Christ calls the Church into vital, expansive and life-giving ministry!
I’m sure that the disciples were a bit shaken when Jesus told them that it was, now, their job to spread the Gospel throughout the world. I suspect that it has never been easy for Christians to stand toe-to-toe with people who are in positions of power and proclaim the Reign of a Living God who calls us to extend compassion to the poor, to lift-up those who are being crushed by injustice, to walk with people who mourn, and to create a society where even the lowly have a voice. And yet, even today, Christians are commissioned by the Risen Christ to announce the imminent coming of the Reign of God.
I don’t always feel prepared to do that – even as a pastor. I don’t always feel prepared to speak about God’s plan for our lives from the pulpit, to counsel couples whose marriages are crumbling, to comfort people who have just lost a child, or to speak a word of hope beside the empty grave of someone that I’ve loved. Maybe you don’t really feel qualified to teach a Sunday School class, to lead a Bible Study, to say a prayer in front of other people, or to assume responsibility for a ministry at your church. And yet, in this week’s message, “The Great Commission”, God calls us into action.
Ministry is never easy; and yet, “The Great Commission” is accompanied by a great and wonderful promise! As we join hands in ministry, Christ promises to walk by our sides. As we join hands in ministry, Christ promises to send the Holy Spirit to equip us and give us gifts from above. Jesus promises us, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” and those are words that can encourage us as we work together to bring the Reign of God into the world today.