As a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA) our congregation participates in an annual special offering called the One Great Hour of Sharing. The funds collected during this special offering “enable the church to share God’s love with our neighbors-in-need around the world by providing relief to those affected by natural disasters, provide food to the hungry, and helping to empower the poor and oppressed”.
Today, during our Sunday morning service, we had the pleasure and privilege to meet and hear from a family serving as missionaries in Brazil, through an organization called Youth With a Mission (YWAM). The Matias Family (Felipe, Laura and their 2 daughters – Sophia & Jessie) shared how special offerings, like One Great Hour of Sharing, help them carry the Gospel to the slums of Sao Paulo by “starting a ministry to reach out to children at-risk who are living in the inner-city slums and on the streets”.
‘Packing light’ in life allows us to carry out the mission of the Church without hesitation or hindrance. Think about it; when you travel, especially with young children, you have to make sure you pack everything you could possibly need: clothes, shoes, medicine, toys, entertainment (books, electronics, etc.), that special “blankie” or stuffed animal, etc. If you are driving to your destination you have to find space for all this ‘stuff’. If you are flying to your destination you have to lug all this ‘stuff’ through the airport. If we are honest with ourselves, having a lot of ‘stuff’ slows us down. For some, that ‘stuff’ includes material possessions, such as an oversized house, luxury car, boat, etc. For others, ‘stuff’ is a relationship. Maybe for you, ‘stuff’ is your job. Whatever is keeping you from the mission of the Church – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV) – is your ‘stuff’.
Missionary families like the Matias family could not heed the call to “go and make disciples of all nations” if they did not “pack light”. Can you imagine picking up and moving a family with 2 small children to a new city with no extended family or friends and having to support your family, as well as a new ministry? How difficult would it be if you had a lot of ‘stuff’ to move or had to figure out what to do with a bunch of ‘stuff’?
‘Packing light’ also allows us to make other changes in life more easily. Maybe you want to change careers, but your dream job comes with a significant pay cut. Pack light. Or maybe you want to quit your job to stay at home with your children during their formative years. Pack light. You could even have a new business that you are dying to start, but can’t afford the start-up costs. Pack light.
What’s your mission? What ‘stuff’ can you get rid of to help you “pack light”?
Until next time-
“He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.” (Luke 10:2-4 NIV)
Image credit: henchman4hire.com