Matt. 28:16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
As the gospel of Matthew comes to a conclusion we find the disciples still celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They are excited and yet apprehensive. They worship him, but some doubt. Jesus approaches them and reminds them that he is the all-powerful God. They are to remember that they are disciples of the one who has all authority in heaven and earth. It is in that remembrance that they are to go make disciples and baptize. It is that remembrance which they are to pass on in discipleship and it is living in the remembrance of his presence.
I think we all tend to suffer from short-term memory. Throughout life we have experiences where the Lord answers prayer and meets our needs. We experience Jesus in the midst of a crisis and yet, in the next moment we forget. Doubt begins to creep in and we wrestle with our faith. It is in those moments that we need to stop and remember all that Christ has already done for us. The children of Israel were encouraged to set up stones or markers are reminders of God's activity in their lives. These served to bear witness to their children of all that God had done; they were markers of remembrance.
The disciples struggled and doubted and yet Jesus continually reminded them to remember. We, too, are encouraged to remember. Jesus still has “all authority in heaven and on earth.” Jesus still commands us to “go and make disciples.” Jesus still reminds us that he will be with us always.
Once they were empowered by the presence of the Holy Spirit the disciples were able to live into this remembrance and it was embodied in their daily lives. We are invited into this remembrance which leads and sustains us in a life of going and disciple making. The Holy Spirit now serves as the marker of remembrance. The daily infilling of the presence of the Holy Spirit becomes the sweet fragrance of Christ to the world and an ever-present reminder that he is always with us.
Lord, may my life be a living remembrance of you. Amen.
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