Friday, April 06, 2007

I am Cameroonian!! -- Day 40

So ... are you Cameroonian now? After forty days, do you feel like a West African? Thanks for walking through Lent with me, and choosing to become interested in the Mission to Cameroon!

French Word of the Day: Pâques, (pronounced a little like "pack"); French for "Easter." Interestingly, it's practically the same as the French for Passover, which is "Pâque" (without the "s"). I wish you, your family, and your church family, a joy-filled and heart-expanding Pâques!

Faces of the Day: Disciples Peter and John, according to Eugene Burnard: In the spirit of the season, here's a detail of one of my favorite Easter paintings. In 1898, Burnard, a Swiss painter, illustrated Peter and John running to the tomb on the morning of the resurrection. I love the expression on their faces, and the eager, yet cautious, hope on their faces. It illustrates the way I feel most Easter mornings -- excited about the possibilities, but still just a little nervous at the craziness of it all. This picture now hangs in the Musee d'Orsay, Paris.

Mission Challenge: "Forty days is not a lifetime," some say when they consider giving up something for Lent. Yeah, it's not so long to give up chocolate or chewing gum. But that's a pretty sad way to think about Lent. I would hate to think that you stop thinking about "missions" now that Lent is over. No, the whole point of this exercise has been to remind us that Missions is a way of life; Mission is the natural heartbeat of the church; Mission is not only a noun, but an adjective, an adverb, and a verb. If you are a Christian, then you are Mission Incarnate. Your life is not lived for yourself, but on behalf of others, particularly the poor and the oppressed of the world. I joked at the beginning of this exercise that I was going to try to make you Cameroonian; but the truth is that I want to make you "missional." Cameroon isn't the only place in the world which needs a fresh splash of divine grace; it just happens to be the place where I am right now. I invite you to be a "missional Christian" -- not just during Lent, but for the rest of your life.