Matthew 28: 16 – 20 “Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted! Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” NLT
2021 presented us with many challenges, most of which none of us could have imagined, nor would we have wanted to if we knew about it in advance. We suffered loss, we fought through adversity, and we began to live without fear and started to get our lives back to normal, whatever that may look. The theme for our churches in 2021 was that we would engage in our relationship with God so that we could find ourselves repenting, which would lead to God moving in our lives and providing us with restoration and refreshment for our soul. We ended the year by taking time in Advent to understand that God is with us and chose to be one of us. Now what?
2022 is what happens next. Now that we have engaged in our relationship with God, my prayer is that we will begin to see what the Church was intended to be all along, a body of believers in Jesus Christ, On Mission, to reach our community and to build discipleship with each other and Jesus. To continue to experience God being with us we must look at the five areas in which we need to be personally and corporately active to find out if we are indeed On Mission. Jesus’ final words to His disciples were to make disciples, baptizing each other, and obeying the commands that He had given them. When we are a church On Mission, we are fulfilling the call of the Great Commission of Christ.
There are many of these things that we actively do as a church body, and likely personally as well. However, I am wondering if we are fully invested or if we believe, in some form or another, that this will get us a better seat in Heaven? Prayerfully, we take 2022 to focus on the movement of Christ, God with us, my prayer is that we realize He came to earth for a reason, and that was to place every believer on a mission. I pray that you are ready for a journey that will be led by the Holy Spirit and moving within our souls.
The writer is the pastor for Maplewood and DeGraff United Methodist Churches.