Can I bother you for a cup of coffee?
It was a simple request from someone I’d never seen before. My family and I were grabbing breakfast at a coffee shop before church service and a man walked up to me and asked me that question. Simple question; profound opportunity.
I bought him the coffee and something to eat and we struck up a conversation with him about where he was and where he was going. Although he didn’t have a spiritual epiphany that day, he knew we bought him coffee and breakfast in the name of Jesus.
This isn’t meant to make you think, “Wow! He’s generous!” It was only a few bucks and you would’ve done the same thing. The point here is this: do we think of these regular places as mission fields?
We’ve been on this journey of dissecting what Acts 1:6-8 means to us today. Let’s read it again as we jump into part seven of “Oh the places we’ll go!”
Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Last week, we talked about being a witness for Jesus (and what that means) where we live—our Jerusalem. This week, we’re turning our attention to the next part of the places we’ll go for Jesus: Judea.
Judea was like what we would think of as a state. Jerusalem was in the “state” of Judea. Judea represented the core of the Jewish people Jesus interacted with while on earth. It represented people like them. The Apostles were Judean. They fished in Judean lakes and rivers (although not exclusively). John the Baptist baptized in the Jordan River in Judea. Judea, then, was representative of places where they went to do business, had relatives, and rested. “Judea” represented where they would go.
We all have “Judeas” too. These are the places we go.
That’s right, all: we’re called to be ambassadors of Jesus’ grace to humanity where we go.
Where do we go?
Your favorite restaurant where the servers know you by name (or by meal!)
These places…your Judea.
This is where we go. This is where we are to be witnesses.
In all likelihood, your mission field is not “out there” as if it’s hundreds of miles away. It is everywhere our feet, bike, and/or car take us.
Years ago, the woman who cut and styled my hair had a great reminder at her station. It was the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:17 “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
As a wise man once said, “wherever you go, there you are.” And wherever you are, the church has shown up. Open your eyes, brother or sister. Your mission awaits in all these places you go.