The "Watchword of the Year" is a German phenomena. Started by the Moravians, a Bible verse is drawn like a motto for each year (by the way, for each month, week, and day as well). I guess this week you'll hear a lot a lot about 2013's watchword in German churches, which is Hebr 13:14:
For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.
Outside German territory you don't hear anything about it. So I took my Bible and meditated a while on Hebr 13. I found this particular verse compellingly missional, for in its contexts Hebr 13:14 sounds to me like this:
Out, church folks! What are you waiting for inside your temple buildings? Are you polishing your halos? Are you still waiting for the world coming to you and your nice Jerusalem? Don't you know where your master is? He's outside in the midst of fallen life and brokenness, where loneliness is ruling and man is desperately looking for love and appreciation. So you think you're God's representatives? Be reminded that your Lord stands beyond the religious Jerusalem and is being beaten by the world. After him! Get out of here, church folks! Don't you call yourself his "followers"? Well, follow him then! Out there is a lot of jails, naked and hungry ones, broken and beaten and despoiled people. Follow him to where you are really needed!
Don't waste as much time for making yourself comfortable in this world, figuring out which stock marked works best for you, which car you like the most, what kind of fashion suits you best. We'll make ourselves comfortable later on in the New Jerusalem without any sin nor sinners that still need hope and healing. This where we really want to get, but first we have to finish our race. After crossing the finish line we'll have eternities for resting, celebrating, enjoying. By the way, that will be the time when we're allowed take out all the treasures from our heavenly bank accounts we've placed our deposits through generous giving and selfless gift making during this life.
But until then: Go out, church folks! Sure, it will cost you something to share your life with a brolen world in desperate need. Giving is a painful sacrifice. Each witness has its price. But only he who follows Jesus with his body (and not only in his mind) praises God as a spiritual act of worship. What are you waiting for, church folks? Our path to New Jerusalem leads via Calvary. Your leaders know the direction, so follow them. There're no shortcuts. Now out! Get your butt in gear and your feet moving and follow your master!