As He prepared to ascend, the resurrected Jesus reminded His eleven disciples, "All Authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.”
Regardless of what the ACLU, the media, leaders of nations and in education and even some leaders inside Christ’s Church may say The Ultimate Authority in the world is not political correctness, human wisdom and ingenuity or any other human attempt to judge or alter The Word of God. As has been our focus in the three-part sermon series we concluded last Sunday, Jesus is The Way - The Only Way because no one comes to The Father except by Jesus Christ. Jesus is The Truth - The Living Word of God now and eternally against which all other claims to truth must be tested. We live in The Life Who is Jesus Christ or we merely exist without Him – now and eternally. Thank God, that truly is "All Authority in heaven and on earth belonging only to Jesus Christ” for our sake – now and eternally.
We live now and eternally in Christ Who calls us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all people …." - commands us to share Jesus’ Life and Word with all people that they too may know Him and live with Him.
This text always reminds me of a debate I witnessed between defense attorney F. Lee Bailey and former Cleveland Browns coach Sam Rutigliano, a very active Lutheran layman, about the drug crisis in America. Bailey said, “Sam, you’re wrong. Young people do not need role models. They can build their own lives without looking to others for direction — without people to model themselves after.”
Rutigliano took Bailey out on the streets of New York to see the basketball courts where thousands of inner city kids spend countless hours every day trying to work their way out of the ghetto by modeling their set shots, their hook shots, and their very lives after the stars of the National Basketball Association. What Bailey failed to realize is that the question has never been “Should we have role models?”. We all have role models — particularly when we are young.
That debate has remained in my mind a vivid call to all of us to be open to God funneling His Word into us as His disciples and through us as His apostles to all people – beginning where we live and where we worship.
We have seen where Bailey’s vision has taken us – and we know why Jesus calls for Coach Rutigliano’s Christian vision and role models to be found in each of us. We know our role modeling must be most vivid in two institutions created and founded by God Himself - the Christian Home and Christ’s Church. And from those most powerful institutions – fulfilling our Lord’s Command – the vision must be unleased upon the entire world. “Go therefore and make disciples of all people, baptizing them in The Name of The Father, and of The Son, and of The Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all the I have commanded you….”
With all the wars, rumors of war and terrorist attacks, with evil people slaughtering innocent people in formerly secure places, with natural disasters and all those other signs, people are constantly asking me “Is the end of the world near?” Jesus said no one knows the day or time this world will end, so of course I don’t know – but the signs keep increasing and, in those signs, there is God’s Warning that death itself is an unavoidable reality in all our lives. Whenever this world or our own temporal lives end, God, making His disciples through apostolic Christian homes and through His Holy Christian Church, is the last bastion.
There is a lack of focus in many of the world’s religious, political, and judicial leaders — and in society in general. And rushing to fill that void are the media, peer groups, agenda driven groups and scores of others.
The Christian Church and the Christian Homes must answer Christ’s Call – and when we do we are not alone for Jesus promised – “…and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”
There is no legitimate hope outside the vision and the mission our Lord and Savior has given us – to make disciples of all people and to baptize them into a life-giving temporal and eternal relationship with God in The Name of The Father, and of The Son, and of The Holy Spirit – one God so Almighty, so life-giving and so filled with love for us that He comes to us in three persons.
Twenty-one centuries ago – in those years completely devoid of our century’s transportation and communications resources - eleven original disciples and one lately called – those original apostles –carried Christ’s Good News to the entire then-known world. The world still desperately needs what only that Good News can give – and the message flows first from the Christian Home and Christ’s Church.
Our essential-to-life-in-Christ mission as Jesus’ disciples is to study His Word … our essential mission as members of Jesus’ apostolic Church is to share His Word – they are the missions that are this temporal world’s only hope and can only be fulfilled in Christ with prayer and faith.
Faithful mothers and all faithful Christians come to God's word, praying, "Lord, I believe. Strengthen me against unbelief. Send Your Holy Spirit upon me to open my mind and to enlighten and empower me to share the enlightenment and empowerment with which You have blessed me."
FELLOW DISCIPLES IN JESUS' APOSTOLIC CHURCH, THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH PASSES ALL HUMAN UNDERSTANDING KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS -- OUR LORD, OUR SAVIOUR, OUR TEACHER. AMEN.
The 7th SUNDAY OF THE EASTER and Mothers’ Day – also celebrated as THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD
May 13, 2018
Dr. Kurt Borows
Pastor, Resurrection Lutheran Church, Catawba Island, Port Clinton, Ohio