The church exists by mission

Daily Reading for October 28 • The Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost

Identity, vocation, and mission for Christians are not three separate realities, but are mutually dependent. Christian identity is realized through Christian mission. Mission defines and fulfills identity. Vocation, a word derived form the Latin verb vocare, “to call,” is the calling every Christian has both to be with God and to carry out God’s mission. We can see all this as a theological expression of the relationship between being and doing, living and working. One’s being is only partly separable from one’s doing, for just as our doing is grounded in our being, our being is realized through our doing. Our doing expresses who we are, but we also discover who we are through our doing. Just that intimate is the relationship between Christian identity and Christian mission. As the Swiss theologian Emil Brunner is reputed to have said, “The church exists by mission as fire exists by burning.”

From Horizons of Mission by Titus Presler, Volume 11 of the New Church’s Teaching Series (Cowley Publications, 2001).

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