Trinity Sunday June 11, 2017
I am with you
It is fitting that Matthew’s Gospel, which begins by naming Jesus Emmanuel, meaning “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23), would have the last words of the Gospel remind us that “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (28:20). Everything between describing the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, as well as the development of and final charge to the disciples, is predicated on this foundational relationship in our lives. Because of God’s presence with us and God’s love for each one of us, we are able to respond in mission.
And as we step out to answer God’s call to make disciples, it would be good to be clear what that means. I like to tie Matthew’s call with the one we hear in John: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20:21). The task given us is not to be limited to an inward focus that culminates in personal development, or regular church attendance, or maintaining a certain ritual. If we are sent as was Christ, our task is about sacrifice and humility, serving others, reaching out to and affirming the outcast, challenging those who oppress, and being agents of God’s healing and new life to all. It is about providing the opportunity for a person to be loved right where he or she is in that moment, and to meet God there.
Which is exactly why we can’t do it on our own. Anyone taking up the true call to discipleship knows right away that only God can do this work in us and through us as a community of faith. Jesus’ promise to be with us to the end is not merely some word of comfort so that we can muster the courage to keep on in our mission. It is the essential active agent that brings it about.
Judy Ganz, executive director, Board of World Mission