“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28: 18-20
Today is my last Lenten reflection on the theme ‘Build me an Ark.’ My prayer is that my simple offering to you has been of benefit and that it has opened the Bible up to you as the living word of God. My Prayer is that you will have seen that the Holy Scriptures hold the “pattern of life” and it is that pattern that we should seek to adhere to. As we enter Passion Week we see just how extreme this pattern of death and resurrection is, of how God’s pattern is to give of himself and be a power that transforms and not one that overpowers or makes itself above the reality of life. Building an Ark of Salvation is not for the purpose of taking us out of the world, but of protecting us from the evil one ( John 17 :15).
In the great Commission Jesus repeated the commandment given to Adam and Noah.
Genesis 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it
Genesis 9:1 “ Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. “
Matthew 28 “ Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
God’s purpose was clear but to be honest we took what we wanted to from that commandment and abandoned what God desired.
Jesus taught us that to do so we would ned to serve others, and what he meant by that is that their salvation should be our number one priority. Throughout Church History this domination and dominion interpretation has done so much damage, in God’s name. If we are to repent and re-align ourselves with God’s commandment, we need to follow the pattern of Jesus, who cam not to judge the world but to save it. We have to see that the Ark of Salvation is not to be used as an excuse for elitism or exclusiveness. Salvation is for everyone and everyone needs salvation, and everyone can be saved.
As people we like uniformity. We surround ourselves with like minded people, people who share our likes and dislikes and support our point of view. The Passion of Jesus, teaches us that we are to be more inclusive in our interaction with others. As we go through Holy Week , think about the people in the story of Jesus life. We are reminded that Jesus never excluded others the way the Jewish faith had evolved to do. Jesus never excluded others the way the Roman Culture had established itself to do. On the Cross Jesus accepted the whole world, he gave everyone equal value, equal worth.
Even at Jesus final address we are reminded that Jesus called them all, those that believed and those that doubted those with faith and those without (Matthew 28:17).
The Ark you are building is not for your own salvation alone. Jesus taught us that. The Cross is salvation for all, as we accept salvation for ourselves and as we build a life of faith, let it be lived out to bring justice, peace, hope dignity and purpose.
Let us pray:
Lord in this season of Lent we have given ourselves to reordering our lives, our affections, our actions and our desires for personal power. As we follow you to the Cross, give us courage to accept the way of the cross as patterns of our lives, that when you are lifted up, all humankind may me drawn to you and all the world may be saved.
and the Blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be upon you all. Amen.