June 6, 2017
The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 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 28:16-20)
Go therefore and make disciples.
Jesus’ final words in Matthew are words of action. Go, make, and baptize. Teach and remember.
He’s taught us how to love, without expectation of recompense, without limits. He’s given us examples of how to forgive, of how to feed the hungry and heal the broken. His words in the Sermon on the Plain in Luke are at the same time comforting and disturbing, much like our Lord himself.
He also reminds us we don’t have to go, make, baptize, teach, and remember alone. Jesus is with us always and…AND…we do all this in community.
We forget the salvation of the world does not rest entirely on our our shoulders. We alone don’t have to interpret Holy Scripture or have all the exact prayers. We are part of a huge community of believers, saints past, present, and yet to come. We are part of the communion of saints.
A priest mentor once explained the communion of saints to me, saying when he felt empty and dry of faith and prayed prayers that seemed flat and dim and filled with doubt, that was okay. Because somewhere in the world, someone overflowed with drenching faith that was particularly alive in her prayers. And the time would come when the roles switched.
We are supported and sustained by each other. My doubt is balanced by another’s deep faith. Again, the entirely of Christian faith does not depend on me. It is held together by Christ in a loving community of us.
I give thanks for this communion of saints, this rag-tag group of faithful Christians who go forth and teach, baptize, and remember. I give special thanks for the saints at Forward Movement who do this.
Forward Movement provides spiritual resources that teach and remember. Some are online, like Fifty Days of Fabulous, and free to whoever takes the time to click on a link. Others, like Lent Madness, provide fun ways to learn more about our fellow neighbors in this communion of saints. Their flagship publication, Forward Day by Day, is available to those in prisons, hospitals, in the military, and in our churches. It also has devotions available online. They publish books, pamphlets, and digital resources for communities of faith. The words they curate and collect, the reflections of the teachings of Christ and the experiences of the saints they nurture, are shared with the particular focus of reinvigorating the life of the church.
Forward Movement provides a way for us to follow Jesus’ charge to go into the world and make disciples. It does so, in part, through donations. If you’ve enjoyed Fifty Days of Fabulous, if you would like to support the many ways Forward Movement provides spiritual reflections to those who need to be drenched by the Word of God, and if you would like to support this particular way the Church goes therefore into the world, please consider making a donation.
Thank you to all who joined us for Fifty Days of Fabulous. Thank you for your comments, for your shares on social media, and for your support. May we courageously go therefore and make disciples. May we be disciples, and may we model the movement of love.
If you would like to support the ministry of Forward Movement, you can click here to make a secure online donation. Thank you for your support!