Stations of the Resurrection

VII – On the Mount of the Great Sending

A Psalm Paraphrase

P: Praise the Lord! From the expanding edge of the universe to the core of the earth, let praises ring!

1 Sing with the angels and the whole creation, sing in the chorus of mountains and hills, sing with fruit trees and cedar trees, with wild and tame animals: let the name of the Lord be exalted. He has raised up his Messiah, Jesus, as Lord of all.

2 The Lord God holds his faithful people close to his heart. He gathers us in and then sends us out. Tell the whole world that God reigns–he rules over every nation and every ethnic tribe. There is new hope for the earth.

3 The Lord takes delight in his creation make-over! He still waits for warring factions to get the message. It is in humility and love that we are to live, sharing the creation rather than destroying or hoarding it. The gifts of God are abundant.

P: Glory and blessing be to God the Holy One, Creator of the universe, who in the power of the Holy Spirit, raised from the dead our Lord, Jesus Christ.

 

Lection

Ephesians 1:13–22

13In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

15For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church.

P: This is the word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

 

Matthew 28:16–20

16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17And when 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, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

P: This is the word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

 

Artwork and Discussion

Matthew 28:16-20

Jesus sent word to the disciples that he would meet them in Galilee. Galilee was the place where Jesus first conducted his ministry; Judea was the place where Jesus was rejected, opposed, arrested, and crucified. Jesus chooses to confer authority for ministry upon his followers in the place where he, himself, ministered.

They meet on a mount in Galilee, and mounts figure prominently in Matthew’s gospel: there is Jesus’ “sermon on the mount” (Matthew 5-7); there is a “exceedingly high mount” from which Satan conducts a temptation (4:8); there is a mount to which Jesus retreats for prayer; he fed 4000 with seven loaves and a few small fish on a mount; he goes to the Mount of Olives to pray; and finally, he gathers his disciples on a mount for the “great commission.”

“Some doubted” (28:17) and others worshipped him. The Church in the world is always a mixed bag of faith and unfaith; even the good guys are sometimes “of little faith.” But nonetheless, Jesus entrusts the work of ministry to such as these by grace. Jesus’ authority is true because it matches his identity. The Greek word is ‘exousia’ (literally “out of one’s being”), so when Matthew uses this word it consistently conveys all that Jesus accomplished with utmost integrity, fulfilling the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament, healing with compassion, teaching with radical truthfulness, raising the dead and gathering the outcast. The “Sent One” now sends out his disciples, making them part of his mission to the world.

 

Meditation / A Responsive Reading

4 Come up onto a high mountain from where you can see forever. Let the clear air fill your lungs and freshen your mind. Look at life now from the vantage point of Christ’s resurrection. Take it all in, for everything has been made new.

5 The resurrected Lord stands before us; the clouds part and we remember the voice from heaven: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him!” This is the person who sends us down from the mountain to carry on ministry in his name.

6 Heaven and earth have come together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Christ is with us all the way, from here to eternity. His word continues to surprise our lethargy and impel us from inertia into action; his living word gives us a voice.

7 Let all the saints in heaven and on earth celebrate our Creator, the Redeemer of the nations. His mighty acts establish an everlasting kingdom.

 

The Prayer

P: Lord, you entrust us with the priceless pearl of the gospel. Don’t let us mess it up. Uphold and strengthen our mission to share your love with the world. Guide and direct our walk even on the wild side of life, that we may take bold risks for the sake of your kingdom. Comfort and defend us, Lord, when the world treats us as it treated you. Heal our fear, counsel our doubt, cancel our fecklessness. Inspire our courage, replenish our faith, and bless our sharing of your gifts. In your name, we pray. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn

 

 

Closing

A: Let’s make sure the church is not “out of commission” but rather in touch with God’s great gift of life. The commissioning authority belongs to the Author of life and isn’t to be misused or usurped by church leaders. Pray that our leaders continue to be servants, that power doesn’t go to our heads when the only head of the church is Christ himself.