By Pastor Jenna Couch, Zion Lutheran Church, Jubilee
A few weeks ago, Pastor Nadia Bolz Weber, pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado, came to speak at St. John Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls. She had some beautiful things to say about faith and the Gospel, and about being one in Christ. One of the things she said is a good commentary on the changing ways of our society and the longing for unity that so many of us have as Christians.
One of the things that many people lament in this world is that people just don’t seem to want to follow Jesus anymore. They’re not coming to church, they’re picking other activities over church on Sunday mornings. Because of this, we assume that church or faith or following Jesus isn’t important to them. But is this a fair assumption? Nadia Bolz Weber uses a pretty useful analogy to make a really great point.
Her analogy starts with phone booths. That’s right. A phone booth. Think about it. Years and years ago, there used to be phone booths ALL OVER the streets. You could find them just about anywhere. They were used by many to connect with people through the phone; in the days before cell phones were a standard accessory. The phone booth was the cell phone of that age; a phone you could use when you were out and about to make a phone call. It was a way to communicate.
Nadia notes that today, you’d be hard pressed to find a phone booth anywhere.They just don’t exist like they used to. So, one could look at that observation and assert, “Gee, with the complete lack of phone booths in this world, people sure don’t think it’s important to communicate with each other anymore!” I think we can all agree that that is a preposterous assumption. People still need and want to communicate with each other; but society and technology has changed, and we now have access to MANY different forms of communication.
This applies to the church as well. Pastor Bolz-Weber believes that the need and want for Christ and for the Gospel is still there. However, the way they go about getting that message has changed. Times have changed. The ways of communicating have changed. But the Gospel hasn’t. And it won’t. The Gospel is the same as it always has been and always will be. That Christ died for us; and because of that, we have been granted the gift of forgiveness of sins, grace beyond measure, and eternal life. Our response in faith and gratitude is to be sufficient stewards of what God has given us; to be stewards of the Gospel as well and share that good news with all the world in word and in deed! Thanks to social media, we can reach far more people in more creative ways than we ever could before. To be stewards of the Gospel in this way is a blessing.
Blessings to you all as you continue to proclaim the Gospel message throughout the world!