God's Big Back Yard
by Allen Scott 8/22/2008 / Christian Living
Then Jesus said to them, "So wherever you go in the world, tell everyone the Good News. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:15-16 (GW)
1188 North Valley Road was where my early childhood backyard was located. We were the first family to move into this development and my family owned the corner lot and the one behind it.
Having both building lots meant lots of BIG BACK YARD space for baseball, football, a swimming pool, picnics, golf, and wintertime sledding. Our yard could accommodate all the neighbors from the entire neighborhood and still leave room for people to play in the adjacent lot. We had a Big BACK YARD!
After getting my first bicycle my big back yard got even bigger because now I could ride throughout the neighborhood and play in other people's back yards.
As I got older and was able to drive, towns and cities were in reach from my back yard. With today's modern transportation on any given day we can travel from our back yards to other states and cities and even other countries.
Planes, trains and automobiles have taken the place of that Schwinn bicycle of my childhood.
With the advent of the Internet the whole world is now accessible from my kitchen table. I can speak to anyone anywhere in the world in nano seconds. Truly our back yards have gotten really, really big.
From a control room in Houston Texas NASA can play in the big back yard of space. They have launched space crafts into outer space and even landed a remote controlled land rover on Mars. Voyagers 1 and 2 are speeding towards the ends of our galaxy in rapid pace.
Satellites orbit the earth and send back images and sound waves which we can receive via satellite receivers on earth. These satellites can tell us pinpoint accuracy where we are in the world by GPS positioning. Radio and television programs can even be broadcast world wide.
As technologies have changed throughout the course of my lifetime some things have still remained the same. One of those constants is the commission from God to the church to go into His big back yard and proclaim the gospel to everyone. We can no longer just look at our physical address as our back yard.
With the availability of web casting, chat rooms, instant messaging, and email the whole world is in reach of any individual or church congregation. Radio, television and now GodTube have all become instruments from which we can spread the gospel into God's big back yard.
I do not own physical real estate but I do stake several claims in cyberspace. Our church has an address on the World wide web as well. The Christian witness can be accessible 24 hours a day thanks to the modern day Internet.
As a church and as a congregation we should be reaching out in every way possible into God's big back yard in an effort to spread the gospel of the kingdom to all peoples.
To think it all started with 1 man (Jesus) who told 12 others about the kingdom of God and now we have been entrusted with that same message to proclaim from our own back yards into God's big back yard.
We all have a circle of influence, all of our lives intersect other's lives, and as a result we are required to look out for our neighbors by sharing the same joy of salvation with them which we have received.
Are you being a good neighbor? Are we as a congregation doing everything we can to reach as many people as possible with the gospel of Jesus Christ? How big is our BIG BACK YARD really?