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Tuesday Thoughts

Sent to the World

Mission

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20)

The resurrection of Jesus is the grounding for the entire Christian enterprise. Apart from that, we just have a good teacher who has a lot of good ideas about God. But while Jesus is a good teacher (of course), his authority does not come from being smart in worldly terms but because he has come from God.

In the US today, less than one in five people will be in worship this weekend. But studies show that while many people have given up on the church as a source of spiritual guidance and direction, they are still interested in their spiritual lives. In addition, many people hunger to discover meaning and purpose for their lives. If we believe that we have life in Christ, then we will no longer be able to wait for people to come to us in order to share it in the church. We will have to be more willing to go out and share with them in the midst of their lives in the world.

The call to go out is central to everything that God is about. Being a Christian is rooted in the fact that God sent his Son into the world. As Jesus works with his disciples he is also rooting them in his work so that what he is (sent by God) is what they become (sent by God). Being a disciple is about joining in with the work of Jesus and doing so in a way that helps others become followers of Jesus and join in his work as well.

A healthy church is about continuing this work. We hear the risen Jesus speak to us and commission us for the work of making disciples. We go out and share this word with others and invite them to become a part of the community of the baptized and followers of Jesus as well. All of us need to be thinking about the people we know and how we can share the love of Jesus and the call of Jesus with them. The world is hungry for the good news Jesus offers. But the world needs us to be as excited about sharing it as they are hungry to receive it.

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