Praise God from whom all blessings flow;

Praise God, all creatures here below;

Praise God for all that love has done;

Creator, Christ, and Spirit, One.

William B. Abernathy, the Doxology (adapted 1995)

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Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus told them to go. When they saw him, they worshipped him, but some doubted. Jesus came near and spoke to them, “I’ve received all authority in heaven and on earth. 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, teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.”

Matthew 28:16-20

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We’ve all had some kind of experience with authority in our lives. It could have been in school, at home, on the sport’s field, in church, or outside a convenience store. Authority can be dangerous, corruptible, though. Authority can be used for the good of everything subject to it, or it can be abused to maintain power at the expense of everything subject to it.

When Jesus claims his authority of heaven and earth, he claims the same authority as God who sent him. The same God who created everything and declared it all “good.” This authority is not the coercive authority as demonstrated by the needless red card of a power-hungry referee or the crucifixion of a person in order to maintain Roman power. God’s authority is within Jesus’ teachings to love our enemies, pray, live humbly, forgive, reconcile with one another, and to love God, as well as, to love our neighbors.

As we’ll see this week, God also gave authority to us. This authority is one that should resemble God’s demonstration of authority over all creation – for the good of all creation.

Chris Wondree

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Creator God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, I pray for humility, wisdom, reconciliation, and courage. Let me understand the authority I have by studying yours. Let me live in a way that benefits your people. Amen.

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Go now, knowing the God of Creation, Savior of all people and Divine Presence, goes before you to where you’re headed, stays behind with the things you leave, walks alongside you every step of the way, and works within you to redeem what you believe to be broken.

Chris Wondree

Rev. Chris Wondree is the Student Pastor at Bon Air Baptist Church in Virginia.

What Wondrous Love is This

Mark Hayes

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