21 October 2018 – Mission Sunday
The Lord has been pleased to crush his servant with suffering.
If he offers his life in atonement,
he shall see his heirs, he shall have a long life
and through him what the Lord wishes will be done.
His soul’s anguish over,
he shall see the light and be content.
By his sufferings shall my servant justify many,
taking their faults on himself.
Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have professed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached Jesus. ‘Master,’ they said to him ‘we want you to do us a favour.’ He said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’ They said to him, ‘Allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory.’ ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus said to them. ‘Can you drink the cup that I must drink, or be baptised with the baptism with which I must be baptised?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I must drink you shall drink, and with the baptism with which I must be baptised you shall be baptised, but as for seats at my right hand or my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted.’
When the other ten heard this they began to feel indignant with James and John, so Jesus called them to him and said to them, ‘You know that among the pagans their so-called rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all. For the Son of Man himself did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’
“The cup I must drink you shall drink”
I started my Christian life when I was 12 by attending a protestant church near my home. I was there at the invitation of my then-neighbour David. I remember that fateful day, when there was a call to approach the front of the church to be prayed over. I looked around and saw people, many emotional, deep in prayer.
For many years after that, I never felt a complete connection with our Lord. Despite the many prayers I prayed, and the songs I had sung, I yearned for the closeness that I saw other people had with Him. For me, Jesus was disconnected; someone far away, just observing me.
I only realised that Jesus was much closer to me than I had known much later. During the Conversion Experience Retreat (CER) that I attended, we prayed the Stations of the Cross. Then, and only then, did it hit me that not only did my Lord know what it meant to be human, but that He suffered more for me than I ever would. He was there all along.
In Matthew 28, our Lord Jesus sent us on a great mission, to make disciples of all nations and to baptise them.
How are we to go about this? In our encounters with our fellow humans, do we take on a position of pointing out the weaknesses of other people, highlighting areas of their lives where they think they could and should change?
Jesus, in Matthew 22:37-39, tells us that the greatest commandment is to love “the Lord our God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” and that the second greatest is to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. Surely, in the way He lived, our Lord Jesus showed us, as an example, of how we should live.
Let us be a reflection of the same, as we go about working to fulfill the Great Commission given to us by our Lord.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Paul Wee)
Prayer: We pray Father that we may put on the eyes of love as we continue to do what our Lord has commissioned us to do.
Thanksgiving: Father, we thank You for showing us how to live our lives as Your children. Thank You for continuing to strengthen us and being with us as we journey.