Last week something really cool happened. As you may know, my sermons are recorded and I post the full text on this blog weekly. Our Church Office Manager forwarded me an email sent to our church office addressed to me from a fellow Pastor in The Netherlands who found my sermons online and thanked me for the work that I’m doing. Here’s some of what he said:
“In listening I was inspired by at least two things: with in my ears and eyes such a load of horrible media-news from the US-to discover that a young american colleague speaks such fresh sensible and thought through words… When you are working in the church for more than 30 years like me, one can be extra encouraged to see that young people take over and continue this beautiful but not always easy work. (In our country the church population is aging and shrinking) I just wanted to leave this small message to uncover one of these tiny invisible wires that connect the worldwide web of hope, faith and love.”
At first, I hesitated to share this hopeful message because I didn’t want to seem like I was bragging. I love to preach and work hard to craft meaningful sermons. Though not all of them are home runs by any means! But then I realized that it could be helpful to share on my personal Facebook page because it could remind fellow Pastors (I have a ton of friends who are fellow Pastors!) to be sure to get their sermons out there too because you just never know who may need to hear the message that you’re preaching.
Realizing that we’re not all connected via social media, I’m sharing here too. Not because I’m trying to be overly self-congratulatory, but because for me this message from The Netherlands proves the interconnected nature of Christians around the world. Christianity is a global religion after all. Past churches I’ve been part of have had international partnerships with Christians in Ghana, India, Honduras, and Zambia. We would travel for mission work or host folks from those countries who came to be with us. At Colchester Federated Church we have our partner church in South Korea: The Hanmok Church! And all these international partnerships are a vital part of being the Church, the very Body of Christ.
In a time where we hear about American exceptionalism and some even turn to isolationism, we must remember that as Christians we are connected to people the world over because we are all disciples of Jesus Christ regardless of nationality. Our faith calls us to look beyond walls and borders that seek to separate “us” from “them” because “there is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) Our unity as parts of Christ’s Body is essential to who we are as Christians! So at the end of the day, I am thankful for and humbled by a colleague across the ocean reminding us of these truths.
(This Week’s Thoughts 2.1.18)