Friday, July 16, 2010

Missionary of the Cross

I am continuing reading The Autobiography of John G Paton, Missionary to the New Hebrides.

He recounts a time at the age of 12 when he was working long hours in his fathers business. Starting at 6 am finishing at 10 pm with only breaks for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In these precious breaks he would grab his books and study. Because as he puts it: " I had given my soul to God, and was resolved to aim at being a missionary of the Cross."

This phrase Missionary of the Cross has been bouncing around in my head for the last couple of days.

The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin missionem (nom. missio), meaning "act of sending" or mittere, meaning "to send".

John was a young boy of 12 whose life was already being shaped because he was sent by the Cross. If I was working a 16 hour day with 2 hours in breaks study would have been the last thing in my mind.

I often describe myself as a follower of Jesus. That can have a nice feel to it on first glance. In that Jesus was a good guy and did good things. Loved by nearly everyone He met, apart from the religious fanatics. So that's a good person to be a follower of.

But Jesus journey as a Man ended at the Cross. Following Jesus starts and ends at the Cross. The place of ultimate sacrifice becomes the place where our lives are interrupted, transformed and a new course set.

Our lives are captured by the cross and we are sent by the Cross to bring this message to the world no matter what the cost.

To follow Jesus is to be a missionary of the Cross.

Other post on John G Paton


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