The Most Rev. Dr. Thabo Makgoba, Anglican Archbishop of the Province of Southern Africa and Bishop of Cape Town preached on John 15:1-8 yesterday at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Nashville. Many of us met Rev. Makgoba on a mission trip to South Africa in March 2013. He installed the new Bishop of Johannesburg and we were pleased to attend the ceremony.
Rev. Makgoba commented that although we are separated by thousands of miles between Nashville and Cape Town, we are branches of the same vine. As John wrote in his Gospel, “Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.” We are connected because of our common love for the Father, the vinegrower.
Rev. Makgoba told of his youth in Johannesburg and how important it was that he heard about faith from others. He was recruited to join a gang, but was fortified by family, friends and strangers who continued to preach the good news to him. Rev. Makgoba exhorted us to be bold in living out our faith, and to freely share it with others. Just as it made a difference in his life, the good news will make a difference in the lives of others.
Rev. Makgoba ended with comments about the internet and evangelism. Remarking that it is the communication tool of today’s culture, he said that for the past 10 years it has been used for godless communication, and for condemning and judging others. Rev. Makgoba asked us to thoughtfully consider how we instead can use the internet to spread the good news. The world needs to hear it now more than ever.
On my blog, I write about our relationship with God and the holy relationships that flow from our first love. That is the good news that I share through stories, photos and prayers. Although 70% of my readers are from the United States, readers from 44 countries have logged into my blog in the past month with Brazil, Canada, Singapore, and the Netherlands rounding out the top 5.
Everyone doesn’t need to start a blog in order to spread the good news. But for those of us on social media, I wonder what it would be like if we posted a photo or encouraging words each time we walked into our church, or attended a home church function? As Paul wrote to Timothy in his 2nd letter to his friend: “So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord…”
Whether face to face or on social media, let’s make an intentional commitment to spread the good news every day in our neighborhood and in the world.
Blessings, my friend,
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