Lenten Reflections

Go! for Lent: Matthew 28:19-20

March 1, 2016
The Rev. Juan Monge, All Saints Episcopal Church, Lakewood, NJ

Go, Baptize, Teach, Remember.

These two verses are called by Christians “The Great Commission “. It catches my attention that it seems to be backwards. Usually we don’t go anywhere, the person Comes, we Teach, make sure they Remember and then we Baptized.

This is the way I see it.

First, Go! This means we can no longer stay in the comfort of our pews, our homes, our “box”. We need to dare step out of our cave to see what those shadows are. We assume people want to come into our Church and will finally come in soon. Well yes, they want to come into “a Church”, but the question is, how will they know we are “the Church” they want to be at. They will know that if we “GO” out there and they see us working, if we “GO” out there and show them the way, if we “GO” out there and find out what they need from us to feel welcome.

Second, Baptize! I’m going to dare tell you something kind of “Crazy” here, how about if the Baptism this verse is referring to is not the baptism we know. How about if the baptism Christ is referring to, is the submersion of the individual not necessarily in water, but in the word of Jesus, in the light that has been shined upon the world via the manifestation of God in Jesus. Therefore, we may need to “baptize” those we approach through our testimony and action more than with just holy water. So yes, let’s go “baptize” all in all nations and places.

Third, Teach! Here I’m going to make reference to the Catechumene. One dictionary defines it as, “one receiving instruction in the basic doctrines of Christianity before admission to communicant membership in a church”. I don’t care much for that definition for it make this a one-way street where we just give instruction. I much rather make it a process quite similar to that of the person who seeks ordination in the priesthood. I’m referring to the discernment process where a person has a spiritual guide and with constant communication, dialogues. I’m talking about a discernment process where we listen, educate, and also learn from what the person has to teach us. The newcomer brings knowledge and experience that will benefit the Church, that will benefit us as individuals. They will make us better Christians.

Fourth, Remember! Remember, Understand, Behold. Depending on the version of the Bible you may own, it all comes down to, having clear in your mind, that through it all, Christ is with us. Christ has to be present in everything we do. When we receive the person at the door, when we go out into the community, when we talk, listen, teach and learn, is Christ front and center in everything we do and how we act?

Seems to me this verses are calling us to be revolutionaries like Christ, calling us to take action.

So: Let’s Go!

Tagged in: Lent