In one of my favorite episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond, Ray and Deborah learn that their daughter — she’s about 8 or 9 years old — is asking the questions, “Why are we hear?” Naturally they are thinking that she’s asking the birds and bees question. So it’s decided that Raymond must have “the talk” with their daughter. He gets a book. He reviews the pictures and the details. He gathers up his courage. He goes to his daughter’s room. He sits beside her on the bed and says, “Honey, I understand you have some questions. He opens the book to the first picture and starts talking, only to be interrupted by his daughter who says,
“No Daddy, I already know that stuff, I know how God made me, I just want to know why God made me?”
Raymond mumbles something about how it got too crowded in heaven so God had to put some people on earth to make room up there, and he runs out of the room. Because talking about our purpose for living is a scary thing if we don’t know the answer. But we don’t have to be ignorant of the answer. The answer saturates the Bible. God put it in the book of Beginnings. In Genesis chapter 8 when God commissioned Abraham, He said,
“I will cause you to become the father of a great nation. I will bless you and I will make you a blessing to others. All the nations (families) of the earth will be blessed thru you.”
Jesus put it in his most famous sermon, Matthew 5:13-16,
“Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here to be light, bringing out the God colors in the world… I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you on a hilltop on a light stand, shine. Be generous with your lives and by opening up to others you’ll prompt people to open up with God, our generous father in heaven.”
You see it when Peter says to a crippled man,
Silver and gold I have none, but what I do have I give you rise and walk.
We see it in Mary’s response to the angel who told her that God had chosen her to bring Jesus to the world. She said,
I am your servant, let it be as you have said.
God has given us a mission to bless the people of the world by helping them encounter Jesus, the love of Jesus, the power of Jesus, the grace of Jesus, the wisdom of Jesus, the way of Jesus. I love the way one writer put it in response to my post on friendship evangelism. “When we love God completely, the good news bursts out everywhere and we don’t need a class to teach us. When we don’t love God completely, a class won’t help.” Go do that this week. Love God completely. Then love your neighbor.