11 Oct 2019
There are so many inspiring stories about God sending people Out of the comfort zone. One I love is an amazing woman of God Jackie Pullinger. She heard the call of the Holy Spirit tell her to go, get on a ship with nothing but a £10 note and a prayer that God would show her where to get off. When the boat pulled into Hong Kong in 1966, God ordered her to disembark and Pullinger the missionary obeyed.
Kowloon Walled City was a lawless slum, full of opium dens, pornographic film theatres and triads who profited from crime and prostitution. It was in this place of darkness that Pullinger’s life’s work began. As she got to work, loving the unlovable, God showed up. Heroin users would pray in tongues and find themselves miraculously released from their addiction. Crime bosses surrendered their lives to Jesus. Prostitutes quit. That work continues to this day, through the organisation she founded, St Stephen’s Society.
We should not be surprised, as God has always been a sending God, to seek, save and redeem this world and its people of all cultures. Theologians have called this the “Mission Dei” (The mission or sending of God) and it involves the whole of the trinity in Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The mission of God runs right through scripture, it dominated the life and teaching of Jesus; and calls every follower of Christ to that very lifestyle. For some it maybe as dramatic as Jackie Pullinger (wow! how cool that would be!) for others it’s just to be sent to the other side of my street, or sent to the desk across from mine, or to a pub where my friends hangout, or another neighbourhood and a million other destinations by God’s Great Plan.
When we gather as church, it is to worship, be filled, refreshed, inspired, loved and built up, but at the end of every service we are all sent by God to live and work to his praise and glory, where ever that Sent may be.