Are the last words someone says the most important? Honestly, most of the time, the answer is “NO.” Think about it:
- Lincoln’s dying words were not the Gettysburg Address.
- JFK’s last words were not, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.”
- Martin Luther King Jr. did not give his “I have a dream” speech on his death bed.
Most of the time, we are not known for our last words.
Part of this is because our earthly demise is not our our daytimers. We cannot plan out our “famous last words,” even if we wanted to.
I was thinking about this dynamic today as I reflected on the last words Jesus speaks in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (and also in the book of Acts.) In each of these three passages (Matthew 28:16-20, Luke 24:44-53, and Acts 1:8-10), the authors record the last words of Jesus. Partly because of their dramatic presentation (and timing), Christians for 2000 years have seen this final charge from Jesus as His Great Commission for the church. Since they are the final words of Jesus, the argument is made that this commission must be the most central mission of the church today. However, is that correct? Just because they are His last words, do they really articulate the mission of the church today? I believe they do, but why?
This Sunday (January 8) at Wildwood Community Church, I will be preaching on these 3 passages in a message called “Famous Last Words.” This message will help us see why these words are central to understanding the mission of the church today . . . the Church at large AND Wildwood. They will also point us in the direction of how we can have our lives line up with His mission. Hope to see you this Sunday in one of our 3 morning worship services 8:30, 9:45, 11:00
P.S. This message will serve as a “prelude” to our “Living Words” missions emphasis week around Wildwood . . . running January 14-22.