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The Great Commission

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.  And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.  And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me.  Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."

Matthew 28:16 ff.

 

Our life is a journey, beginning in the safety of the womb, being catapulted out into a very fractious and troublesome world, and, if all ends well, arriving in the safety of the Hand of God.  We move from being children of the world to being children of God. 

Life is a war, a spiritual struggle against the forces of the world, the flesh, and the devil who would abort our journey.  But as we follow Jesus on the Way of the Cross, and as we grow in maturity so that we may reach out to others (as Jesus commands above), we are ourselves engaged in that war for our own salvation and sanctification, and for that of the world around us.  

One is reminded of the last verse of "They cast their nets in Galilee...," hymn #661 in the Episcopal 1982 Hymnal:

The peace of God, it is no peace,
                but strife closed in the sod;
        but pray, brothers, for but one thing,
                the marvelous peace of God.

One often wearies of the battle, but as we realize how the battle is for our own forgiveness, for our healing, growth, and maturity, and that of those we love, for our mutual and shared participation in the abundant life, we take heart and, however hard it may be, positively rejoice in that to which God has called us. 

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