And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore 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 that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Matthew's gospel ends with Jesus' final instructions to his disciples, what we now call "The Great Commission", before He ascends to the Father. These three verses perfectly summarize the essence of the Christian faith: we acknowledge Jesus as Lord of all, having authority over all creation; we practice evangelism, sharing our faith with others and bringing them into God's kingdom; we follow the tradition of baptism; we believe in the Holy Trinity, the three forms of God in one; we strive to follow Jesus' teachings, and we believe He resides with us when we ask Him to be the Lord of our life.
And, as surely as we know Jesus ascended to His Heavenly Father, we believe He will come again in clouds of glory to judge the living and the dead. Though many have predicted Christ's return, the latest having been May 21st of this year, not even the Lord Himself, while He walked on this earth, claimed to know the day or the hour (Matthew 24:36). Therefore, we are to live fully and faithfully, day by precious day, placing all our trust and hope in the Lord and in His promises. If we do so, each day will be a blessing to ourselves and to others and the "end of the age" will be a glorious surprise!
Psalms: 8, 47, 24, 96
Ezekiel 1:1-14; 24-28b