I have a fascination with people’s “famous last words”. I find it strangely interesting to see what people said as death approached, when the end is near. For example, Nostradamus predicted, “Tomorrow, at sunrise, I shall no longer be here.” He was right. (Well played, Nostradamus!) Composer Jean-Philippe Rameau objected to a song sung at his bedside. He said, “What the devil do you mean to sing to me, priest? You are out of tune.” Italian artist Raphael’s last word was simply: “Happy.” May we all be Raphaels.
In the last chapter of Matthew, Jesus was in his own “famous last words” phase, and said this to his disciples;
Matthew 28:18-20 The Message (MSG)
18-20 Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”
There is so much awesomeness in this passage. Go and do. Go and teach. Go and offer baptism. Go and love. Just GO! And here is the whipped cream on the top of your cappuccino: Jesus will be with you wherever you go; every day, right up to the time you see his face upon your death. Every where, every day.
What it doesn’t say is stay.
It gives us no permission to stay glued to our pews, opening our mouths every Sunday like baby birds waiting for PastorMother to drop a digested morsel of theology in our throats. It doesn’t say stay in your homes every evening and get your Netflix binge on. It doesn’t say stay in your community and act like you don’t have any part in Jesus and his kingdom. It doesn’t say stay in your way of operating the church like it is still the 1950’s. (By the way, do you know what the seven last words of the church will be? “We’ve never done it that way before.”) No indeed, Christ’s final commission to us has absolutely no STAY in it. Just GO.
I know people who take this command so literally, they place themselves in prisons to share God’s love with the incarcerated. Others minister to families of those inmates by providing retreats especially designed for that need. I know people who left their homes and jobs to start seminaries in Venezuela, to establish orphanages in Liberia, to minister to street kids in Ukraine. These folks did one thing: they yielded. They yielded to the powerful call of God to GO.
Not all of us will receive such a call, but all of us have a call to share the Good News that is Jesus Christ. By our behaviors, our actions, our words and the things we post, we either draw people toward Jesus or send them scurrying back into the corners. Which will it be?
Let me show you something that you are doing right now that is sending scriptures all over the world. This is a report from the website where “At Water’s Edge” is hosted:
Australia?? Poland?? This is what happens when you share. People are reading Jesus all over the world.
So keep on sharing. Let’s let Jesus get the last word, and partner with him in making disciples of all nations. Let’s GO!