Episode 128: Pause
July 14, 2020
This is the seventh and final in a series of reflections on Matthew 28:16-20. This week, we’re exploring the big idea that Jesus is with you. Wherever you are, wherever you go, whomever you encounter, Jesus is with you.
Christ’s presence with you does not depend on your actions. But, your attention to God’s presence is transformative. To consider the idea that Jesus is with you, listen to this episode.
If you’ve missed the previous episodes in this series. There are a total of seven. Enjoy them one at a time, daily over the course of a week, or as we’ve shared them over the course of seven weeks.
Let’s turn to Matthew’s Gospel using the pattern read, reflect, respond, and return to explore the scripture.
Consider the scripture “I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.”
Those early followers of Jesus were reminded that they were not alone in what they were being sent out to do. One of the great aspects of living a holy life is that you are not left alone to live the holy life alone. Jesus, the Risen Christ, is with us. “Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.”
Knowing that Jesus is with you, you can look for Jesus in the common, ordinary, situations of everyday living and relationships. Knowing that Jesus is with you, you can follow Jesus into your community with courage.
Remember, the Good News in Matthew’s gospel is, “God has sent Jesus to teach us how to live before God.” At a time when the ground is moving under your feet, Matthew offers a solid place to stand by reminding you that we are not alone and that you can proceed with courage.
Knowing that you are not alone, that the one who sends you is the one who is with you, what would happen if you began to engage in your community by developing relationships with local schools, with persons living in poverty, with health care facilities, with first responders, with social and political leaders?
You might think of it this way, how are you leading people into your community to live lovingly and justly as servants of Jesus by healing the sick, feeding the hungry, caring for the stranger, freeing the oppressed, being and becoming a compassionate, caring presence, and working to develop social structures that are consistent with the gospel?
What could happen if all the people with whom you are related were introduced, invited, and initiated into God’s love that they began to practice God’s love, teaching others by the way they are living?
Today, how will you engage your community with God’s love?
Consider making an intentional shift from doing mission in the community to leading a movement of God’s love in the community. What one action will you take to develop a relationship with an agency, a school, or a leader in your community? Who will you call, visit, or contact as a first step? Step out in courage, knowing that you are not alone. What difference does your interaction make in your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors?
Reflect upon the scripture and your interactions of the day.
What one action did you take to engage someone in your community?
O God, thank you for the courage to step out in faith today. And thank you for preparing the people with whom I had interactions today. I am especially grateful for how my life is being transformed by following Jesus into the community. Help me focus my eyes more upon Jesus, so I may recognize you more often in the people I meet along the way. Amen.