21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20.21-23 [NIV]).
Mission starts with Peace, so in mission we are called to be bringers of peace. We look to Jesus just as he looked to the Father and only did the things the Father did. This means we look to him for leading and guidance and always keep in mind that first it is his mission we particpate in. He who has sent us is faithful.
I have a lawn full of dandelions but I am fascinated with the beauty of the seed head, it is designed to be sent to the rest of the world when it is blown on. So to for Christians, we are breathed upon, which sends us out to do that for which he has called us, equiped us and filled us.
I am then reminded of the link with forgiveness, if we do not forgive we give people a shiney juicy apple to bite into with a rotten core. The gospel is not a life enhancement but transformational let's not give a rotten alternative. Context wise, this passage belongs with encountering the risen Christ, which is at once both disconcerting and awesome.
To my mind then mission is bringing people to an encounter with the risen Christ. As those engaged with mission we are called to be agents of peace and forgiveness filled with the Holy Spirit leading people to Jesus. When we encounter Jesus it is not necessarily comforting but it is always transformational.