Go on! Get out of here!” The guest preacher had promised to share his favorite benediction. What a startling conclusion to a formal worship service! But Jesus specializes in startling conclusions, and Matthew makes it clear throughout his Gospel that following Jesus is not for those who want a static, cloistered faith. We must be willing to get going!
Today, just five days after celebrating the miracle of Resurrection, we commit anew to going on the way with Jesus as a denomination. “Therefore, go” remains central to our mission as The United Methodist Church, and we have the opportunity to pledge ourselves fully to that mission as we begin our General Conference prayer journey together. What will this meeting accomplish? What difference will it make to the world? How will we stay true to our mission? With Easter music still ringing in my ears, I am suddenly aware of the unlimited, unimagined power of God and prayer.
“Therefore, go” is also central to my faith as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Too often I try to regard discipleship as another item on my to-do list. Go out there, make a disciple or two, check it off my list, and move on to the next task! Throughout worship at General Conference, we’ll explore how Matthew’s Gospel reveals an “in it for the long haul” element to our going with Jesus. We do not know what we will encounter on the way. But there is good news: Jesus will be with us, with our church, and with the world for the entire journey. Let’s get started!
Jesus, we are unsure where this journey will take us, but we are willing to go with you. Amen.
—Laura Jaquith Bartlett
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