‘Get up, get out, and get lost!’
The word ‘mission’ comes from the Latin verb mittto – to send. It’s the work that Jesus modelled himself and then sent his disciples out to do – feeding, healing and teaching truth.
The word Mass and the dismissal at the end of catholic Holy Communion – and still part of Anglican worship, come from the old Latin command at the close of the service: It, missa est. It means something like ‘Go, you are sent’ or, as one gruff Episcopalian bishop phrased it: ‘Get up, get out, and get lost! You’ve been fed – now get out there and lose your life in service to the world’.
In the coming weeks we will be experiencing again what it means to come together as the gathered church and meet in our much loved buildings. How we all look forward to this after months of having to be so ‘virtual’!
So, I’m actually really, really, pleased that Eric has chosen for his theme this Sunday ‘Church Without Walls’ . Paradoxically, now is the time when we need to be encouraged not to move out of one lock down, only to shut ourselves up in buildings based Churchianity.
The 5 Ts are critical to this. Through them we are encouraged to look beyond ourselves in and through loving service – and that’s the duty and joy of the whole church…not just those with funny collars!
However, this all has to start somewhere. So, whilst we might speak of a church without walls, we still need to gather as God’s people and be nourished by God’s life giving word and life giving bread.
On Pentecost Sunday we plan to meet as Harbour Churches for an act of outdoor worship @ 10am in the grounds of the church of St James – as we did so wonderfully last summer. We’ll now be able to sing outdoors but we will need to keep the 1 metre+ rule. Importantly, this will also include Holy Communion.
Something I have noticed over these past difficult months is how few people have taken the opportunity to make their Holy Communion – me included – when it has been offered. We have, rightly, renewed our focus on God’s living Word… but what does sharing the Bread of Life mean to our faith? Through the remainder of May and June, as we continue to meet outside for worship as Harbour Churches, we will be reflecting on Jesus’s command to ‘Do this, in remembrance of me.’
Before we set out to do any great work we need to make sure we are well nourished. A church without walls, giving itself in loving service, still needs to gather at The Lord’s Table…
It, missa est!