Sacred Rhythms, Part 2: Being Sent

11/16/2020

OUR CONNECTION MATTERS
ALLISON LINDSEY

“The call of Jesus is a call to a two-beat rhythm of life: being with him and being sent from him.” – Sheridan Voysey

Last month we began thinking about rhythms and how foundational they are within our everyday lives – as well as how easily they can be disrupted. Using the Voysey quote as a springboard, we explored the first part of the two-beat rhythm: “being with him,” discovering that developing intentional sacred rhythms (using spiritual practices) allows us to encounter and experience God each and every day. These “practices” give us a framework through which to carve out and create space to be attuned to Him, developing spiritual muscles and fostering God’s work of transformation. 

Our faith is personal, but it is not meant to be private. Yes, there is more to our faith journey! We are also called to love our neighbors and share our faith. So now, we lean in to unpack the second part of the two-beat rhythm: “being sent from Him.” 

In a few short weeks, we will begin the season of Advent in which we marvel at God’s big reach to reveal himself to us through sending his son, Jesus Christ, and offering the world salvation along with the opportunity to respond to this gift. The scriptures are filled with many examples of God sending others to accomplish His work, but stop for a moment and think about these questions: 

  • Do you ever think of yourself as being sent from God each day into the world for His purposes? 
  • Do you see yourself as being sent daily, or do you think of the word “sending” for experiences like going on a mission trip? 
  • What difference might it make in your life if you truly believed that you are being sent by God to the places and relationships in your life?
There is a significant mind shift from “sending” to “being sent.” The focus shifts from God onto each of us. I read a devotional years ago lifting up the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) in which Jesus’ instructions are clearly to GO. The author added that with this commissioning we need permission to stay. Let that sink in for a moment. This insight has certainly stayed with me. Sometimes going may be to far away places, but I think of these instructions as “wherever you go”: across the street, to work, into our communities and/or beyond. Wherever we go, we should be striving to fulfill our commissioning to make disciples. 

I hope you will remember the three words from above: Reach, Reveal and Respond. These three words are, for me, the pendulum in approaching being with Him and being sent from Him. 

Reach: God calls us to love our neighbors. How can we reach out to those who God puts in our path and lays on our heart today? 

Reveal: God calls us to be salt and light to flavor and brighten our world. How are our words and actions giving others a glimpse and revealing Jesus today? 

Respond: God calls us to invite others to respond to His gift of salvation. Do we give others opportunities to respond by sharing our
hope, inviting others to church or a Bible study, or giving others an opportunity to serve?

If we connect this back to the first part of our quote, through the spiritual disciplines we reach out to God and in turn God reveals himself to us, always giving us an opportunity to respond to Him. 

The familiar instructions when flying on a commercial plane come to mind: “Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others.” As we prioritize being with God, we are then equipped and empowered to be sent from Him out into the world for His purpose! Now that is a glorious rhythm. 

Mind shifts are not always easy, but when that “ah-ha” moment occurs, it is powerful. Never doubt that we are in fact being sent from Him. In John 20:21, Jesus tells the disciples, “As the Father has sent me, so I also send you.” We remember that all authority under heaven has been given to him and he says, “Therefore, GO.” (Matthew 28:18-19)

Where or to whom are you being sent today? 

Allison Lindsey is the director of Connectional Ministries. She has a passion for the local church and its people. Contact her at allison@sgaumc.com.