The story is told of a young man who was about to graduate from high school. He was the valedictorian and had a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. The day before graduation, he was called into the principal’s office and the principal said to him, “Well, you’ve done it; you made valedictorian. Congratulations. So what are your plans for the future?” The young man said, “Well, I plan to go on to college and get my degree.” “Great,” said the principal. “What then?” “I guess then I’ll go on to med school and become a doctor.” “What then?” “I plan to get married, have children, and pursue my career.” “What then?” said the principal? “I would like to travel the world.” “What then?” And the young man thought for a few seconds and said, “Well, I guess then I’ll die.” And the principal said, “What then?” That story speaks to me of the power of purpose.
In Matthew 28, the disciples were filled with joy. Post-resurrection, Jesus had told them to go to a mountain. There they saw him, and there they received a message to take to the world. Jesus gave them a great challenge when he said to them, “Go 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 obey everything that I have commanded you.” They had their marching orders. They possessed the power of a great purpose. Jesus had given them a mission to do, but he also told them he would always be with them. Their mission is our mission. We are called to tell the good news of Jesus so that others can become his followers too.
Another Easter has come and gone and what a joy-full experience it was! We proclaimed the best news in the world; Jesus Christ has risen, he has risen indeed. Now it is our purpose, our joy, and our calling to share that life-giving good news of Easter with others. I encourage us all to invite and bring an un-churched person with you each Sunday morning. Make a phone call! Visit and invite a neighbor! Use Facebook to extend an invitation for a friend or acquaintance to come and visit our church family where they too can find purpose for their lives.
I remember reading once that the biggest difference between Christians and non-Christians is that non-Christians “just don’t know yet.” Know what? That Jesus is Lord, and they won’t know until someone tells them or shows them. What a great purpose; to live in such a way that people will wonder what our secret is and want to join us.
D.T. Niles once wrote, “Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.” More people are likely to visit a church if they receive a personal invitation from someone they know. Jesus Christ is the answer to deepest longings of the human heart. The harvest is plentiful! Let us continue to be outward focused! Let us press forward to what lies ahead believing that the best is yet to come. “Therefore stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give your-selves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” And remember the promise! Jesus is with us always!
In Christian love, Pastor Joel
Rev. Dr. Doris Barron-Shell