16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
- What does this Scripture say about God?
- What does this Scripture say about life?
- What am I hearing in this Scripture?
- What am I going to do with this Scripture?
- Want to explore Scripture more deeply? Then check out our Exploring Scripture page!
Use these conversation starters to talk about life and God with your kids, spouse, or friends during the week! A great place to do this is at the dinner table. There’s one prompt for each day of the week!
Tuesday: Read the Scripture passage together.
Wednesday: If I saw Jesus, I would…
Thursday: What does Jesus mean when he says he has “authority”?
Friday: I feel Jesus with me when…
Saturday: What does it mean to make disciples?
Sunday: What has Jesus commanded us to do?
Monday: What have you heard from God over the past week?
This practice allows you to listen to the Scripture for the week and to open yourself up to God’s voice in that Scripture.
- Click on the audio link above and listen to the Scripture. As you listen this first time, ask God to point out to you a word or phrase from the Scripture.
- Click on the audio link above again and listen to the Scripture a second time. As you listen this second time, ask God to reveal to you the holy intentions for this word or phrase that is being spoken into your life.
- Click on the audio link above again and listen to the Scripture a third time. As you listen this third time, ask God how you might respond to this word or phrase being spoken into your life today.
Look at the image above. This is an image of great caring and connection. The Scripture passage for this week is often understood as a call to evangelism, and it rightly is. Yet it is so much more; it is a call to care, to serve, to suffer alongside the world in love. The word compassion literally means to suffer with someone. To complete the call to evangelism – the call to discipleship – we must have compassion for the people around us. The disciples had watched the sufferings of Jesus and had been invited to share in those sufferings. Now Jesus is calling them to go and share the sufferings of the world, so that the world and its people might experience redemption, healing, and a place within the divine relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – a relationship now shared in intimacy with all humanity. In what ways are you being called – as an agent of redemption, reconciliation, and grace – to share in the sufferings of the world around you? Your life is evidence of the coming reign of Jesus Christ; your life is a witness to what can be, especially in a world that focuses so sharply on what is broken. How might you live as a beacon of Christ’s presence, the presence that is with us always?
Just as the person above holds the hand of another, a hand that is frailer than theirs, God uses the Church – God’s people! – to reach out to a frail world, so God might hold its problems and hurts and sins in the power of the divine hand. We are an extension of God: an extension of the love of the Trinity; an extension of the healing touch of Christ; an extension of the goodness of the One who rules in shalom peace. How are you actively working in the world as an extension of God and God’s kingdom? Who might you reach out to more intentionally in love? Who is God calling you to hold in an embrace of grace and mercy?
When we live lives of caring compassion, we disciple others. A disciple is not a product we create on an assembly line or a program we write according to some code. A disciple is someone we lead into the embrace of God. Who has discipled you – that is, who led you into the embrace of God? Who are you discipling – that is, who are you leading into the embrace of God? When we live in such hospitable ways that we invite others into the life of the Holy Trinity, we act as a living baptism that cleanses the world and marks it with God’s character. You are a drop within the baptismal waters with which God covers the world in a sacramental act of grace. Discipleship beings with caring and connection. Pour your life out in service to your neighbor. Reach out to someone on the margins, so that they might be brought into the embrace of God.
Spiritual Practice: Kindness
Your acts of kindness toward others can significantly impact their view of God and their openness to God’s work in their lives. This week, engage in intentional acts of kindness wherever you go. Also, choose someone that you know and specifically do something for them that will communicate God’s love. Perhaps even do so anonymously. You might never know how your kindness will influence their connection to God, but it will have a huge impact on them and on the world.
Breath Prayer: LORD God, continue to teach us the ways of Jesus.