Sunday, September 16 – Go!

Matthew 28:16-20

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

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By: Lisa Mader
maderlisa@hotmail.com

When I read through this passage, the first thing that hit me was what it must have felt like for the eleven, going to Galilee, and hiking up the side of the mountain. I imagine it was a warm, dry day, and that some were grumbling about the heat. I imagine their conversation went something like this: “Do you really believe Mary saw the Lord?” Could it be that He has risen? Maybe she was dreaming! What do you suppose will happen to us today?” 

 Then suddenly they looked up and there He was in the distance, looking at them. He was walking toward them, and in shock and disbelief, they were face to face with the “Risen Messiah”! They became silent, and streams of tears began to roll down their faces! They fell to their knees and began to worship Him! I imagine the day I am face to face with the Lord! I begin to feel the warmth of tears rolling down my cheeks.

The next bit about the passage that stands out to me is the command Jesus gives to the eleven. “Go and make disciples!“ This portion of the passage fits me at this time in my life!

Let me explain: To me, being a Christian meant living a clean life, trying to follow the commandments, receiving the sacraments. It meant asking God to forgive me, for I am always falling short. It meant attending church, listening to the message, and trying to do better next week. Repeat, and repeat! And the sad thing was, when I was truly giving it my all, I thought I was living. NOT!

Things really changed last year, when I truly began to seek God. This is when I fully and wholeheartedly cried out to God I fell to my knees and told Him I hated my life and asked Him to take me and do whatever He needed to do to change me into who He wanted me to be. I fully submitted myself into his hands.

I went back to church and began reading the Word I began to pray daily.

I stumbled across the website for the “Bridge Ministry” and I began to read about it, and I felt a sense that God wanted me to serve, so I called. Soon enough, I began walking with the homeless and sharing the good news. Oh, and by the way, it did not exactly happen overnight. I first showed up, scared and wondering what I got myself into. 

I heard the others praying and I was sure I didn’t know how to pray and especially pray out loud for others in public! Seriously, no way, I’m doing that! I listened to God as He was calling me, and I learned the full meaning of the gospel, right there in the streets! And soon I, too, was spreading the “good news” and feeling the love of Christ, throughout the streets of Lawrence! 

God showed me step by step what it meant to GO and make disciples! For me, it means to go and love others the way He loves us. It means sharing the love of Christ with others. It means waking up to the truth and understanding there is one amazing God and Father. One that loves you, and me, right where we are! It means, speaking the truth to others, and leading them into a prayer of salvation. It means submitting your whole self to Him and let him lead you to living out His will, not mine.

If you ever told me that I would be doing this a year ago, I would have said “There is no way! That is not for me! I’m not going out and pushing the gospel on others! It’s not my job!” Well things have changed! I have changed, and honestly, my life isn’t perfect, but it is a whole lot better, as I am serving God. By doing so, God has filled me with an inner peace and joy I cannot explain.  I do know that serving Him in this way is truly a privilege. I can say now, “I am Alive! “

Engaging with the Scripture

Today, we are using a method of engaging with scripture developed by Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. 

1st Reading:Visualize yourself in today’s story from John’s Gospel. Don’t seek intellectual insights or to analyze the text— stay with the imagery. Use your senses to see, touch, feel, and hear the scene unfolding before you. What part of the story are you drawn to? Which character do you identify with or are you a bystander? 

2nd Reading: Experience the story in the role of the character God led you to. Then talk with the Lord. 

●     What do you feel?
●     How does this relate to something in your life today? 
●     What is God saying to you? 

Worship

Songs that relate to today’s theme

INVITATION TO CELEBRATE WHAT GOD HAS BEEN DOING IN YOU THIS WEEK!

Plan to join us tonightfrom 5:00-6:00pm in Andover for a celebratory potluck meal in the Lower Hall. Bring something to share with others; we will provide soup and bread and drinks. Or join us at 6:00pm for a time of worship, sharing and prayer. Come and share how you have experienced God this week, worship Him and pray together for our children, students and ministries as they embark on a new year.

RSVP to Roselle at roselle.heckendorn@freechristian.org , so we know how many to cater for and be sure to let us know if you will need childcare!

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