Matthew 28:16-20 “16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go 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 I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Rachel led us in morning prayer on April 16th and reflected on the same gospel as Trinity Sunday (you can watch the morning prayer here) or read her thoughts on the Gospel and mission during lockdown below:
When you finish reading a very good book or netflix series, do you have the feeling you want to tell someone about it and suggest that they read it too? Yes, we want our family or friends to have the same fun experience we have had reading a wonderful book.
What do you do when you see a beautiful flower? Do you like to smell it to see if it is fragrant? Do you think of bringing someone else to look at the flower so they too can sniff the sweet fragrance and see the design of the soft, colorful petals?
How about if you were to win a contest and receive a wonderful prize? Wouldn’t you be excited and want to tell everyone about what has happened? It is natural that we should want to share happy experiences and good news with others.
Jesus wanted his disciples to go and tell all nations the good news of Christ
So how can we do this in lockdown?
In 3 weeks (including Holy week) Wedge and I have helped stream 15 services on Holy Trinity Dunfermline’s social media channels as well as having over 3300 engagements on facebook posts, 2200 views of our website and 1200 searches on Google
We have reached members of congregation couldn’t come to church, people that work or have other things on, friends that have moved away, friends of friends that are curious…
Christine Fraser of St Peter’s Kirkcaldy put her homily onto Facebook and St Peter’s website for Easter. It was interesting how many non churchy friends liked it.
Ps and Gs Edinburgh that featured in a BBC news article as their Psalm Sunday service reached 8000 people
Associate rector Libby Talbot said: “Life feels so helpless and chaotic just now and people feel out of control.
“Christianity is built on a solid foundation and gives real hope during this period of hopelessness and uncertainty.
almost one-third of Scottish Episcopal churches have been offering some form of online worship to their congregation
The SEC have been live streaming services with over 16500 views across many platforms during Holy week, they have engaged with people all over the world and received comments like I haven’t stepped foot in a church for years but I’m joining this service.
the way we do mission,
the way we are disciples now
is very different from Jesus’ time
not just due to lockdown but due to so many advances and the way of life now is so different we have electricity, cars, the internet, mobile phones, medicine they could only dream of
and yet lockdown is seen as stopping everything but many churches have had more people view a service online than their building could hold
This passage is often called the Great Commission. traditionally it would be followed by go bring all your friends and neighbours to church but just because we can’t gather in a building doesn’t mean we can’t make disciples of all nations – the church has been doing it – giving spaces to worship and people have been taking the invitation those of no faith, lapsed faith, doubting faith, those who don’t normally do organised religion – all are welcome – all come
The Eleven are to go make disciples AND teach what they have learned from Jesus.
They are not to let religious, age, political or other indifferent to keep them from engaging with people – our demographic has grown online but how do we continue this?
what does that mean for you –
Great teachers don’t just tell us things – they show us, give us examples to follow,
If we want to teach others about what it means to follow Jesus’, what kind of examples will we need to set?
For instance: If we want to teach about kindness – or taking care of the less fortunate – how could we model this in our own lives?
However, it looks, I hope you’ll be think about this – are you bringing disciples, – what are you teaching others about your faith – what example are you setting?
No pressure right?! Well while this may seem to be a big job, Jesus assures them and you that they will be able to do it. He’s going to help. He said, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” We won’t be doing this alone.
Let us now pray A prayer in lockdown from the Church of England during which we will join together in the lord’s prayer
Ever present God,
be with us in our isolation,
be close to us in our distancing,
be healing in our sickness,
be joy in our sadness,
be light in our darkness,
be wisdom in our confusion,
be all that is familiar when all is unfamiliar,
that when the doors reopen
we may with the zeal of Pentecost
inhabit our communities
and speak of your goodness
to an emerging world.
For Jesus’ sake.