“As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.”
Sent into the World
There are five Gospels: There’s the Gospel according to Mathew, the Gospel according to Mark, the Gospel according to Luke, the Gospel according to John, and the Gospel according to you. What is it that you know in the bottom of your heart of God – of God’s light, and God’s life, and God’s love – that you can give testimony to?
-Br. Curtis Almquist
We’re inspired this week by what we read at the very beginning of the First Letter of John. It’s what we give testimony to based on our own experience of God – what we have seen, and heard, and touched in our own lives which is undeniable, and which may be the most important revelation we’ve had from God, what, at moments when we’re confused and we don’t know what we believe, there’s probably something at the very core of our life which may be what has kept us alive and allowed us to thrive given the revelation that God had brought to us.
There are five Gospels. There’s the Gospel according to Mathew, the Gospel according to Mark, the Gospel according to Luke, the Gospel according to John, and the Gospel according to you. What is it that you know in the bottom of your heart of God, of God’s light and God’s life, and God’s love that you can give testimony to? We’ll focus on that this week.
We hear Jesus say in John chapter 17, “As you have sent me, (you, the Father have sent me) so I have sent them,” and we are ‘them.’ How is Jesus sent into this world? Jesus had a family of origin. I think it’s safe to say that Jesus’ family of origin had as much blessing, and probably as much baggage, as your own family of origin.
Jesus had to grow up. By the time he begins his public ministry, he’s 30 years old, which in first century Palestine could make him a relatively old man. It took him a long time to grow up. We know even when Jesus is on the cross, that Jesus flickers at one moment and is crying out to God whom Jesus calls Father, “Why have you forsaken me?” – this moment of feeling abandoned.
Then Jesus comes into a clearing where he’s able to say to God, the Father, “Into your hands, I commend my spirit.” So for you, what is it that has given your life a shape and distinction? There is no one else like you in this world and there never has been and never will be another you. There’s something to which you can give very particular testimony of who God is and what God does, based on your own life.
So the invitation is to draw on the uniqueness of your person – how you were formed, perhaps de-formed, as you were growing up, what the gifts are that you manifest in your life, and what is your brokenness which continues to draw you to your knees.
If you find yourself as you’re looking to what your life is to be about – how is it that you manifest God’s light and God’s life and God’s love as only you can? – you may get in touch with something which is really significant, something about which Jesus speaks a great deal, and that is fear. You may get in touch with the fear of “How can I do this? How can I face this?”
I would say that that is something that you can give to God. Fear, your fear, is something that God does not have. Give God your fear, which will make space for God to fill you with God’s power and God’s provision. It will fill in. It will fill in the space that fear has otherwise taken.
What is your life to be about? A question for you to reflect on is, given how your life has been shaped and probably mis-shaped, how it has been spent in the best of ways and in the worst of ways, how you have been formed in your life to bring you into this point in your life. What is your life to be about? How can you bear witness to God’s light, and God’s life, and God’s love?
You’re not going to be savior of the world. We have one Savior, Jesus. But your life is to be about something, manifesting Jesus’ saving help and healing and hope. You can’t do everything, but you can do something. What is your life to be about?