Scripture: Matt. 28:16-20
“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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20 (NRSV)
Go- and Serve!
In worship, we regularly use an Affirmation of Faith, most often the Apostles’ Creed. There are a number of reasons to use this after the proclamation of God’s Word, because it provides a summary of our beliefs as Christians. It also contains ancient language which, at times, seems in conflict with our modern thinking. But, we should realize that it also ties us to the origins of the church and the many congregations that were scattered throughout Palestine, Asia Minor, Greece, Rome, and Northern Africa in the first 300 years of Christianity. Like the Gospels in scripture, it summarizes the story or Christianity that followed the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
When we read the Acts of the Apostles, we can see an idealistic rendering of the life of the church. The most revealing witness to their sincere emphasis on the community is in their support of the widow and orphans: the lowest and most vulnerable group of people in the ancient world. Christians insured that they were fed and clothed. They also provided care to those in need in the community who were not members of the faith.
We can understand the call that Christ placed on these disciples through the Great Commission, which is our scripture lesson. Christ calls the church into existence and provides the missional purpose for its existence. We also are called to serve, to witness, and to provide care and support for the work of God’s kingdom.
The Apostles’ Creed reminds us of this call. In proclaiming our faith to God and to one another, we can take on the confidence to engage the community around us. We are “made bold” by our faith as we are nurtured in worship: called by God and led by, and through, Jesus Christ. Each of us can, and will, make a great difference for others when we act with confidence.
That confidence is in God and God’s Son, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaim as Lord.