One of the smallest words in the English language is one of the most influential words Jesus used. It is the simple word “Go.” We find Him using it intensity and almost exclusively after His resurrection. It is the word He used to help Mary Magdalene realize her real purpose in their garden conversation. In that one small word, He eradicated the wrong notions that she needed to prepare His body properly for burial or that she should cling to Him. Rather, her mission was to go and tell the disciples that He was alive and would ascend to their Father. We each have a similar purpose to go and tell others that God is their Father through faith in Jesus Christ.
I have been a part of a “Go Team” at my church. A “Go Team” is a group of people who come around an individual, couple or family who has been called to missionary service. This is such a fitting name for a group whose purpose is sending missionaries into foreign lands to preach the gospel. In truth, every believer has a “Go Team”. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are our “Go Team”. They send us to do their work in the foreign land of earth. Therefore, it is go time for every one of us.
Mary went from shock to confusion to belief on the first Easter Sunday morning. In the end, she received and followed her mission to GO when she listened and obeyed Jesus when He said: “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (John 20:17). Mary completed her mission. She went to the brothers and told them that she had seen Jesus and that He spoke to her, but they didn’t believe her. We need to keep this in mind as we go. The people God sends us to will not always believe us. God doesn’t hold us accountable for how many people believe but rather how obedient we are to go when He tells us to go.
Do you know where you are sent? Are you following your go orders? Jesus sends us to unique places and people. We can’t find out our own go orders by copying someone else’s life. We each have personal go orders that come from the mind of God Himself.
Henri Nouwen said, “One of the most important spiritual disciplines is to develop the knowledge that the years of our lives are years on a mission.” You cannot follow Jesus if you are not going somewhere. You are asked to go for Him.
Jesus gives us the perfect example of our coming and going. His whole life could be seen as going to Jerusalem to suffer many things. That was His one main mission here on earth. Along the way He went to many different places and asked those who received His message to go as well. He also modeled coming home. When you are sent on a mission and you go and give yourself completely, there will be a time that you need to come back home and receive the encouragement and strength you need to go out again. Coming and going is a constant experience of the spiritual life.
Take some time to think of where you have been sent. What was the result of that mission? Does your “Go Team” have a new mission for you?
Know this, if your soul is linked to Christ, you will recognize a call to go and your intimacy with Him will become stronger as you obey His call to go no matter the outcome of your mission. Like Jesus, I hope you live your whole life on earth as if you are going. That is until you receive your final go orders and go to heaven, your true home.