Archives for posts with tag: on mission

Sermon Series - ColossiansColossians 2 is a difficult passage to interpret. The main reason is that Paul is dealing with some false teachings but he never bothers to explain to us what the main tenets of those teachings were. We are left with the gigantic task of trying to understand some rather difficult concepts based on a few rare words and some sentences that are not as clear to us as they were to Paul’s original hearers.

It seems as though some teachers were enticing the believers at Colossae to channel some additional source of power, like angels and other so-called emanations of God to become fully mature in their faith. In addition to that, they were probably being required to engage in certain disciplines to force the body into a state of humiliation and some other regulations apparently were being imposed on them. The end result was that Christ was no longer sufficient to their salvation; it was Christ+.

While we may be living in different times, there is no doubt in my mind that we are also being bombarded with ideas today that if we are not careful will end up sabotaging our faith and selling us a version of the gospel that is contrary to the proper view of Scriptures where Christ is at the center and He is all in all. Here is my initial list of faith sabotadeuers:

  • Studying about the Bible instead of studying the Bible. Across this great nation there are many churches serving a steady diet of popular Christian authors who have written fine Christian books. While I don’t deny the validity of reading these books for perspective and personal development, I lament the fact they have essentially replaced the Bible as the main text book in our churches. Sunday school teachers, for example have lost the ability to teach from the scriptural text. Many wouldn’t even know where to start if all they had was the Bible. It’s time for us to reverse that trend.
  • Confusing the written Word with the Living Word. While I believe firmly in the primacy of Scriptures for instruction in our lives and churches, don’t think for a moment that I am some kind of a “bibliolater.” I don’t worship the Bible, I worship the Lord of the Bible. In the orthodox wars of the late 30’s, when the Grace Brethren movement was found, the motto “the Bible, the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible” was appropriately picked as our guiding principle. Is it time now that we pick something like “Jesus, All of Jesus, and nothing but Jesus.”?
  • Thinking that you can be a follower without being on mission. Jesus told His first disciples: “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” In the great commission Jesus gave the marching orders for His church. Every follower must be involved with some aspect of the mandate to make disciples of all nations and it’s not simply “pray, give or go.” It’s “pray, give AND go,” every day, as long as we live on this earth, because the seeds of the gospel can be planted across the sea and across the fence. Any teacher who tries to give you a pass on the great commission is leading you astray.
  • Believing that church is for believers only. The first mistake here is to think that “church” is a building. Nice try. Church is a gathering of those who have professed their allegiances to Christ. And we have already established that our main mission is Christ’s great commission. We point to the early church and insist that it was a gathering of believers, sharing, breaking bread together, studying God’s Word, praying. But we conveniently forget that the text also says that “…the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47). 

May God help all of us to remain firmly rooted in Jesus Christ and continue to be on mission for the cause of the Gospel.



Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade

Lead pastor, Grace Church, Lititz, PA 

As many of you know, I flew to Ohio earlier in the week to be with Naza during the time the movers were going to be in our home packing. Needless to say, when I got there, I felt bad that I had been absent during the time of the hard work my wife had done separating stuff out and packing. She had pretty much everything under control and all that was left for me to do was pack the pantry and try to stay out of the way as we had some rough-looking guys coming in and out of our home for two days.

When I saw what appeared like endless boxes and plastic containers with stuff, clearly marked and ready to be loaded, I couldn’t help but think that I was looking at the results of the work of someone who was clearly focused on accomplishing a mission. During two weeks, that is pretty much all that Naza did. She set aside other things — like going out with her friends to say one last good-bye or using the gift cards she had received for Christmas to get something nice for one of her kids, etc., etc.

During that whole time she labored non-stop to be ready for when the movers came. And by golly, she was ready — tired but still moving, burdened but still smiling, looking toward the reward. And the reward came today — after everything was deposited inside our little farm house, she slept the sleep of princesses and had no more dreams of packaging tape creaking through the house. The first part of her mission was accomplished.

When I think about what my wife did, I think of what it means to be on mission for God. About His mission, Jesus said, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 10:19). Now if that was how Jesus felt about His raison d’être, I see no reason why His followers need to modify it. Jesus spent all His time, energy, and infinite talents doing one thing and one thing alone — to seek and save that which was lost.

Of course, Jesus also taught, worked, slept, ate, planned His days, relaxed with His disciples, and carried on with the same kind of pace a person living in His time and place would. But He never lost sight of His mission. That is, for example, the reason He had to go through Samaria to meet a woman of ill- repute, who needed the Messiah to make her whole. The Jews avoided going through Samaria all together when they went north, but Jesus resolutely set His eyes on a little place called Sychar, where the seeds of transformation would be sown in the heart of a most unlikely evangelist.

This Sunday we will conclude our series on the Church as the Hope of the World with a very unique service. We will commission David, Jennifer and Noah Felty, as they embark on a two-month theatrical experience in Florida playing major roles in the famous Victor Hugo’s play Les Miserables. David and Jennifer will sing for us and we will look at some of the aspects of that play that relate to the mission of the Church of Jesus Christ.

I promise you: you will laugh some, think some, and be challenged a lot to get on with the mission, like my wife, Naza, did. You too will reap the rewards of your labor when the big Mover comes!

See you tomorrow!

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade