Thursday, July 16, 2015

Go to Galilee

It’s been a busy summer for us so far.  My parents have made their move to Florida.  This entailed mom moving in for a month, a late night flight to New Hampshire and a two day drive back with my dad; then heading back to New Hampshire for a 13 day visit.  The day after arriving home I helped my folks unload their moving container (knocked it out in under 4 hours!)  Plus I am preparing to guest preach over the next two Sundays AND trying to get prepped for our house church meeting…

So you will I hope excuse the delay in posts

I spent the better part of a year journaling through Matthew (I think I logged 128 entries between June 2014-June 2015).  I’ve been in the Word of God fairly consistently for over 30 years and it’s amazing to me how I still see things I never saw before.  I read a passage which I have certainly read before and it’s like I’ve never seen it.  Or something I had read so casually in the past suddenly jumps out at me, waving its arms, calling out, ‘I’m here!  Don’t miss me!’  

That’s how it was with a few lines near the end of Matthew’s Gospel.

Jesus has been raised from the grave.  The angel announces the Jesus’ victory over death to the women who had come to the tomb.  Then the angel gives a message for the eleven disciples: “…go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him. See, I have told you.” (Matthew 28:7)

Moments later, Jesus Himself appears to the women, giving them a command to pass on: Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell My brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” (Matthew 28:10)

The women report back to the eleven disciples who obey the command: Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. (Matthew 28:16)

In Galilee the disciples see Jesus, as He promised, and receive His command to take the Gospel into the world.

Good things happen in Galilee.  Following His resurrection, Jesus does not summon the disciples to Golgotha, nor does He call them to the mouth of the empty tomb.  Instead He calls them out, away from Jerusalem.  He calls them back to Galilee; back to where it all began (see Matthew 4:11). 

For the disciples, the literal land of Galilee was the place where they met Jesus; where He called them to follow; where they saw miracles and believed in Him as the Messiah and their Lord.  Where the ‘movement’ began is where it is renewed.

Is there still a call to ‘go to Galilee’?  To return to some place– maybe a physical location, maybe a spiritual condition, maybe a life situation –a place at which we might be renewed and refreshed; re-commissioned?
I asked myself where my ‘Galilee’ might be.  I was astounded how suddenly the answer came.  I realized that in coming to Florida, I might have ‘gone to Galilee’ without even knowing.  My call to ministry came in the context of a house church group of which I was a part after stepping out of the traditional church ‘structure’.  Now here I am, having once again moved out of that structure, dreaming of and working to establish a house church network.    

When the disciples went to Galilee, the Lord Jesus set them a new mission- to carry the Gospel into the world.  When we go to our Galilee, we should be expectant that the Lord is about to say something, do something, show something.  When we go to our Galilee we should be hopeful that the Lord is renewing our call.  When we go to our Galilee we go to see Jesus.      

Where is your Galilee?