What does the dash between the dates on someone’s tombstone represent? A life well lived, or a life well wasted?! Did the person leave a legacy that has eternal value? How will this person be remembered? I recently did an Institute of Biblical Studies (IBS)* course on Church History and I was wondering how on earth could the church still be surviving as it is today? From the very beginning of the church, Christians were severely persecuted and killed, but somehow the Christians or followers of Christ were never exterminated. Rather, like the yeast in the dough of bread, the more it was kneaded the more it rose.
The more the Christians were persecuted, the more the faith was spread over the earth, especially in the first century. Today as a result of many believers persevering and never wavering on what they believed, we have the Scriptures which we believe are true copies of the original, we have faith that what we proclaim about Jesus is the truth according to those Scriptures and we have the Holy Spirit to lead us. The question is how will we persevere and be used by God to preserve Christianity in increasingly difficult circumstances? Are we also the yeast in the dough that rise and rise…? We have the greatest news ever to proclaim and we have so many platforms to proclaim it from, but are we really making a difference and are we really reaching the masses or are we a holy huddle where we only encourage each other and feel good together?
When other Christians look back after a century or more of the existence of our organisation, will they be able to say, that not only the individuals involved with the organisation over the years, but the organisation itself made such an impact in the South African society that it became one of the most influential and morally sound organisations in our country. Then the dash between our dates will really have eternal value. That would be my vision for us today and I pray that we will grab the opportunities given to us with both hands and absolutely make the best of every single one of them. We have the talents, abilities and desire to do so and we can raise the resources, since it all belongs to God.
I encourage us all to not only proclaim our faith and persevere in doing so, but also to do it boldly and without shame or fear, like the very first Christians did. They are still remembered today. Like them, will our actions and lives be a testimony of lives lived well and will we leave legacies with eternal value? I pray that it will and that God will lead us into that conquest. 2015 – ..? Gerda Snyman Communications Team Leader *The IBS course is presented annually by CCC for staff and disciples covering a variety of topics