I love a good Western. Back in the 1970s, I enjoyed a TV series featuring the adventures of two brothers, Morgan and Quentin Beaudine (played by Kurt Russell and Tim Matheson). Morgan, a.k.a. Two Persons, was captured by the Cheyenne. After eight years of captivity, he was liberated by the U.S. army and reunited with his brother, who was practicing medicine in San Francisco. The brothers then banded together for a common cause – to find their sister, Patricia, who was being held against her will by the Cheyenne. Morgan and Quentin traversed thousands of miles across the Great Plains and the Rockies, searching for their sister. They were on a common quest; hence the show’s title: “The Quest.”
Just like a cowboy in a classic Western movie, God is on a quest. And he’s inviting us to saddle up and join him.
Yahweh is a searching God who called out to the alienated rebel in the Garden of Eden, “Adam, where are you?” (Genesis 3:9). He’s a sending God who disrupted Abram and propelled him to “hit the trail” so all nations would be blessed (Genesis 22:17–18). He’s a purposeful God who expressed his dream and design for Israel to be a missionary nation. And he’s the same God who got up close and personal in Jesus – God in the flesh – who declared that he was on a quest “to seek and to save the lost”(Luke 19:10).
Missiologist Lesslie Newbigin understood that the essence of following Jesus is to join him on his global redemptive quest: “The Church must be seen as the company of pilgrims on the way to the end of the world and the ends of the earth.” Church consultant Bill Easum agrees: “The whole point of the Christian life is following Jesus onto the mission field.”
Jesus, our trail boss, has given us a daunting and daring assignment – to reach Canada for Christ. He calls us to alert men and women across our provinces to the reign and rule of God in Christ Jesus, to boldly and winsomely proclaim the gospel and to make disciples who, in turn, will be agents of transformation.
Will we join the quest and saddle up? Here are five commitments we can make as we hit the trail with Jesus.