“Go, Baptize, Teach, Make Disciples. We call this passage The Great Commission. This is your most important task, and mine: to share the Good News of Jesus with our families, friends, and the world. Jesus is Lord. Jesus is Savior. He is risen. He is risen indeed. “
Hello Gloria Dei,
As I write this we are in the midst of Holy Week. This past weekend we moved through the events of Palm Sunday. Last night, Maundy Thursday, we shared in the Lord’s Supper, together with many of our young people who celebrated their first communion. Today is Good Friday and this evening we hear Jesus’ seven last words, spoken from the cross. And of course, this weekend we celebrate life winning victory over death; God winning victory over Satan; Jesus coming out of the grave assuring us, by faith in him, abundant and eternal life.
In our year-long New Testament reading, we’ve come to the final chapters within the gospel of Matthew. In chapter 28, two women come to the tomb early on Sunday morning, and instead of finding Jesus’ dead body, they discover a whole new world. Jesus is alive. He has been raised. And the world has never been the same since.
And then, later in chapter 28, the risen Jesus gathers his disciples (read, you and me) and commissions them to continue the work he has begun. He gives them their life’s vocation. Go, Baptize, Teach, Make Disciples. We call this passage The Great Commission. This is your most important task, and mine: to share the Good News of Jesus with our families, friends, and the world. Jesus is Lord. Jesus is Savior. He is risen. He is risen indeed.
And at the very end of Matthew’s gospel, chapter 28:20, Jesus gives to us a great, great promise. “Behold, I will be with always, even to the end of the age.” Jesus gives us the “Emmanuel Promise.” Emmanuel means “God with us.” It is the same message that the angel spoke to Joseph way back at the beginning of the Jesus story. Matthew 1:13 says: “Mary will conceive and bear a son, and he will be called Emmanuel, God with us.”
Matthew bookends his account of Jesus’ life with this great “Emmanuel Promise”. As you move through the events of Holy Week, culminating in the greatest day in human history, Easter, be assured that because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, you have a God who is with you, for you, and who loves you dearly. As you journey through the events of your life, and on into eternity, lean into the sure and certain promise of Emmanuel. God is with you, now and forever.
Please see the worship schedule below.
- Good Friday Worship: April 7, 6:00pm
- Easter Saturday Celebration Worship with Holy Communion: April 8, 5pm
- Easter Sunday Celebration Worship: April 9, 7:30am, 8:30am, 9:40am, 10:50am
- (The 9:40am service will be livestreamed at www.gloriadeisf.org/live.)