Jesus’ Mission: One Hundred Miles and Our Mission with DVD’s for the Mormons
Date: 30 – 33 AD
Place: The Holy Land
Purpose: Three Year Missions Project and to Die for You
Who: Jesus of Nazareth
Why: His Father’s Will for You
There must have been many things on the mind of God’s Son when He traded in His carpentry tools for a human fishing pole. I personally can’t imagine what it must have been like for Him the last time He sanded or carved something out of the trees He created and time began keeping track of the sunrises remaining that would eventually mark the end…of His life here on earth.
What I do know is that His heart was filled with love as He washed His hands of the “sawdust”; laced up His sandals and began His three year mission trip.
The first love in His heart was of course was for the Father. He had tried to tell His people about His Father some eighteen years beforehand but alas, the Israelites weren’t interested. While they expressed a quiet awe and appreciation from Jesus’ Passover visit when He was twelve, it was obvious they hadn’t truly done anything about it.
They were about to go down an even darker highway of pride when He showed up in Jerusalem this time. They would soon be taking part in nailing Him to a different piece of carpentry that had been carved out by an unloving hand…
When reading the accounts of His journeys it’s easy to get lost in the moment and not keep track of His intentional travels; Samaria, the Jordan River, Sea of Galilee, Jerusalem, Garasenes (the Galilee of Gentiles) and of course His favorite place to pray; the Garden of Gethsemane. These are just a handful of places He visited.
However, when we dig a little deeper and make notes on a map to mark His footsteps, we easily see that Jesus never traveled outside of a one hundred mile radius.
With the advent of the internet and jetliners, we are able to travel far beyond the one hundred mile radius which was carefully mapped out so very long ago. Our travels of today take us to the other side of the world for well planned out business trips or the missions that we make with our churches to the third world countries. No one but Jesus would have been able to envision what the people of the twenty-first century would be doing or how far we could travel.
A sweet sister in Christ shared with a group of missionaries at my church a few weeks ago about the mission field the Lord has given to her – her neighborhood became the place our Father wanted her to plant seeds. It is an all-American neighborhood filled with people of different colors, statures, jobs and interests. For more than a decade she has orchestrated and organized the yearly Fourth of July get-togethers. I thought about her story a lot when I was asked to help distribute a DVD comparing Joseph Smith and Jesus to residents living in the Puget Sound community – the John 316 Project that was held nationwide on March 25, 2007.
I received multiple confirmations from the Lord that this was my time to move. Oh, I’ve never done anything as glamorous as carving furniture or walking toJerusalemfor the observance of Passover.
For the past twenty-two years I’ve been a stay at home mom and housewife. Glam moments for me entailed giving birth to another child. Bringing another person, even a sinner, into the world is a beautiful thing to behold and take part in, but it’s been a moment in time that is celebrated by no one but you, your spouse and immediate family. There’s a bittersweet moment on that day when the parents instinctively know there are hard days ahead.
With a deep love for my Heavenly Father, I had determined I could serve Him in two ways. I could distribute the DVD’s and teach my girls how to serve Him as well, even when the trip doesn’t need an airplane to visit an exotic place with foreign food.
March 25th would be a day of dark clouds with lots of water pouring from the skies. It rains a lot here and you get to the point after a few years that it’s just another day in the Lord. Unless it’s a downpour you wouldn’t be caught dead with an umbrella and frizzy hair is always in style here! I learned a great lesson years ago from one of the locals; “Don’t worry about the rain here; the weather report is God’s business not yours.” With that in mind we picked out our clothes for the next day (jeans and some sort of jacket that doesn’t necessarily mean rain resistant) to deliver the gospel to the Mormon population of more than 300,000 here in western Washington.
Our girls had somehow decided that because they weren’t going to Utah or Nauvoo; they couldn’t really count this as a “real missionary trip”. They wanted to know what time we were going to be dropping them off at church the next morning. We assured them there was no way they were going to church the next day; we had a mission trip to take care of here within our own neighborhood. I brushed off what I thought as an insensitive rationalization by a teenager and summoned them to bed for a good night’s rest. Their attitudes resembled the weather – dark and foreboding.
The next morning they begrudgingly got dressed and stalked out to the car with coffee, fruit, granola and Danish in hand. One of them thought they should do their make-up and curl their hair; I offered my opinion they had two minutes to get into the car because God was doing their hair for them that day. Everything was an ordeal! It was obvious by this time we were dealing with a healthy dose of spiritual warfare.
I had all i-Pods and radios turned off for a brief planning session of who wanted to take which side of the street in the first neighborhoods. With that being done early I looked at my motley crew of two in the back seat as Jesus reminded me to double check my doors were locked so no one could escape and I began my “sermon” for the rest of the drive to our mission destination. I was thinking it certainly wasn’t the workshop of any carpenter, but he showed me that my “woodworking” was to carve out a worthy personality of the dark looks I beheld in my rear-view mirror.
They’re good kids, respectful the majority of the time and eager to please. I began by asking for their opinion. All teenagers love giving their opinions. At this age they truly believe they are the repository for all earthly knowledge and it’s important the adult that feeds them is made aware of their lot in life.
They had an abundance of knowledge that came pouring forth in answer to my question. A mission trip is to be filled with helping the needy, the poor and those who are probably close to death. I asked for their opinion about length of stay and duration of travel to the soon to be dead people.
They believed it could be anywhere; downtown Seattle, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Taiwan, Utah, Nauvoo, New York…they continued to give more scenarios as we got closer to the intended recipients. The very first drop-off was the residence of one of the men we did a radio debate with just five short months beforehand.
When they asked why we were going to that particular house, I informed them that I was only doing what they had suggested. Their moods changed immediately! Suddenly they realized they were being listened to and it changed their perspective knowing we were truly on a mission for the Lord.
Mr. Crandall (the LDS Stake president at the radio debate) is dying spiritually and that is worse than being physically dead. He’s poor because his life hasn’t been made rich by having Jesus the Lord and His Holy Spirit direct him.
I shared with them that people like Mr. Crandall and Mr. Burnham were close to death. They understood. They know LDS doctrine is from the father of lies and the people who believe it are doomed for an eternity in hell; separated from the Father. I then shared with them about the travels of Jesus and his travel plans. They hadn’t thought they could effectively serve in their own back yard which is within fifty miles of their home. Now they know differently.
We saw many people come to know the Lord through that mission trip and we are humbled beyond belief. God is continually good no matter our attitudes or the obstacles we place in His way, somehow He works in spite of us! The girls learned that complete strangers they’ll never know are now living life as Christians because they walked a few miles on a rainy March day in Seattle. Continue to pray for those who received salvation and left everything they had just to know the Carpenter who is carving out a new life for them.
With Love in Christ;