The apostles must have been frightened on the last day Jesus was on earth. Most likely they had developed somewhat of a routine with Jesus, knew His teachings, depended on Him, and now it was all rapidly vanishing before their eyes. Our normal routines, too, have disappeared in just a matter of days as we struggle to reinvent our lives and make sense of the coronavirus pandemic.
Jesus’s parting words to the apostles in Matthew’s Gospel were, Full authority has been given to me both in heaven and on earth; go therefore, and make disciples of all nations….teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always until the end of the world! It would have been understandable if the apostles would have wanted to just crawl up in a ball and forget the world – they had just lost their Lord, He was appearing to them after He died (really try to wrap your head around that one!) and now He was asking them to make disciples of ALL nations. The apostles might have expected that they would have to spread the good news of the Lord to the chosen people, the Jews, but Jesus was asking for something much more all-encompassing. He asked them to also spread the good news to the Gentiles and even to the ones who persecuted Him and hung Him on the cross.
It would be so easy for all of us to prop our feet up and watch the dust bunnies collect under our couches, but Jesus is calling every one of us to an extraordinary life – even when our means of communication is hampering us from “making disciples of all nations.” Be brave like the apostles and work with what you’ve got – reach out to your neighbors, the elderly, your long-lost cousin, your friends, someone who needs a friend, your family. If you are in one of the many ministries at St. Anne, don’t lose that connection – contact your fellow members and see how they are doing. Write a letter, leave a note at the door, call, email, look up contact information in the church directory; you have more choices than you think. We are reminded this week that Jesus unselfishly died for our sins – please return the favor and unselfishly spread a little saving grace.