A series of reflections on Jesus’ resurrection appearances, contributed by past and present Pepperdiners. Today’s is from Seaver alumna Chelsea Kadovitz.
Acts 1:1-11 Jesus commissions his disciples
Christ performed marvelous wonders throughout his time on Earth, and indeed, the most impactful of these wonders was his selfless choice to die so that all may have hope of eternal life. Acts 1:1-11 outlines the dialogue between Christ and his followers after the Resurrection. In these precious moments, Christ leaves the disciples with his instructions to spread his ultimate testimony so that as many people as possible could benefit from the Way, the Truth, and the Light. This is commonly spoken of as “ The Great Commission”.
However, when I read the final words of Jesus to the disciples, I choose to read these instructions as a CO-Mission-Christ expressing his ultimate desire of a communal effort of believers working together to spread the ideals of a God-centered life.
This may seem fairly prosaic, but truly how easy is it for each of us to live within a community of believers? To share with and be held accountable by those whom we admire? How transparent are we with friends, parents, mentors, and our community at large? If you are anything like me, the answer to these questions may be not very, but this is not because we don’t crave the connection with one another. Indeed, throughout Scripture & life, we are shown that we thirst for connection-so much so that we often settle for earthly delights because of their “shadow” of true communion.
Instead, I believe we are afraid-afraid to be vulnerable, or that we may be rebuffed or judged. We are stubborn & bull-headed and God’s gift of free will can be a distraction from the needs and thoughts of others. Ego is often the ultimate stumbling block in our relationship with God.
I would like to think that Christ knew that in the millennia between the apostles and current believers, the human heart would not change. He knew that we would require reminders and prodding that we would need each other to remain steadfast for the Lord.
As He states, it is not for us to know the time or place when God will return to Earth. We close this Paschal season & the time is now. Time to go forth and share His message together with all of our voices raised in praise.
He himself imparts these final words to us with the help of two angels, perhaps choosing to remind us of the need for Community and Communion. These angels implore the apostles to go and spread His message. For when he returns and calls us home with him, we will go together as family, hands clasped and hearts high. This is the core of the communal experience we are meant to live-to mourn together, rejoice together, and live in the Light together. In this way, just as Christ ascended and left all earthly sorrows and vanities behind, so too can we live righteously and ascend with our brothers and sisters of Christ into the loving arms of God.
Chelsea Kadovitz (Psychology, ’11) is currently Assistant Director of Operations for The Global Christian Taskforce, a Pepperdine alumni initiated organization strengthening Christian missions and service efforts. Chelsea served as a Campus Ministry intern, and continues her ministry to this community with every visit.