In our culture we don’t appreciate long-term projects… we like everything immediate, convenient, and perfect.
If this is true just within each of our lives, how much less do we appreciate projects that take generations to fulfill. You know, those projects that take the commitment of many lives over many generations. Those projects that, when we start, we already understand that we will NOT live to see the final results.
In generations past, these monumental tasks were those such as building the pyramids of Egypt or the Cathedrals of Europe. Scientific and medical exploration and research is another good example (past and present), as is political reform, and revolution. In essence, the best of human knowledge, human achievement, and human government have been achieved by many over many generations.
The same is true for faith. No one can live fully and faithfully without those men and women of faith in our human community (and sometimes in our own family history) who have gone before us. Similarly, no one can live fully and faithfully without the deep understanding that the works we do in our lifetime are the building blocks of those who come after us.
This week we are reflecting on the Scripture story of Jesus’ last ‘command’ to his followers before he returns to heaven:
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20)
Jesus’ command was to “go and make disciples” or, in other words, begin to transform the world for God (and for good) by reaching out to all people everywhere, with love, peace, hope, and faith. 2000 years later we are still trying to fulfill that command, and lives continue to be transformed for God (and for good). Sure, the church has never been even close to perfect, but there are (and have been) a dedicated few who knew…
…faith isn’t built in a day.