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Michael Frost’s “The Road to Missional” cuts to the heart of what it means to be church.

Tomorrow I head for Kansas City, Missouri to join a gathering of other pilgrims on the missional journey.

Which makes it especially timely that Michael Frost’s book, The Road to Missional, arrived in the mail this week.  Frost has written a number of books, including Exiles and, with co-author Alan Hirsch, The Shaping of Things to Come, both seminal books that introduced the missional church movement before “missional” had become just another household name and popular church catchphrase.

There are already within the first couple of chapters some wonderful, little nuggets…like this one: God’s mission is an “endless party” of sorts; and one party, in particular, yields some deep reflections on the nature of the church’s calling.  “The Feast of the Epiphany” is the festival on the church calendar recalling Christ’s revelation to the three Magi (representing Gentiles, as in those not among God’s “chosen people,” the Jews).  While it is usually celebrated in January, the Feast of Epiphany, Frost goes on to argue, (and here he invokes a similar claim made by missiologist David Bosch), can and should be the daily expression of God’s “kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Here is Frost reflecting on the meaning of this party for the church’s life together:  “The Feast of the Epiphany is, of course, a Christian festival, observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles in the persons of the Magi.  But what Bosch is suggesting is that such a festival ought to be the everyday experience of the church.  The celebration of the coming of heaven to earth and the offer of citizenship to all people, Jew or Gentile, should epitomize both our corporate life-together and our missional life-for-others.  Mission therefore should be something like an endless party.  It is characterized by celebration, joy, relief.”

I’m looking forward to joining a great party at Sentralized.

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