others to partake and experience this love. It is not an
, but a
. Hisgoal, his dream, is relationship with creation. Indeed, as Grenz notes, “God’s ultimateintention for creation is the establishment of community.”
Thus, Christianity’s “mission has its origin on the heart of God.”
The call to proclaim Christ risen is then an expression of God’s bigger plan, the
. This big plan is “directed to the establishing of a reconciled people from all nations to live withina renewed creation and enjoy the presence of their Redeemer God. This biblical vision of community is both the goal of history and the experience of each person who has come toknow God.”
The mission of God’s people must be kept in this bigger context: it is a particular expression of the
which the Lord has commanded.
Neither themission of national-ethnic Israel nor the mission of eschatological Israel, the church, arethe entirety of the
, but are driving elements of its completion. It must beremembered that even the other-than-human of creation participates in God’s big plan of community: Isaiah proclaims to “shout aloud, O earth beneath. Burst into song, youmountains, you forests and all your trees,” (Isaiah 44:23) and that God’s people “will goout in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song beforeyou, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands” (55:12). Make no mistake, itwould be spiritually arrogant and biblically ignorant to believe that God’s holycommunity can fulfill more than its mandated share of the
Bosch, David. J. Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, (Maryknoll, NY: OrbisBooks, 1991), 392.