Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
PREPARING FOR MISSION SUNDAY
“The church exists for mission as a candle exists for burning”- Dr. D. T. Niles
We value the last words of great personalities and of our dear ones. The scripture portion of the day is the last words of Jesus recorded by St. Mathew. The Great Commission: At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus announced His mission (Luke 4:18-19). Here at the close of His life on earth He commissions His disciples. It is to be noticed that in Mathew the calling of the disciples and the commissioning both occur in Galilee. They had to come back to the place where they had received the call of Jesus. Universality of the Gospel: When Jesus sent the disciples at the beginning of His ministry, their area of work was strictly among the lost sheep of Israel. (Mathew 10:5-6) But here He asks them to go to all nations, irrespective of color, creed, race or gender.
Make all the people Disciples: Their duty is to teach others everything that Jesus taught and make them disciples. There is no scarcity of ministers, evangelists or teachers today. We are busy in making converts. Emphasis nowadays is mainly on evangelism ignoring discipleship. Instead of fishing in the deep and stormy sea we find satisfaction in fishing in the aquarium. It is easy to catch or steal from the aquarium rather than facing the danger and risk of the vast ocean. Only a person with discipline can become a disciple. What we need as individuals is moral and spiritual transformation to become disciples. Disciples are followers, lifetime learners and ambassadors of Christ. Only a disciple has the moral courage and grace to challenge another person to discipleship.
Go depending on the Promises: The Jews used to ask Jesus “With what authority do you do all these things?” Jesus gives the disciples a Royal Mandate. He has all the authority. He is a God who keeps promises. The disciples have to go out. The present day church has become a ‘come-to’ church. But we must be transformed into a ‘go-to’ church. Remember that God has sent us to this country as missionaries. Therefore, instead of merely existing as a closed community, we must become true missionaries taking the message of Christ to our neighbors.
Prayer. Dear Lord, help us to move from nominal Christian life to the path of discipline and discipleship thereby becoming missionaries in our society and in the world. Amen
Rev. Dr. Philip Varghese, North Carolina