Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Gospel reading for Trinity Sunday is from Matthew 28:16-20. Here, in the passage often called “the great commission,” Jesus proclaims his authority to his disciples, along with the fact that he fully intends to be with them.
That doesn’t seem much like a commission. It seems much more like a promise and a job description for Jesus. He, the all-powerful one, is promising that he will walk along with those who are believing him.
Actually, we notice that most of them were believing, but some were doubting. This should meet us right where we are. We often find ourselves torn between belief and doubt. We believe but we wonder at times if we are believing rightly. We wonder how good Jesus’ promise is.
We should have no fear. Jesus may be taken at his word. He walks with his disciples, wherever they go. They are not left abandoned.
What is the role of the disciples in this? What are they to do? As they go, they are to disciple all nations, baptizing them in the name of the triune God, teaching them God’s commands. Historically we have recognized the baptism as the starting point of this discipleship process. Once people are baptized, we continue with the teaching, nurturing the faith that God implants at baptism.
Like many other parts of the Christian faith, baptizing and teaching, as well as knowing that Jesus can actually be present with his disciples in every age and in every place, is a little bit counter-intuitive. However, it serves to draw us to trust in God. If he can be taken at his word, all will be well. We have no reason to doubt.
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