Reverend Jan Justice
Thought for the week:
Matthew 28:19-20 “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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Recently several of us attended our annual Charge Conference where we reported about the state of our Church, nominated people for teams, cited goals and accomplishments and turned in reports concerning the care of our members, finances and buildings. The key scripture for that meeting was the Matthew 28:19 scripture on “making disciples”. Depending on whom you ask, you might find a wide variety of interpretations regarding what it actually means to “make disciples.” I would guess that most churches understand it as a command to evangelize the world—to lead people to faith, repentance, salvation and to spread the gospel.
While there are these aspects to Christ’s command, I believe that his instructions go beyond just spreading the gospel. The verb translated as “make disciples”—mathēteuō—carries a much deeper meaning than simply evangelizing. It more communicates the idea of a learning believer—someone who is growing in faith and love in God and others. So in a sense, our task is to help provide a place that is conducive to learning about and experiencing God and a place that provides a discipleship system that allows others to not only grow in Christian virtues but also to co-partner with God in changing the world. It means we create a place where there is unity (being in one mind with Christ) but not uniformity; a place where everyone’s voice can be heard and that we can disagree and have different opinions, but stay united by our love.
Seems to me that we are recipients of very good news: God love us, welcomes us and is with us, now and forever. And like those initial disciples who gathered on a mountain to worship, we who gather together at Crossroads have that same charge from Jesus – to make disciples by creating a welcoming community of faith that teaches about and shares God’s love. And remember, we don’t do this alone – Jesus promises to be with us now and until the end of time.
Have a great week. Invite someone to church on Sunday! Pastor Jan
The United Methodist Church
Kansas East Conference
The United Methodist Women
Crossroads United Methodist Church
101 Gilman Road
Lansing, KS 66043
Phone: (913) 727-1044
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