You Have Been Chosen, Believe and Do the Things of Christ and far Greater!

Now at the fifth week of our Easter Celebration our scriptures have moved from the Resurrection accounts to the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ, the growth of the Church and the work of Christ we are called to and our chosen purpose. Yes you and I are chosen to do the work of Christ and far greater. In knowing my own weaknesses, struggles and limitations I always found these words of Christ quite daunting, To be able to do what Christ did, but He is God how could imagine to do the works of God? This is often my thought, but if I believe, if we believe Christ will enable us to do His work and even greater.

We are too very much chosen in Christ to be about His work. Look at Ephesians 1:3-6

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love, He destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will,

It is Christ plan that we are empowered to share in His work and to do great things having received every spiritual blessing in the heavens. From the Acts of the Apostles we see the manifestation of this ability and power as we see the early Church and the Apostles like Christ proclaim the good news. This proclamation brings forth such a great response the Church must respond to the growing needs for the care and provisions and through prayer and the calling forth of the Spirit sevenmen where chosen, Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit and Wisdom.

Christ came to the world with a purpose. He had an agenda. He had a particular people in mind to bring salvation.

Jesus came to give eternal life to all whom the Father had given Him. This is the mission Jesus was on, or as he says, “the work that you gave me to do” .

Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day.”

Paul’s words in the opening of Ephesians fill in the picture of what Jesus is referring to here—namely, that to be chosen in Christ means to be part of the eternal will of the God for the redemption of humankind.

We too share in this very mission of Christ. The choosing of Stephen and the other first deacons is a manifestation of the mission of Christ and the call for the Church. In response to the pressing concern of the needs of the Church and the apostles deciding to select these seven deacons to help them extend their pastoral care to those in need, these deacons were therefore important not just for the pastoral care they provided to the impoverished but because they helped the apostles focus more on teaching. 

Saint Peter also reminds us of our chosen nature, He refers to the church and to us that we are living stones being built into a spiritual house. 1 Peter 2:4&5

Come to him, a living stone,* rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God,

and, like living stones, let yourselves be built* into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Todays Gospel is quite familiar. We often hear it proclaimed at funerals. But let it be a source of strength and encouragement. As chosen in Christ we are to be troubled nor to have fear, but rather to have faith. In recognizing Jesus as the away, the Truth and the Life what a great abundant life he promises us. In preparing for us not only in eternal life but here in the now. These great words of Jesus

Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.”

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