Monday, November 21, 2011

what is a missionary?

long time no see, eh? sorry about that. instead of try to capture what has happened, i want to share two quotes that struck me recently. i am visiting another InnerChange team, and have the privilege of joining their team rhythms for a couple of weeks, including reading a book together. since i have a bit of extra time on my hands, i read the whole book (it's around 150 pages) .. and these two quotes really stood out to me. the book is called Christianity Rediscovered by Vincent J. Donavan -- and well worth a read. both of these struck me as right and true. i'd be interested to hear your thoughts (if anybody is still reading this.. :)

"It is a cleansing and humbling thought to see your whole life and work reduced to being simply a channel of hope, and yourself merely a herald of hope, for those who do not have it." (page 143)
"I think rather it might be put this way: a missionary is essentially a social martyr, cut off from his roots, his stock, his blood, his land, his background, his culture. He is destined to walk forever a stranger in a strange land. He must be stripped as naked as a human being can be, down to the very texture of his being. St. Paul said Christ did not think being God was something to be clung to, but emptied himself taking the form of a slave. He was stripped to the fiber of his being, to the innermost part of his spirit. That is the truest meaning of poverty of spirit. This poverty of spirit is what is called for in a missionary, demanding that he divest himself of his very culture, so that he can be a naked instrument of the gospel to the cultures of the world." (p144)