31 Dec Day 100: The Last 100 Days – Matthew 28:16-20, by Commissioner Floyd Tidd
Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “To encounter God is to change.”
Throughout the pages of Scripture we see God breaking into the reality of people’s lives and they are changed forever. Over these past 100 Days of Shared Scripture, together we have encountered God once again – and so I pray our lives and the life of The Salvation Army are being changed. Let me express a word of appreciation for your involvement in these 100 Days of Shared Scripture. It is my prayer that you have encountered God afresh as we, as a community of followers of Jesus, have shared this journey.
After three years of sharing in the life of the living Word, Jesus stood with His disciples and entrusted them with His mission – the giving of what has become known as the Great Commission. This small group of individuals, who had so intimately encountered God in Christ, experienced transformation in all dimensions of their lives. To fishermen, called to become fishers of men, Jesus left them with ‘His business’ – people. Jesus was about His Father’s business. He told His mother this when she found Him in the temple at age 12. His business is people. As they encountered God, these men had their lives changed to live for His purpose, His mission.
Christopher Wright in his book, The Mission of God’s People, challenges common thinking today as he writes, “We want to be driven by a purpose that has been tailored just right for our own individual lives… when we should be seeing the purpose of all life, including our own, wrapped up in the great mission of God for the whole of creation.” This great mission of God is that which He has invited His followers to partner with Him in seeing fulfilled.
As we read the passage for today and hear again the call to go and make disciples, note the promise of Christ for His followers – “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Could it be that we, too, often accept this as a promise of accompaniment for the journey as an encouraging and comforting note, when Christ may have provided it as a response to the overwhelming sense of responsibility and acceptance of risk that would accompany the acceptance of this great commission? This group of disciples had begun to grasp the immensity of the work begun by Christ and knew the cost it had meant for Him. The promise of His presence was an indication of Christ’s understanding that for them to truly embrace this commission would require the ongoing experience of His presence.
Completing 100 Days of Shared Scripture on this last day of the year, we step into a new year a changed people, a changing Army. Let us step forward embracing afresh this great commission, as an Army sent by the One who was sent and sends us into the world of the hurting, broken, lonely, dispossessed and lost, reaching them in love by all means, with the transforming message of Jesus, bringing freedom, hope and life. The call comes again to His followers to risk it all for the sake of the mission of the God who risked it all. Let us go out into all the world, both globally and locally, to make followers of Jesus, knowing that He who sends us goes with us.
We thank You, God, for the gift of change that encountering You brings to our lives. We confess that we don’t always welcome change, yet our souls long for an encounter with You. We praise You for Your faithfulness and commitment to Your mission in the world. We hear again the call of Your Son, whom You sent into the world, sending us into the world to make disciples. Give us courage to step boldly into all that You have planned for us to experience as Your people – loving You and loving people. We are Your people, Your Army available to Your mission.
Commissioner Floyd Tidd was both born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario, where he began his journey in Christian faith and with The Salvation Army as a member of Sunday School. After high school and his pursuit of a career in medicine, resulting in a Bachelor of Science degree and a sense of God’s calling to officership, he entered the Toronto College for Officer Training in 1984 with his wife, Tracey. Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd came to Australia as Territorial Leaders of the Australia Southern Territory in June 2013 and commenced their appointment as foundational National Leaders of Australia on 1 June 2016.
Today is the final instalment of 100 Days of Shared Scripture. With 100 Days coming to an end, we want to hear from you and what God has been saying.
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