Fulfilling Our "Mission High"

By Lois J. Stucky

    Please consider with me the few following words from the hymn, "O Zion, Haste." The hymn was written by Mary Ann Thompson (1834-1923), a mother who, in a time of concerned night watches over a very ill son, was able to enter more deeply than ever before into God’s heart concern over earth’s perishing multitudes. She wrote, "O Zion, haste, thy mission high fulfilling, to tell to all the world that God is Light; that He who made all nations is not willing one soul should perish, lost in shades of night…." She pondered: if her son recovered, would she give him to become a missionary to some far-off land where perishing multitudes lived? She wrote on: "Give of thy sons to bear the message glorious; give of thy wealth to speed them on their way; pour out thy soul for them in prayer victorious, and all thy spending Jesus will repay…."

    What a clarion call to all of us who are redeemed by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ! We have a "mission high" given of God to us to fulfill. He would have all people sharing this planet with us to hear of the gracious intention of His heart that men everywhere should repent (Acts 17:30) and receive the gift of eternal life (John 3:16), that no man need perish (2 Pet. 3:9). And all the world should hear that this same Christ, who paid the price for mankind’s redemption, is coming again! They should learn of the preparation He Himself told us we should make for that day: "Watch...be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" (Matt. 24:42, 44).

    Applying "Zion" to the Church today, in the words of the hymn we are exhorted to make "haste" in fulfilling our "mission high." How are we doing with this great privilege and awesome responsibility? It behooves us all to examine ourselves from time to time to see if we have the depth of care and involvement we need in order to give this sacred calling all it requires. We live in an hour of great distraction from the things of God. Our Lord Jesus warned us: "take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged [weighed down] with surfeiting [overindulging, extravagant spending of money, time, etc.]... and cares [anxieties] of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares" (Luke 21:34). When our Lord tells us to "take heed," it is a loving but strong word that we do well to take to heart.

    Furthermore, we must take care lest our concern centers only on ourselves. Christ’s bleeding wounds on the cross provide the price for the redemption of us Christians. Is it not fitting that we now share in the burden of His great heart that bleeds over the many souls perishing for eternity although He suffered and paid the price for their redemption as well as for ours?