Go preach the Good News they say. Go to the ends of the earth. Go tell it on the mountain. Go tell it to your neighbors and to the strangers on the street corner.
Don't be fearful, fear is not from God. Get on a bus and drive for hours, jump on a plane and get far away from the soil your feet know too well. Just go, they say. It's the Great Commission, The command of Jesus. It's not a suggestion...
There is a lot of talking about *the going* from pulpits. It's sort of one of those biggies like not robbing God...aka...tithing. Or taking the bread and the wine (excuse me juice) before confessing your sins.
You hear sarcasm in my tone. (yikes) Please don't. No. I make no bones about the truths of Scripture or spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's a yes thing for sure. Definitely not a "Hmmmm is that what He really wanted us to do?"
But it's not the going that has me face down and on my knees, rather, it's the sending.
Funny, I don't recall any sermons on the sending. Maybe there were...and I was reading the bulletin...but mostly, no...I don't think so. And I'm not prepared. And my man is gone, my two shall become one, my person...and that is so personal to me I won't even share it. And not only him, but her...
Her long brown hair swishes side to side just slightly when she’s walking fast, and she’s pretty much always walking fast or sleeping. Not a bunch of in between. Her nails are freshly painted and then chipped within a day or so from nervous picking during tests and quizzes. I can recognize her laugh in a crowd of hundreds of her peers, the way she leans over and holds her side when she can’t stop. It's contagious...she’s contagious. Everything about her draws me in. I often say to her, "If you weren't my daughter, I'd be so incredibly jealous of the mom you belonged too."
My time with her is on the wrong side of long. She’s growing up fast (High School, Jeez.) and it's stunning to witness. Most people complain about teen girls and to be perfectly honest with you, I can't think of an age group I love more. Our conversations are real, her ideas and theories are fresh, and her theology is ground breaking.
And she wants to go share her love and ideas... and her God with you. All you far and wide people. The people who are easy to love from a distance. (Man, what a statement. Aren’t we ALL easier to love from a distance? Truth.) But she wants to dive in and do community with you. She's that girl. See there, I told you she was a keeper.
They are going....but I'm sending.
My heart went on a plane to the Dominican Republic but my feet stayed in the USA.
Because who am I at all if I don't allow her to follow her dreams, the ones God planted down deep. And why did I bring her to the sermons week after week if I wasn't going to let her heart respond?
The going was well with my soul when it was my soul that was doing the going...but the sending of my loved ones, my flesh and bones......
And so begins the journey of spreading wild wings, cutting the strings and gathering up wind for her to sail on.
Jesus, the Giver. Me, the borrower.
Me, the slowly opening trembling hands returner. Jesus, The Perfecter.
If I didn’t believe in the Gospel…if this whole thing was a show…this alone would have stopped me cold. Sending the very people who I would give MY life for to places unknown and foreign to me… My Faith increases on their backs as they go and as I send.
The Great Commission
16-17 Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. The moment they saw him they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.
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.”