Missions Month

Sisters and Brothers,

I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ who commissions us as his disciples.

As we mark Missions Month, I remind us that being in mission is the reason the church is. Its our central purpose as believers.

Let us survey the Gospels to be reminded of this last and vitally important task that Jesus assigned us.

We often refer to his sending us as the Great Commission. The most cited occurrence of tis is in Matthew 28 where we are reminded of

  • Jesus’ authority to send us,
  • The tasks he assigned us (i) being and (ii) making disciples,
  • The scope of where he sends us- everywhere; and
  • Jesus’ companionship as we go in his name.

 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

It is n Mark 16: 15-20 as well. Matthew puts the focus on baptising, making disciples and teaching them. Mark does this too, but he highlights the power of God’s message. He emphasises that it is:

  • faith in Jesus and
  • through the power of the Holy Spirit, that disciples can perform signs that provide proof that Jesus is with us.

Luke emphasises the character of the Witnesses that we are called to be as we accept the Great Commission. The central point in Luke’s version of the Great Commission in Luke 24: 44-49 is found in verse 48, “You are witnesses of these things”.

Luke repeats the Commission in his other writing in Acts 1: 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Central for Luke, is that the powerful Holy Spirit transforms us and enables us to be witnesses for Christ. The Spirit’s work in us is not just for our advantage. It is for our assigned mission to witness to Christ.

John records the Great Commission in 20:19-23. In terms of commissioning, the key verse is “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” This he said as he breathed the Holy Spirit on them.

John reminds us that disciples were to follow Jesus in the exercise of ministry, calling people to repentance, inviting them to surrender their lives to Christ, offering healing and deliverance in his name.

In all four gospels then, we are called to be disciples and to make disciples. Our mission is to do so in Jesus’ name, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The key question for us is, “Are we doing this and being thus?” Whatever else we may be doing, if we do not take seriously our own growth as Christian disciples and the imperative (command) to make disciples, then we are not fulfilling our God assigned purpose. Let us pray always, that the lord will help us so to do.

Yours in his service
Joan Delsol Meade