Day 14 Easter Matthew 28:16-20

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…

There are about 10 things that come to mind from these words but they are not fully formed enough that I can write them down. Let me just say some words have taken on new and deeper meanings to me of late.

“All nations” means foreign missions to me. My heart has long been thrilled by missionary stories…Jesus loves all the children of the world. Their red and yellow black and white faces in their own little countries posted on Sunday school walls like scenes from “It’s a Small World” just warm me. I even took my white face to Kenya just so it would create some celebrity attention and help draw a crowd. The real missionaries took over from there. I came home. I’m a cheerleader supporter for people who actually do missions.

Lately, I’ve felt a little guilty about this, but for years I’ve been more of an “in church” kinda girl. I’ve been part of that ilk who do church … cheering people on to be who they are in Jesus, giving them permission, teaching, offering support…disciple making. It was a season.

My new calling is to do this individual thing myself. This requires no organizational structure. The only hierarchy is Jesus and then, well, me. As one person who loves Jesus and wants to follow Him, just live and do what I think that means.

It’s been interesting because acting individually has not turned out to be acting alone. Every place I’ve stepped out, Jesus has sent a buddy or two who wanted to GO. Their showing up has been a gift of affirmation that God is in it but I feel strongly that it may not always be this way. My charge is “have no expectations, let the thing be whatever it is…just GO and see what happens.”

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3 thoughts on “Day 14 Easter Matthew 28:16-20

  1. I am not much of a missionary. I went on one mission trip in high school and worked at a number of VBS programs. However, going to foreign lands, or even “foreign” neighborhoods and homes, is not my thing. Blame it on the introvert in me, but really that blame is misplaced. I do not do well talking to people I do not know, but I will talk your ear off if I know you and feel comfortable. Yet, even with those I feel comfortable, sharing the gospel is not something that I do. It’s not because I discount the importance and the awesomeness of the gospel. But, unless you signed up for a gospel lesson it by attending a Bible study or the like, I am very unlikely to share. Keep in mind, this does not mean that my faith never comes up in conversation with unbelievers, but it is rare, unforced, and often in passing. I leave it up to the other person to pursue further conversation or ignore it. Like I said, I am not much of a missionary.

    The need to be bold and share your faith is drilled into you at a young age in church. The voice in my head always followed that with a question, “Are you really living your faith if you don’t sit people down and tell them about Jesus?” This was often answered with a sad and guilt ridden “no.” In this passage, the great commission was shared with the eleven disciples. However, there were countless other believers at this time. They were not invited to the mountain top party nor given this imposing charge. Why? Because we are not all called to “missionary” work. That calling goes to a select group of people. Some are called to “share their faith.” The rest of us are called to live it.

    I am thankful that I grew up in church, but there was definitely some unintended guilt that came out of many sermons given with only the best of intentions. Fortunately, I am not held to some standard I created, whether created out of guilt, legalism, or even ambitious optimism. God has called me to live my faith. If the consequence, intended or otherwise, is that someone comes to know Christ because of that then that is awesome. If not, then I will continue to live my faith. God chose me and gave me a purpose for each season and for my life. Please don’t ask me what that is right now because I have no clue. (Maybe it’s just to survive twin toddlers!) I am certain it is not traditional missions, whether in my backyard or in Bolivia. I am also certain that as long as I continue to live my faith, the calling of all believers, then I am on track to answer his call.

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    • I love your thoughts here. You are right about the guilt trips passed out by well meaning teachers on every Christian subject. Ergo, always a good idea to imitate the Bereans:
      11 The people in Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica. They were so glad to hear the message Paul told them. They studied the Scriptures every day to make sure that what they heard was really true. Acts 17.

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