from my perspective…
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves,…” (Matthew 10:16, ESV)
High school graduates are being sent out into the world this time of the year. Parents and teachers have worked to prepare them for the dangers they may face. In Matthew 10, Jesus sends out the Twelve on a training mission. They would encounter hunger, sickness, and demons. Jesus didn’t ask His disciples to face any danger He didn’t face, and He would give them power over spiritual forces of confusion, deception, and unbelief. In the end, they, like Jesus and us, if we see ourselves called and sent by Christ, would learn what it means to be a follower of Christ, the anointed One of God.
Pentecost on May 28th reminds us of when Jesus’ disciples experienced a significant encounter with God’s Holy Spirit. “And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:2–4, ESV)
The rushing wind reminds us of God’s breath that gives Adam life (Genesis 2:7). And “tongues as of fire” bring back visions of the pillar of fire that gave light to the Israelites’ travel in the wilderness. (Exodus 13:21-22) As the Psalmist writes, “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130, ESV) So we might assert that the presence of the Spirit and the knowledge of God’s promises are our guide and strength as we are sent out into an unknown world.
If you have been following our online video study of Matthew’s sermon on the mount, you might have picked up on the idea that Jesus is training His disciples to be shepherds who proclaim God’s promise to a lost and wayward people.
The study and messages for June will build on how Jesus calls us to live out our lives as followers and disciples. The online group will follow Jesus’ teaching in chapter 7. And Sunday we will address Jesus’ example of walking with the Spirit of God in chapters 9-10.
We know that summer, and particularly June, is a busy time. But please, connect with us as you are able. As always, Sunday’s and Wednesday’s teaching will be posted online.
May the Lord bless your travels and keep you safe.
Your Pastor Dennis.