The Communal Mission of God and the Missional Community of Philippians

COMMUNAL MISSION: God, in Tri-unity, forged a communal mission to redeem fallen humanity. That communal mission, enacted by the Father, incarnated in the Son and empowered by the Holy Spirit had the supreme goal of reconciling rebellious and sinful people to God and then in turn to each other! The mark of the Kingdom in a believer’s life is reconciliation to God and reconciliation to other people. This was the communal mission of God “As the Father has sent me;” Jesus left perfect community to create a redeemed community and through that community to call others into kingdom community, “so send I you”. Community, is essential to effective mission – and that leads us to Philippians and a Missional community. MISSIONAL COMMUNITY Philippians is a missional epistle par-excellence! It is thus because of the paradox of promise and problem in the community of Philippians! The kenosis of 2:7 highlights the path to true kingdom community in the willing humility of a glorious Christ who laid aside glory to accomplish the reconciliation of humanity to God and then to each other. It is no accident that Paul highlights the communal mission he has with the Philippians (1:5) and the communal mission they in turn have with God (1:6). In 1:27 Paul calls the community to conduct themselves in a worthy manner because of the Gospel. Paul then outlines that worthy conduct is community conduct (1:27; 2:2-11, 14-16, 2:19-30) and that the Philippians need to ensure that they do not allow the machinations of the flesh/ly to undermine kingdom-like community (3:1-9). PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS Church health in the form of peacemaking is paramount to effective mission (4:2-3). Incarnational living imbibes reconciliatory living for healthy community & mission.