Sent to Gather All the Nations
Scripture Reading — Matthew 28:16-20
“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” — Matthew 28:19
Grace Thomas was a gentle Christian woman raised in the southern United States. Thomas Long tells her story in his book Preaching from Memory and Hope. Born to a streetcar conductor in Alabama, she grew up, married, and found work in a government office in Atlanta. She also went to school and earned a law degree, and in 1954 Grace surprised her family by running for governor of Georgia to support the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that “separate but equal” schools were unconstitutional.
She lost in 1954 but ran again in 1962. At a campaign stop in Louisville, Georgia, Grace gave a speech in an old slave market, saying, “This place represents all about our past over which we must repent. A new day is here when Georgians white and black can join hands and work together.” Someone there accused her of promoting communist ideas, but Grace pointed to a church steeple nearby and said, “I got [these ideas] . . . in Sunday school.”
Grace understood that making disciples and baptizing all nations will result in a worldwide body of believers including all ethnicities, languages, and cultures. In the kingdom of God, all nations walk by the light of God (Revelation 21:24-26). There is only one identity for those who are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. May it be ever so!
Father, you give your renewing life to all who follow Jesus. Help us, in his name, to live as those who are sent. Amen.k