Reading: Matthew 28:16-20
Verse 19b: “Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Returning to the Great Commission passage found in Matthew 28 today, we lean into the relationship and community found in and through the triune Godhead. Ultimately, entering into the faith and into a personal relationship with the Lord leads one into a new life. This new life engages all three persons of the Trinity. To enter this new life and new relationships, we die to our old self and become a new creation (see 2nd Corinthians 5).
In the early church, when one made a profession of faith, the next step was usually baptism. This sacrament was one’s public testimony of accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. But it wasn’t just about being in a relationship with Jesus. The man himself instructed the disciples to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Although unique in many ways, together the three parts of the three-in-one form a single, unified Godhead.
We get a smaller but equally important example of unity in the presence of diversity or uniqueness in today’s text. As the risen Christ comes to the disciples, we read that some worshipped and that some doubted. Jesus doesn’t send the doubters into the corner until they believe. He does just the opposite. Jesus commissions all of the disciples to “therefore go and make disciples.” Doubt and all!
Jesus understands that each of the 12 are unique individuals. Faith and doubt, hope and despair, joy and sadness – all of these emotions and many more are a part of each of us. This is one of the things that unites us, that makes the many into one body. With Jesus’ love and with this same understanding, may we see and love and understand that all of humanity – no matter where we are emotionally, physically, or spiritually – are one in Christ and one with each other.
Prayer: Lord God, just as you are the three-in-one God, help all believers to live into the many-in-one community. Help each of us to see and treat and live with one another from this place of love and understanding. Amen.