Friday, 13 June 2014

Prospect
The Rev'd Robert Warren                                                                                            
Matthew 28:16-20

The Great Commission, where Christ directs his disciples to: 

    "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations..." 

contains the word "therefore" and should then direct us to what he has just finished saying which is that :

    "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me".  

The disciples are messengers.  They are not pioneers.  Perhaps they lived and died heroically.  The stained glass representations of their persons might well include the instruments of their martyrdom.  We must never forget, however, that the purpose of Christ's Incarnation, life, death and resurrection is not the creation of an "A Team" on a hillside prior to his ascension into heaven.  The men and women of this first generation were to go out into the world, in a strength which was not their own, to proclaim the message of what God, through Christ, had done for the world.  As hostile as that world might seem it was, nonetheless, a world which Christ had effectively conquered through his death and resurrection.  

The Great Commission is ours as well.  We have a call to minister beyond our own circles.  September is around the corner - we will have said goodbye to a few beloved families and will be welcoming others.  There is an immediate task of mission for our parish.

The Church is not our possession.  It is our launching pad. Christ has conquered the world in which we live and he extends the possibility of friendship with God to men and women, boys and girls - like us or unlike us - who are not yet part of any Christian fellowship.  He asks us to move beyond our habitual circles, our clans and our cultures.  It behooves us to be organized and intentional in our approach to mission and outreach.  We must be rigourous about communicating our presence and easing access to our Christian family for newcomers to Clermont-Ferrand.  

It would be a grave mistake, however, if we came to think that this was about us.  The Church is bigger than us.  The Kingdom of God is bigger than us.  The Spirit will lead us into the world to speak of what Christ has done for the world.