Jesus calls us into the adventure of mission. He calls every disciple, every church, every ministry. This mission looks different in each context, but we are always called out. “As the Father sent me, so I am sending you” (John 20:21).
The question we must ask of ourselves is this: Are we a sent people or a settled people? (See Unexpected Destinations: An Evangelical Pilgrimage to World Christianity by Wesley Granberg-Michaelson). We are never to be settled people, content, safe on the short. We are to be a sent people sharing the good news of Jesus, blessing the world in Jesus name.
In Mark 4: 35-41, Jesus says to his disciples: “Lets cross over to the other side.” They were at the Sea of Galilee, on the western shore, the Jewish side of the lake. That side was familiar, known. Jesus wanted to cross to the eastern shore, the Gentile side of the lake. That side was unfamiliar, unknown.
As they crossed over, a huge storm came up. Their boat was getting swamped. The disciples were afraid that they would drown. The text says: “and Jesus was in the back of the boat sleeping.” Isn’t this how we feel sometimes? We set off on mission, following the Lord, in obedience to him. But as we set off to the unfamiliar, storms come up. We look for the Lord and it just seems like he is asleep. Absent.
The disciples woke Jesus. “Don’t you care that we are about to drown?” Jesus rose to his full height: Jesus the Lord, master of wind and waves, and master of the nations, the church and our lives. Jesus rose up and calmed the wind and the waves. He then turned to his disciples and in essence said: See, its okay. I will send you to the other side, and you are not alone. I am in the boat.
That changes everything for us in your lives, our ministries, our church. Jesus does not want us to be settled. He sends us out, to the other side. And we go in obedience and trust, because Jesus is in the boat. Always.
St Brendan was a 5th century Celtic monks who set sail in a small boat of wood and oxhide from Ireland and ended up in Newfoundland. The early Celts called this the white martyrdom. Brendan heard the Lord say—Lets go to the other side—wherever that might be, whatever it cost. In the midst of the storms of life and ministry, he trusted the Lord. This is his prayer—and it can be our prayer as well.
Help me to journey beyond the familiar
and into the unknown.
Give me the faith to leave old ways
and break fresh ground with You.
Christ of the mysteries, I trust You
to be stronger than each storm within me.
I will trust in the darkness and know
that my times, even now, are in Your hand.
Tune my spirit to the music of heaven,
and somehow, make my obedience count for You.
Jesus calls us to the other side. There will be storms. But we are not alone. Jesus is in the boat! And he says: “Peace, Be still!” We are the church. We are a Jesus boat. The Lord is with us. That is enough.