The Revs. Smiths’ Message for May 16, 2021

Dear Friends,

“You will be my witnesses…to the end of the earth.”

Acts 1:8

You’ve heard the story before — a group of high school students are given an assignment to produce a video together.  The result was pretty good, and they share it with their classmates and friends on YouTube.  And, of course, in a few days, it has gone “viral” — millions worldwide have viewed it.  Like the picture of Bernie Sanders at the presidential inauguration, almost overnight it had officially become “a thing.”

“Jesus gives the Great Commission to the disciples”, illuminated manuscript (circa 1010) by a master of the Reichenau School; from the collection of the Bavarian State Library; taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

When Jesus told his disciples that they would be his witnesses to the end of the earth, none of them could possibly imagine the scope of that assignment, let alone that the day would come when it would be possible to send a message around the world almost instantly.  Or that it would become second nature for us as a church to be able to communicate by email, or even to worship.  Thank God for those developments.  It has meant that, despite the restrictions that a pandemic has imposed on us, technology allows us to be “together” in worship, even when we are apart.

Surely we should use whatever means we can to spread the good news.  We suspect that to some extent we will continue to employ these electronic tools in our ministry as a congregation, even when we can worship together in person again.  But where it all starts is in Jesus’ instruction to his followers, with each of us being prepared to give an account of the hope that we have in us, and to proclaim through our lives the good news of the love of God, shown to us in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In Christ,

Revs. Bob and Helen Smith

A version of this message first appeared in the Saturday, May 15, 2021, edition of Tidbits.