels. Firstly, because the vision captured the heart of Christ's mission to reach a lost and broken world with the gospel. Secondly, because of the incredible alignment between what God is saying to Jelambar and what God has been saying to Noarlunga. And thirdly, because God's Spirit affirmed a number of things in my spirit and spoke to me from Matthew 9:13, as Nyoman spoke about the mission of Jesus Christ.
"But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'" (Matthew 9:13)
Jesus made it clear what His mission was and who it was aimed at. Although, these are familiar words and are in alignment with where we are being led, it was the focus on mercy, rather than sacrifice that struck me. So often our teaching and engagement in mission highlights the importance of sacrifice. Although, mission clearly involves sacrifice, this is not the object of mission. In fact, too often we can be tempted to measure the impact or success of mission by how much we sacrifice for the gospel, but that shifts the focus to self. This can also be a reflection of how we can approach worship. In the spirit of the prophets, Jesus is clear that He is not interest in our sacrifice but in how we show His love and mercy to those whom we serve.
Our mission trip has nothing to do with what we have given up or how much we have given, but everything to do with how we have shown mercy, which flows out of a spirit of love and grace. Mercy reflects the heart of Christ and keeps the focus of our mission upon those we serve.