For the last few weeks, we have been looking at part of the prayer we share together in our liturgy for Holy Communion: “By your spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and oe in ministry to all the world…” These words are not just beautiful words we share in one of our most sacred moments in the life of a church, but they are a prayer and a vision for living as Christ followers in this world.
There are two instances in scripture where Jesus sends out the disciples for ministry to all the world. In Matthew 28:19-20 (the Great Commission), Jesus says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” And in Acts 1:8, Jesus says, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
As Christ followers, we understand our ministry to be a sent ministry. We are sent out into the world to be the hands and feet of Christ. We are sent out into the world to reflect the love and grace of Jesus. And we are sent out into the world so that others might come to know this love and grace. It is not an easy ministry that we are all called to, but it is a critical piece of our discipleship. Being a United Methodist pastor, I have taken a vow that I will go where I am sent because of my belief that “the world is my parish,” (quoting John Wesley).
But here’s the thing about responding to a sent ministry…being sent into the world is not always going to be easy. There will be times when we will face conflict. There will be times when will experience disagreement. And there will be times when our core beliefs in God will be challenged. In those moments, we need to remember that we are sent out “[to teach] them to obey everything that [Christ] has commanded,” and that we “will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon [us].”
As we wrap up this this prayer, I want to ask you to join me in praying for Royston First United Methodist Church. Let this be your prayer: “O God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world.”
Have a great weekend and I look forward to being with you in worship on Sunday at 8:45 and 11:00!
With Grace and Peace,
P.S. This weekend is the special session of the General Conference in the United Methodist Church. I have provided information below where you can learn more about what is happening at General Conference and follow along with the conference. Please be in prayer for our global church leadership these next five days. I am asking everyone to pray from 2:23-2:26 each day (the time corresponding with the dates of the General Conference) as the United Methodist Church strives to be “one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world.”
General Conference Information: www.ngumc.org/GC2019
Live stream of General Conference: www.umc.org/live