This is the fifth in a series of reflections on Matthew 28:16-20. This week, we’re exploring what it means to be immersed in the movement of God. As you consider the things on your calendar, the people around you, and the tasks to get done, pause for a moment to consider the way you can immerse yourself in the movement of God.
Let’s turn to Matthew’s Gospel using the pattern read, reflect, respond, and return to explore the scripture.
Consider the phrase “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Those early followers of Jesus were sent to introduce, invite, and initiate all people into the movement of God. The act of baptism (baptizo), was a physical act of dipping or immersing into something. The words “baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” implied being dipped or immersed into a movement – the movement of God.
Baptism is the transitional act from outside the Christian community to be a follower of Jesus within the community. So, “baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” is a public acknowledgment, a covenant, that you want to be numbered among the followers of Jesus. Baptism is the acknowledgment of “I have reached the point where this is who I will be.” So, you are immersed in the love of God to share the love of God with all persons.
You might think of it this way, what would happen if you lived a baptized life in such a way that others wanted to live a baptized life? Your ordinary daily living would extend a clear invitation to be immersed in the movement of God.
It comes down to this, wherever you are or whatever you are doing, you have the opportunity to introduce all people to experience God’s love in you and to invite them to participate in God’s love in the community in which they live, work, and play.
Today, how will you introduce and invite the people around you, with whom you interact, to become Jesus followers?
Consider making an intentional shift from thinking about being a Christian, as a program to be accepted, to living as a person who reflects God’s love through acts of care and kindness. Be a person of grace. Live today in such a way that the people around you want to be like you. What difference does your interaction make in your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors?
At the end of the day (or week), return to the scripture and your interactions of the day/week. Consider this question:
With whom did you reflect God’s love through acts of care and kindness?
O God, thank you for all the people you put into my life today. And thank you for giving me opportunities to share your love with care and kindness. I am especially grateful that you are helping me become more who you created me to be in and through the people you are giving me to love. Help me focus my eyes more upon Jesus, so I may recognize you more often in the people I meet along the way. Amen.
Previous Episodes in this Series
Listen to the previous episodes in this series on Matthew 28:16 – 20
122: Pause with Matthew 28
123: Pause for Empowerment
124: Pause, then Go Make Disciples
125: Pause for All People
126: (This Episode) Pause: Immersed in the Movement of God