Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
This is the conclusion to a story about Jesus written to an audience of Jewish-Christian people who lived in Roman Syria. Its purpose was to persuade them to discover the call of Jesus to share their Religious life with “all nations” – this through inviting people to baptism, through teaching, and through an assurance of the spiritual presence of Jesus.
This “Great Commission” can be lifted from the First Century to become our call to prepare for Christmas:
· our modern Christmas is especially seductive in its quest to focus us on the gluttony of food, alcohol and acquiring possessions. Let us turn away from our self-absorption and be baptised/immersed in the cause of Jesus
· let us teach our families and our communities the real values of Christmas – values such as love, and generosity, and compassion;
· let us open our eyes to look for the presence of Jesus – which will ask us to turn our greedy eyes away from the things we desire and see those who live in “the manger” of poverty and exclusion.