“All good things must come to an end” is a common phrase used when an enjoyable experience has either or is about to come to a conclusion. Maybe it’s the winning streak of the favorite team or the long vacation or dinner out with friends. Whatever the experience, most of them have a stopping point.
But everything that has a stopping point also has a starting point, including what we believe about God, the world, relationships, and our role in all of it. For some people, the starting point of what they believe was a framework handed off to them in their childhood. Basically someone said, “Believe this…” and we said, “Okay.”
This isn’t necessarily a bad starting point but for a lot of people that framework hit a stopping (or at least pausing) point when what was handed to us didn’t hold up like expected under the stresses and tensions of life. They didn’t stop believing everything about God, just some things about God.
What most often gets lost in the stresses and tensions of life is that God’s great love for us has not stopping point – it is an “all good thing” that has no end. Because of this great love for us, God has gone to great lengths to redeem us from sin and restore relationship through an unstoppable movement.
This movement, known as the church, was started by Jesus and handed off to his followers. The charge he gave to his followers, found in the account of Jesus’ life written by Matthew, was explored in part 8 (Unstoppable) of CCC’s Starting Point series.
Check out the conversation in Matthew 28:16-20 and consider the following questions about the unstoppable movement Jesus handed off to his followers.
- What is an “all good things must come to an end” experience you’ve had?
- If there was something you could choose to be “unstoppable” what would it be?
- Why do you think some of the people doubted?
- What do you think of when you think of the word “authority”?
- Is your impression of authority positive or negative? What has shaped that impression?
- What do you think it means that Jesus has all authority?
- What does it mean to “make disciples”?
- What is the significance of Jesus expanding the invitation to follow to “all nations”? What is the significance for you personally?
- What is your reaction/response to Jesus saying “obey all commands”?
- In what ways and why do people tend to push back against “commands”?
- What circumstances would have made Jesus saying, “I am with you always” be important to those gathered with him?
- Does Jesus saying, “I am with you always” give you a level of hope? In what ways?
- What next steps will you take to get started on the next step of what you believe and living that way?
When the framework of what we believe doesn’t hold up under the stresses and tensions of life, there is a sense that God has abandoned us (or at least not come through for us like we expected). Just like the followers in Matthew’s account, some doubt. But for followers of Jesus, the statement, “I am with you always” is a great starting point – even when we may not feel or understand it.
Today is Monday – make it a day that you take a next step to get started where you need to get started!