Everyone now has to have a “mission statement” or a “vision statement”. Let me give you some examples. Google’s mission statement is: “To provide access to the world’s information in one click”- ironically, that was quite hard to find using google. Amazon say that their vision is to be “The world’s most customer-centric company”. Starbucks say that their mission is “to inspire and nurture the human spirit- one person, one cup, and one neighbourhood at a time”. And Facebook’s new mission statement is: “To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together”. Strangely, no one ever says that their vision is to make piles of money, which would be a lot more honest.
And it’s not just big companies. Churches are now supposed to have vision statements or mission statements that sum why they are there. And individuals too are supposed to write their own vision statements to sum up their purpose and goals. So how is this for a personal vision statement? “Be betrayed, beaten up, and degraded. Then die horribly”.
That I think would have been Jesus’ vision for his own life: to die. Three times in Mark’s Gospel he says something like this: “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise”, (Mark 10:33-34). Not surprisingly, that’s a vision his followers found hard to grasp. And so we come to Mark 10:45, where Jesus sums up his mission as to Serve and to Sacrifice:
“the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”.
Next Sunday morning, 12th November, at Christ Church we will think about Jesus’ vision statement, and how it changes our vision for our life and our world. It is Remembrance Sunday, or Peace Sunday, so the service will start 15 minutes earlier, at 10.45.