“Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. The moment they saw him they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.
Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: ‘God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.’”
As a pastor, preacher, teacher and missionary I am challenged daily by this Great Commission of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew 28:19 to “…Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” (The Message).
The daily challenge for me is the part about “everyone you meet.”
On the mission field here in Brazil there is a home for young girls who have been rescued either from living on the street or from abusive or violent living conditions. On a recent visit I met Fabiana, a 15-year old resident. Fabiana came to the home when she was 12-years-old. Fabiana’s mother was allowing the boyfriend of Fabiana’s grandmother to have sex with Fabiana for money, starting when Fabiana was just 10-years-old. This went on for two years before Fabiana was rescued.
Fabiana’s story is all too common here in Brazil. As I looked closer into Fabiana’s life before being rescued, I could see numerous flagrant violations of the sanctity of human life from the womb to the tomb. As fellow pastors, I am sure many of us are aware or should be of those in our congregations that are suffering in silence with the fear and guilt of being violated or perpetrating the violation of the sanctity of human life. We only need to ask and the Holy Spirit will reveal those in our midst that long to be set free from the sin and self-hatred that separates them from God’s presence, so they may experience the unconditional, redemptive love and healing power of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, three-in-one.
Father in heaven, I pray for the empowering of your Holy Spirit to fill each one of us with direction, encouragement and guidance to pour out our transformed lives, as an offering to you, into the lives of others so that in your time they in turn may be empowered to pour their transformed lives, as an offering to you into the lives of others as you direct. In Jesus name, Amen.
This week’s reflection has been written by The Rev. Ron McKeon. Ron began his relationship with Anglicans for Life as a staff accountant in 2004 while a seminary student at Trinity School for Ministry, Ambridge, PA. After graduation and ordination to the Episcopal Church Transitional Deaconate in 2007, Ron was elected to the AFL Board of Directors and became AFL’s Treasurer, a role he continues to fulfill. Today Ron and his wife Debby serve as SAMS (Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders) missionaries in the Anglican Church in Brazil – Diocese of Recife in the city of João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil. Ron is a parish priest and special assistant to Suffragan Bishop Flávio Soares the Diocesan Missionary Bishop. They have five daughters and seven grandchildren in the USA. Learn more about Ron and Debby’s ministry on their website.