Sunday, May 9, 2010
The Stations of the Resurrection--Eleventh Station--Jesus Commissions the Disciples Upon the Mountain
(Icon by Andrej Rublëv, 1408)
The Eleventh Station--Jesus Commissions the Disciples Upon the Mountain
Leader: O Risen Christ, Light of the world, we adore you;
People: You told the eleven to make disciples of all nations.
Jesus took the eleven to the mountaintop and told them, "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Go therefore 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 that I have commanded you. And remember I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Not everyone heard the message fully in their hearts. The passage says that "When they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted." We are not given a glimpse at which disciples doubted, but it's important to note that "they worshiped him anyway." They somehow were able not to let their doubts get in the way of believing in the reality of the risen Jesus.
Mixed emotions must have run high in the group that day. It probably wasn't hard to scan the faces of the group and see who was more pious, who was more doubtful, who was more attuned to a new state of being, and who was more apprehensive. The ones with doubts must have looked at the ones with stronger belief and thought, "What do those guys have what I don't? Or have they lost their mind?" The ones more committed to Jesus' message must have looked at the doubters, and thought, "What's wrong with you? Why don't you just do what Jesus says?" Perhaps they looked at each other and wondered how in the world they were going to stay together if Jesus was not around. He was sort of hinting he was going elsewhere. Why would he say, "I am with you always," if he wasn't planning to leave? Many of the disciples felt a gnawing in their gut that something was about to change, and it was a fearful gnawing. But it seemed important, somehow, that part of this was that they were to continue to worship Jesus together.
Leader: Jesus told the disciples he would be with them always,
People: And the disciples pondered the full meaning of his message.
Leader: Let us pray.
(a brief period of silence is observed.)
Ever-present and living God,
your disciples worshiped together even they were not all of one mind
or one accord.
They could not totally understand each other's feelings,
but they somehow knew that worshiping Jesus together
was bigger than their individual differences.
Empower us each time we are called to worship
to put aside what separates each of us from the other,
and to trust in the power of a holy meal in shared sacred space,
to build bridges between us.
Turn our heads to fix our eyes upon your Son
instead of examining each other.
Leader: Alleluia! Christ is risen!
People: The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!