The theme of the Christ Emphasis Week (CEW) celebration for the 1st semester 2018-2019 is “Relentless” based on the texts Isaiah 54:10 and Matthew 28:16-20.
Isaiah 54:10 declares the relentless love of God for each one of us, and Matthew 28:16-20 is a response to the relentless love of God – to be relentless in doing the Great Commission that Jesus Christ has given to all His disciples.
How did the Prophet Isaiah describe the relentless love of God? According to Bible commentaries, Isaiah used a figure of speech called a hyperbole to portray the unrelenting love God. But I believe that the description of Isaiah was more than a hyperbole. Isaiah really believed, as we all should, that though the mountains will literally shake, and the hills be removed, the unfailing love of God for all of us cannot be shaken.
On the same manner of writing, Paul wrote in Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
What Isaiah and Paul tell us is that no matter what the situation we are in, God’s love will relentlessly pursue us. If this is so, then those who have felt the relentless love of God have a responsibility to share the Good News to others. Matthew 28:16-20 challenges us to do four things. There are four action verbs in the Great Commission. The first one is just two letters: Go! It starts with our commitment to go no matter where this may be. The second action word is make disciples. This is a labor intensive task but we have to do it. The third verb is to baptize the disciples in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. This is a public testimony that the disciples have made a decision to follow Jesus Christ. The fourth action is to teach the disciples everything that Jesus commanded us. The emphasis here is to find the commands of Jesus. Do not just do it, but also teach it to others.
The amazing thing about sharing the relentless love of God is that the presence of God will always be with us. Jesus promised, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
Office of Communications
Central Philippine University