Aloha Friday Message – February 5, 2016 – Go where I send thee!

1606AFC020516 – Go where I send thee! (↔ Music Link)

Read it online here, please. (And be sure to use that Music Link.)

Mark 16:15-16 15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. 16 The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned.”

E pili mau na pomaika‘i ia ‘oe a me ke akua ho’omaika’i ‘oe, ʻŌmea! (May blessing always be with you and may God bless you, Beloved!) My computer is finally out of the hospital – but it is something of a stranger because all of the typing customizations I had made (hundreds of the) are gone. It was Windows 10 that did me in. The IT team had to replace the operating system, so my DELL went in for corrective surgery. It’s going to be a long time before my efficiency comes back as I try to rebuild all my shortcuts. Nonetheless, I’m grateful to have it back because without it I can’t make these Aloha Friday Posts for you. As always I want to encourage you to use the links I put in (that music link at the top is a classic in Television History). So, there’s the latest news. Let’s get going with the Good News.

This Sunday is one of my favorite Sundays because it has so many of my favorite passages. We start out with Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!” I always liked that. It was, in a special way, part of my decision to give my life to “Full Time Christian Service” at age 10 at Camp IdRaHaJe – which is an abbreviation for “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” (↔ Music Link) Later – in high school – I thought I had a calling to the Ministry in the Reformed Church in America. Long story short, one thing led to another, the Draft happened, and that idea faded away. The message for that calling was “Preach my Word.” Once I was in the Air Force, I was led to my conversion in the Catholic Church. Just two weeks after my first fully Catholic day, I married the love of my life – Crucita – and not long after, the message in the call became “Teach my Word.” I’m still working on that directive.

The Psalm this week is Psalm 138. It is my all-time-favorite Psalm. The first two verses are filled with wonderful praise:

Psalm 138:1 I thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
    in the presence of the angels to you I sing. New American Bible (Revised Edition)(NABRE)

I like that part about singing in the presence of the Angels. It reminds me of Psalm 22:3 which says that God “inhabits the praises of his people.” The rest of the Psalm is so reassuring. God will surely hear the cry of the suffering.

The Epistle for this Sunday is one that steadies me with grateful conviction. It is a continuation of the readings from 1 Corinthians, this time in chapter 15, just a few pages over from where we were last week. Paul is describing how he received the Gospel, “as to one born abnormally,” when Jesus met him on the road to Damascus. 1 Corinthians 15:10 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. This verse always reminds me that I have not yet worked as hard as I should, or as hard as I can, on behalf of the Gospel. I am what I am by the grace of God, though, and he constantly challenges me to be a better steward of the many, many gifts he has presented me in my life.

HugeCatchAs we move to this week’s Gospel from Luke, we take a look at Luke’s version of the calling of the fishermen – Peter and the Sons of Zebedee, James and John. He’s directed Peter to cast his net in deep water for a catch. Peter gets a little snarky and says, “We’ve been fishing all night, but if you say so, I’ll do it.” And when he hauls the net back, it’s so full he has to call the bar Zebedee brothers to help him bring it in. Peter – and everyone else (except Jesus of course) – is astonished at the size of the catch, and Peter is so spooked he says, “Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Then we read in Luke 5:10b-11 Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” 11 When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him. That is the basis for the wonderful Bible chorus “I will make you Fishers of men.” More importantly, is demonstrates how to best respond to a call from The Master: … they left everything and followed him.

By the time Jesus was ready to ascend back to Heaven, the Apostles were better prepared to follow Jesus’ next instructions. Instead of “follow me,” his new command was what we read in Mark at the top of this post: Mark 16:15-16 15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. 16 The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned.” You may remember it as “proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” However you remember it, the important thing is that we are to go “into all the world.” It is also important to remember that it is we who do the going and God who does the sending. Belovéd, we often forget that order of events. We are all sent to proclaim the Good News. That duty is inherent in our response to his call – “Follow me.” Will we? Will we follow him? I will follow him (↔ Music Link) because by the grace of God, I am what I am.” And what am I?

I’m a people-catcher. I got caught up in his net of Love, and when he asked “whom shall I send,”  the Love in me and around me said “Me! Me! Pick me! I know!” That’s a more contemporary version of “Here am I; send me!” It’s plain to me that I’d Rather Have Jesus Than Anything, because he did pick me.

But what about that last phrase in the quote from Mark? Isn’t that kind of a downer? Why would Jesus say, “but the one who does not believe will be condemned.”? Let’s take another look at The Most Famous Bible Verse in context: John 3:16-18 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 17 Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” THAT is why we are sent; that is the urgency with which we are charged. The Apostle Paul sums up that responsibility very nicely in his letter to the Romans:

Romans 10:14-17 14 But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? 15 And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 16 But not all have obeyed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. Where in your life is there someone waiting to hear the Word from you, children? Go! You are sent! (And as you saw in that video with Tennessee Ernie Ford, going can be a LOT of fun!) Come on, let’s say it together:

Here am I! Send me!” (↔ Music Link)

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Belovéd!

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

 

 

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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