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 on 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 behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20
This morning we helped with set-up for the church bazaar. St. Peter's by the Sea in Cape May Point has been holding as bazaar every August since I can remember. Generations have passed away who used to run and attend the bazaar. It is a staple in our community, one of the few things that have survived the massive changes that have taken place in the past twenty years. All communities change and children grow up and age and come to the end of their age. We humans fight change and yet it is part of the plan, the intelligent cycle of life, death and renewal. No matter how hard we fight, things change, people come and go and we take our turns through the seasons.
Jesus leaves his disciples with a promise to be with them, saying, "And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Many speculate about end times, ages ending and prophesy about those who will survive and those who won't. God's elect and the left behind. But our lives are ever changing and we are charged to do our part while we have breath and life, and trust that God is with throughout our time and our challenges. We can speculate and postulate all we want, but Jesus was directing the disciples to go out into the world, loving and welcoming, including and strengthening the community by sharing God's love and reconciliation where ever they went. This call is for us too.
Today, I ask God to help me be a faithful disciple, trusting that I am not alone where ever I am sent. May we see love reaching to the ends of the world, and god going with us as we go forth. We are not alone in this time, or ever. God is with us and in this time, in this light, in this age, we are empowered to go out and share God's love. May we have the courage and conviction today to go forth in love.