Nasa’s glorious 'Blue Marble' picture
One of the most perplexing Bible texts to me in my teenage years was that of Mark 16.15: "...And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the Good News to the whole of creation.’" (NRSV). Taught regularly to interpret the instructions of Jesus to his disciples as being addressed to me as a follower of Christ, I could not conceive how I could fulfil that command in any possible way. I could not at that time imagine ever leaving the UK - and certainly not for long enough to meaningfully ‘proclaim the Good News to the whole world', which was the more familiar phraseology of those earlier years.
Yet now, every one of us has just that opportunity given to us by the marvels of the digital age. My own blog, The Cross and The Cosmos has, in its six year old existence, been viewed in 136 different countries out of the possible 196 (or thereabouts) which would encompass 'the whole world'. So perhaps it is a challenge to us to receive this text today in a very 21st century way. Maybe those of us who write about our faith can think about how our outpourings will be understood in different places and different cultural backgrounds, so that the excitement, the joy, the hope and the peace of being a follower of Jesus can be understood by readers across the world.
That is actually a considerable challenge and I constantly have to recognise that in more than a few of those countries, a viewer will only have ‘grazed’ my blog as s/he searches for something else. But even in that situation, there is the possibility that a ‘grazing’ click might provoke some degree of curiosity. And I have heard curiosity described as an important aspect of pilgrimage. So, nowadays I write in the hope, and with a prayer, that I may start someone on a journey that will somehow lead them into or towards the joy of knowing Jesus. Someone, that is, who comes from somewhere quite unknown to me, as represented by another marvel of our generation - the ‘Blue Marble’ picture of our common home viewed from the vastness of space that heads up this posting. This all seems to me a great and mighty wonder!