by Fletcher Lowe
Several years ago, a friend of mine came to me and said that she felt a call to go to another country as a missionary. In our conversation, I suggested that she spend a few weeks considering her current place as a teacher to be her mission field. Later she came back with a new understanding. She stayed in our city and developed a deep sense of calling with her teaching profession.
Perhaps that was what Jesus was trying to say to his 12 apostles in Matthew 9:5-7. He was explicit – Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, rather go to the lost house of Israel. As you GO, proclaim the good news: the kingdom of heaven is near. In short GO, but go to your own familiar territory. Now for some like Barnabas and Paul and countless others over the centuries, going to another place has been a calling. But for most Jesus followers including you and me, our calling is right here.
We need to hear Jesus speaking to you and me where we live and move and have our being – namely our places of work, our communities and our homes. You and I are called to GO there, to proclaim the good news: the kingdom. of heaven is near. If that sounds a bit grandiose and vague, let’s put some flesh on it. Think the Baptismal Covenant. It is our commissioning as the Baptized. It spells out how we as the Baptized are to live into our Baptism daily, or in Jesus’ words: how we are to go to proclaim the good news that the kingdom of heaven is near.
Think about this for a moment: Every time that you and I
- Proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ,
- Seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves;
- Strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being,
we are helping the kingdom to break through into real life.
The Lord’s Prayer reminds us: Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as in heaven. Whenever we do that “everyday” work – proclaim, love, seek and serve, strive, respect – we join forces with God in bringing God’s kingdom on earth. So, let us GO forth into our worlds of home and work and community rejoicing in the power of the Spirit! Alleluia.