May 12, 2013
This week we observe Ascension Sunday by reading the opening verses of the Acts of the Apostles (you can read the text here). It's the story of Jesus' departure from earth and ascension into heaven. As he leaves his somewhat confused apostles behind, Jesus commissions them to "be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth". While it may have seemed risky to entrust the gospel to the apostles with all their foibles and faults and flaws, they succeeded spectacularly. The Christian movement grew like a raging wildfire.
These days that wildfire seems to be burning itself out - at least for mainline Western-world Protestants. Could it be that we have stopped being Jesus' witnesses? (Hint: One church consultant claims that the average United Methodist shares his or her faith with another person once every 38 years.) Can we take the call to be Jesus' witnesses as seriously as his first followers? And what would it take to do that?
Join us on Sunday as we think about what the "Great Commission" means for us.