16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshipped him, but some doubted. 18 Jesus came near and spoke to them, “I’ve received all authority in heaven and on earth. 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 teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.”
I first became aware of Ginger Rothhaas some years ago, when she was a seminary intern at Resurrection Church in Leawood, Kansas pastored by Adam Hamilton. At that time she regularly participated in writing the GPS daily devotionals. As years passed, and she moved on, I learned that she started her career getting an MBA and worked in sales and management. Then she found herself on a new journey to seek a life with deeper meaning. She earned Master of Theology and Master of Divinity Degrees and then found her present calling, teaching others to see their worthiness, find their purpose, improve their relationships, and live up to their full potential. I still read her blog occasionally because her approach is unique and refreshing, at least to me. You can find more if compassion interests you at www.gingerrothhaas.com/gingers-story.
I have referred to Ginger’s story partly because she says things like “Being a human is a whole lot easier when you have someone to walk alongside you.” This, in different words, is what Pastor Joe was talking about this past Sunday, walking beside each other as members of God’s body the church always remembering that God is with us. I also chose her as an example of how you see a person can change with time and/or circumstances. Today’s scripture offers us an example to interpret scripture in more than one way. Your bible may have a heading like this before the verses, “The Commissioning of the Disciples.” Let us look at the scripture through a different lens, what if the heading were “Jesus Always Present and Guiding Us.”
In these verses we see the risen Jesus gathering the disciples (the church), overcoming doubts and through his presence, providing strength and guidance. The doubt mentioned in verse 17 is like fear or little faith only indicating that the community of disciples is imperfect. In verse 18 Jesus is saying that God has given him both dominion and glory. Thus, there is great authority in his teaching. In verses 19 and 20 we see Jesus effectively saying church, go forward as a body supporting each other, living out the Words that I have taught you and never forget that I am always with you.
by Clarence Beverage
For Pondering & Prayer
The bible can be abstract when you read it. The Half Truths sermon series we are in has been interesting to me as it applies scripture to real life. That is valuable to me. Also, in these times when the world, and our own world at times, seem upside down, remembering that as a group of people with common values, we are supporting each other is pretty great.
What are your thoughts? Can you imagine being one of eleven imperfect people being commissioned to go forward to do a job for the rest of your life which you only did twice as a test/learning experience? Do you think the disciples’ prayers for strength and help are any different from ours today?
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, we ask that you illumine and guide us in our daily lives. May we experience your peace wherever we are no matter our circumstances. Help us to take the time to see your creation each day and always be thankful for your blessings. Amen