ASCENSION OF OUR LORD
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Different Kinds Of Disciples
I was struck with the “great commissioning”, Gospel reading for this Sunday. Especially considering what the
disciples had just seen, the death and resurrection of Jesus lived out right before their eyes. What stood out to me was not that they worshiped Jesus, but that the reading says that some doubted. Why, after all this would they doubt?
So, I looked at a few other translations, and I came across the use of the word “hesitated”. It seems more likely that they weren’t questioning their belief in Jesus, it was that they were unsure of themselves, and what would happen next. What could the disciples bring to the mission of Jesus? And how could they live out the command of Jesus to make disciples of all nations? I know many have similar feelings today when it comes to spreading the gospel message. What is it that I can bring to this incredible commissioning which Jesus calls us to today? It is the same commissioning today, as when he called the first disciples.
This all got me thinking about the gifts that people have, and the gifts we bring to the service of God with the
guidance of the Holy Spirit. Some have the gift of music, some have a great love and knowledge of scripture, while others have the gift to preach to congregations. I have known some others too, who witness their faith by their everyday interactions with people. They don’t talk about their faith all that often, but the Holy Spirit, and the love of Jesus seems to be present in all they say and do, and in all that they are. I am sure you can think of
someone in your life that matches that description. They bring us closer to Jesus, just by the dignity of their life.
After thinking all of this through, I finally came to the conclusion that Jesus simply wants us to witness to his love for us and witness to our faith, to whomever we encounter. We can only do that by expressing our gifts and by showing God not as a distant entity who is far away from our lives, but as a friend who is part of every aspect of our lives. His spirit flows in all of creation, in love, suffering, and joy. If we do get discouraged and become hesitant though, he gave us two gifts to help us through. The first gift is the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the second is that he gave us community, he gave us each other. So on Sunday, we may gather and be strengthened by the Eucharist, and by the friendships we develop to help us along the journey. For me, those two elements are the reason that
Christianity has grown from humble beginnings to now reaching the far corners of the earth. All of this was accomplished through witnessing the love of Jesus to the world, which is in need of Jesus now, more than ever.
God bless you all
Deacon Dan MacDonald