As I see it, the Gospel is very clear, it is a “Get up and Go” message. Too often we chose to make it a “Sit around and wait” message. In the end, it is up to us to choose; so which will it be for you, GO or SIT?
Most if not all of us have been on very meaningful and moving Christian retreats. Often mid-way through these retreats we are wishing that life could be just like the retreat. We usually wish we could just stay there. The Apostles were no different when they witnessed the Transfiguration. Mk 9:2-10 “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Today, however, I want to make a keypoint. They could not stay….Jesus led them back down the mountain. Neither the Apostles then nor we now, are called to only sit around and ponder the love of God. We are called to take that love to others. Pondering God and contemplative time in prayerare essential parts of our Christian journey but they are far from the only parts of our journey.
Before I completely get away from the Transfiguration, I want to also draw your attention to these words. “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” I will come back to this later.
As I said, I believe it is clear that we are called to GO, not to sit. Notice in the passage below that the word love is an action verb. Jesus places emphasis on this too with the “you shall”. He did not say “maybe” or “consider this”, or “if you choose”, no, He said “you shall”.
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Clearly we are required to do something.”
How about this verse from John, after Jesus encountered the sick man at the pool, can you see that once again Jesus gives the command to “get up and go.” John 5: 8 “Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.” Perhaps it is when we follow Jesus’ command to get up and go, to reach out to others that we too are spiritually healed.
Matthew wraps up his Gospel message with one final command from Jesus for us to “get up and go.” Matthew 28:19-20 “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, until the end of the age.”
For good measure, here is yet one more verse. Mark 16:15 “He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.”
Now if we can all agree the Bible message is clear and that we are supposed to “go and do” then we might be asking ourselves what exactly am I supposed to do? I can say this, the Bible is also clear that we are not all called to the same thing. There are two things that we are all called to do as were mentioned above. One is to “Listen to Him” and the other is “to observe all of the commandments.” Each of us have different gifts and talents and we are called to use those talents in our own unique way as we reach out to others.
“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”
“Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them:if prophecy, in proportion to the faith; if ministry, in ministering; if one is a teacher, in teaching; if one exhorts, in exhortation; if one contributes, in generosity; if one is over others,with diligence; if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”
So my friends, we all have been given gifts and talents and we ha ve been commanded by Jesus to go out to others. We do not have a Sit down and wait Gospel.
When Isaiah heard the call from God here is how he responded: Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” “Here I am,” I said; “send me!” Click here to listen to this beautiful song, Here I am Lord. This version of the song is by country music singer Collin Raye.
We are still in these days of preparation before Easter. Soon we will be upon Good Friday. When God called His son, Jesus responded this way; “not my will but yours be done.” Soon thereafter Jesus willingly gave His life for us. Now, God is calling you and me. Are you ready to go?
It is clearly a “Get up and Go Gospel” so let’s get going today!” It is time to put our talents to work for God!
Heavenly Father, you blessed me with my own unique gifts and talents. I want to respond to your call to use these talents to help others. Here I am, guide me Lord so that I may do your will.