Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Go make followers Matthew 28:16-20

Matthew's Gospel tells that Jesus, the morning He rose from the dead, asked the women who came to his tomb to go find His friends. They were both to announce the Good News to them, that Jesus had risen from the dead, and invite them meet the Risen One in Galilee.
Jesus met them on a mountaintop. Some saw him and worshipped him recognizing Jesus and other's who'd been with him didn't recognize him at all. And Jesus spoke, both to those who recognized him at first sight and those who didn't, giving them all words of promise,

“All power in heaven and on earth is given to me.
and words of direction
 So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything that I have taught you,
He ended his word's with a final word of promise
and I will be with you always, even until the end of this age.” Matthew 28:18-20 CEV.
We are directed by Jesus into the world. We could debate endlessly how to best go and make disciples and just who ought to be going. Some say only pastors need to go. Other's say everyone ought to go. I'd argue that the calling isn't just for pastors; but not everyone is gifted to go and speak with strangers about Jesus. Instead Jesus calls us through our gifts and passions to share His Light in the world. Think about the word, "teach" for a moment. Jesus says to teach, and often the best teachers don't teach with words but by example.
To understand Jesus instruction to go into the world it's helpful to think of the church not on Sunday but on Monday morning when the church is at work in schools, hospitals, tractor cabs, on the product floor, in offices, and in many more places than any one on earth can count. The people who make up the church bring the Light of Christ into the world in their lives both by what they do and by what they say.
Jesus spoke of himself as “the light” but he also spoke of the light that believers carry saying, “Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and give glory to your father in heaven.” Consider this light that Jesus spoke of as an analogy for the life and joy of Christians who follow their Savior. Remember Christ said, “I am the light of the world, who ever follows me will have the light of life.” The Light chooses us and might very well choose to shine through us.
This Sunday as we gather for worship I want to celebrate the light of Christ and I also celebrate those who bring it into the world. I give thanks for the invisible church, the one that’s made up of the believers who have been redeemed by Christ’s blood who carry that light (that joy found in following the Lord) with them. In a world of darkness Christ's Light shines. Some will run from the Light to hide their deeds. But others will come and embrace the Light turning away from their sins. It’s such a joy to see God at work in people’s lives so clearly that others can see the joy and the light of Christ in them. Thanks be to God.
Pax, John

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