Summary: A sermon about the Great Commission.
Bob Homer’s family lived on “the other side of the tracks” as they used to call it.
They weren’t the most “upstanding” and “respectable” family in town.
They didn’t go to church.
Bob’s dad was boisterous and a bit of a trouble-maker.
And Bob was already getting into a bit of trouble himself.
But, Bob also had a job.
He was a newspaper boy.
And one of the people he delivered the newspaper to was the local Methodist Minister.
One day when Bob was collecting money from his clients the Methodist Minister got talking to him.
He asked Bob if he and his family went to church.
Bob said “no.”
Bob didn’t really even know what people did in a church—he’d never been in one.
Then the Methodist Minister said to Bob, “You do a real good job delivering my newspaper.
I bet you would also be good at handing out bulletins on Sunday morning.
We don’t have anyone to hand out bulletins.
Will you come and hand out bulletins for us this Sunday?”
Bob told the pastor he would have to ask his father for permission.
His dad was hesitant, but since he didn’t think it would last, he allowed Bob to do it.
That invitation to hand out bulletins in the local Methodist Church changed Bob’s life.
He went on to become a Methodist Minister himself.
He was my pastor when I was growing up.
And he was one of the most Christ-like people I have ever known.
Everyone loved him because he loved everyone.
The day before I left for college, Bob showed up on my doorstep.
He had to have known that I was a bit of a rebel and wasn’t the most stable teenager around.
Anyway, Bob handed me a Bible.
And it turned out to be the first Bible I really read.
That Bible was instrumental in changing my life.
Why are you here this morning?
How did you get here?
I don’t mean did you walk or drive?
I mean, how did you end up in a Christian Church on a Sunday morning when so many other people are doing so many other things?
Our Gospel Lesson from Matthew is called “The Great Commission.”
The dictionary says that a “commission” is an instruction, command, or duty given to a person or a group of people.
It’s a task, a mission, an assignment, marching orders, if you will.
And the marching orders of every Christian are to “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 Jesus has commanded” us.
A year or so ago a member at the last church I served said to me: “I have some questions about the Great Commission.
I don’t think Jesus meant for it to be for everyone.”
She continued, “For instance, I think of myself more as a seed planter and a waterer.”
My answer was: “That is disciple making.”
I continued: “Also, I know you.
I have watched how you live your life.
You are most definitely a disciple-maker.
You show the love of God by how you treat others.
I’m learning a lot from you. You are discipling me.”
When I was 18 years old I made the decision to give my life to Jesus.
And my life has never been the same since.
It was the best night of my life.
But that was neither the beginning of my becoming a disciple nor was it the end.
When I was just a baby, my parents took me to church.
There, I was baptized and they made a promise to bring me up in the faith and in the church.
They kept their promise.
Also, when I was baptized, the church made a promise to me that they would proclaim the good news, live after the example of Christ, surround me with love and forgiveness, and provide me with opportunities to grow in my service to others.
They promised that they would pray for me in order that I would become “a true disciple of Jesus Christ who walks in the way that leads to life.”
They too, kept their promise.
But in order for them to be able to keep their promise, my parents, again, had to keep theirs’.
Some of my earliest memories are experiences I had in church.
I remember just about every minister I ever had.
I remember so many faces of so many church members.
My Sunday school teachers gave so much time for my good.
At home we said a pray before every meal.
When I had a problem my mother prayed for me.
I also watched as my mom visited persons who were sick, took meals to those who had lost loved ones and volunteered many hours at the church.