Following the resurrection Jesus was with the disciples for forty days. During those days He taught them many things. In one conversation Jesus said to them, “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” (St. John 20:21) Jesus said that we are sent out into the world as He was sent to this world. We of course are not sent to accomplish the work of salvation for only Christ was able to do such a work. We cannot be our own or anyone else’s savior. But there are ways in which Christ is sending us out as He was sent by the Father.
Jesus was sent to glorify the Father by loving obedience. St. Paul tells us that the Son of God took the form of a servant and suffered and died for our salvation. “Therefore God has highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:9-11) All that Christ did while here on earth had as its ultimate objective, the glorification of the Father.
Christ was sent to glorify God and He has now sent us to do the same. We do so as we think and look at ourselves and life as Christ did. “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus….” (Phil. 2:5) As we think as Christ thought we will act as Christ acted and bring glory to God in our loving obedience to Him. The supreme example of Christ’s desire to glorify the Father was seen in the garden when He prayed, “… not my will, but Thine be done.”
Jesus was also sent into this world to show God’s love and compassion for humanity. Christ came to bring men and God together. The Lord did so by His work of atonement, paying for our sin and guilt on the cross. He also demonstrated God’s compassion by healing the lame, the blind, and others who suffered from various diseases.
Christ has now sent us out to show God’s love for a hurting world. We are sent out with the Gospel of God’s grace. The Lord commissioned us saying, “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 lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (St. Matthew 28:19-20) We are to proclaim the Gospel, the Good News, of salvation. We are also to be concerned about the physical well being of people, just as Christ healed the sick and infirm. It was as followers of Christ that Christians were the first to create hospitals and other charitable institutions. We are sent to be healers in both a spiritual and a physical sense just as Christ was sent.
Jesus was also sent to combat sin and Satan. He was on a military style mission behind enemy lines. The Lord spoke out against evil and injustice. He boldly said to the religious leaders of the day, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith, these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.” (St. Matthew 23:23)
We also are sent to fight sin and Satan. St. Paul told us, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:10-12) There is a spiritual war going on and Christ has sent us to fight injustice, corruption, and moral pollution. This fight takes place within ourselves, the church, and our society.
These are a few of the parallels between Christ’s mission and our own. Christ has sent us as He was sent. We need to look at ourselves in this way.
By Rev. F. M. Levi
Rev. Dr. Curtis Crenshaw and his wife Ruth conducted a seminar entitled “Profiting From Our Afflictions” on Saturday, March 25, 2006. Dr. Crenshaw, who is the Dean of Cranmer Theological House, also preached at the service of Holy Communion on Sunday, March 26, 2006. Those who attended the seminar found it very beneficial in helping us face the difficulties of this life.
The parish participated in the Discover Tinley Expo on Saturday, April 1, 2006. Over 600 pieces of information about St. Andrew’s were passed out to community attendees. Thank you to all of those who prepared materials and helped at the expo.
St. Andrew’s Preschool also had a booth at the expo and a number of contacts were made for the school. Thank you to those who helped in this promotional effort.
We wish to thank those who attended the Lenten soup suppers and services this year. A special thanks goes to those who prepared the soup, salads and bread for the suppers.
Saturday, May 20, 2006, 9:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall.
100th Synod of the Diocese of Mid-America
This historic Synod will be held here at St. Andrew’s on Thursday and Friday, June 15 and 16, 2006. The Rt. Rev. Franklin H. Sellers will be preaching at the Service of Holy Communion Friday morning. For further information about the Synod contact the church office at (708) 614-7404.
Missionary of The Month
Greg & Helena Wright. Arab World Ministries. Upper Darby, PA.