After the completion of his work of death and resurrection, Jesus goes before the eleven to Galilee. It is from Galilee that he sends the disciples out to the nations with the Great Commission. So this Gospel appropriately follows the message of Pentecost with its story of the gift of the Spirit to empower the twelve Apostles to carry the gospel to the world. The very name apostle means one who is "sent out." Here the apostles are commissioned by Jesus himself to do his work. Baptism is the means that Jesus institutes for bringing those who had not seen him to share his life. From the very beginning, as a response to the resurrection appearances, the young church began to baptize immediately following Pentecost. In Acts 2:38, for example, baptisms are celebrated "in the name of Jesus Christ." The baptismal phrase "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" is less a liturgical formula repeated to make a Baptism valid than it is a description of what Baptism accomplished. A person is baptized into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and was thus incorporated into the fullness of this new life. A new relationship has been established. So the church honors Baptism as the beginning of Christian life; one's own entrance into the church. Baptism is the way that those of us who have not seen Jesus are enabled to share his life. What is celebrated today is not the doctrine of the Trinity, but the nature and mystery of God. If we understand the day properly, we shall be "lost in wonder, love, and praise." Wonder is the presence of God the Creator; love is the presence of God the Redeemer, who loved us and showed us what love is; and, praise inspired by the Spirit, without whom no one can say "Jesus is Lord." The Spirit brings believers to faith in Jesus as the one in whom God acted for us. By proclaiming the gospel, the church offers everyone a means of being a child of God and sharing in a life which is directed and given power by the Spirit, who leads us to acknowledge God as Father and as Savior. Read the explanation of the Third Article of the Creed in the Small Catechism: "I cannot by my own understanding or effort believe in Jesus Christ my Lord, or come to him. But the Holy Spirit called me…" The church's ministry is the direct, unbroken continuation of the ministry of Jesus Christ, in whom the whole work of God comes to a focus.