It’s easy to be negative about our mission. We acknowledge that we are to share the life-saving Word of God with the world, but we don’t anticipate this happening during our lifetimes (if ever). After all, with everything that’s happening around the globe – from the rise of the “nones” to terrorist attacks – how can we hope to spread the message of hope to the entire world?
Psalm 98 seems an odd choice to talk about our mission. It is altogether too optimistic and happy. “Oh sing to the Lord a new song,” it begins, “for he has done marvelous things!” Yes, he did marvelous things, but that was thousands of years ago. What kind of marvelous things has he done or will he do in our lifetimes to help us on our mission?
The Psalm continues in verses 2-4, “The Lord has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations. He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!”
If you think this Psalm is an odd choice, remember when it was written. This Psalm was scribed many years before Jesus walked this earth, and yet the Psalmist was still joyful. He knew that the Lord had made known his salvation through the Law and the Prophets. He knew that God would remember his people and send the Savior at the right time and in the right place in order to spread the message to all the ends of the earth.
We have the same hope that the Psalmist did, with a slight twist. We know exactly what the salvation of the Lord looked like, and we now hope for the Savior’s second coming on the Last Day. We also know that the Savior is using us to spread the message to all the ends of the earth. We have hope. It’s easy to be negative, but it’s also easy to be positive if we look at the message we have to spread. We are saved! The world can be saved, too, through Jesus’s work through us!
We ought not to exclude ourselves or everyone else from the mission of Christ, for before Jesus even walked the earth, the Psalmist knew that everyone would be able to be included someday. The Lord has indeed done marvelous things in our lifetimes. He has saved us, and now, he is using us.