Dear Brothers and Sisters,
When I start a project, I’ve got to do something to get the ball rolling. Once the ball is rolling, it needs to keep rolling. But sometimes I need help from others. For example, when I was in the Air Force, I had the opportunity to start a project to automate the translation of foreign language documents. I got the ball rolling by writing some proposals which convinced others to fund the project. However, to keep the ball rolling, I needed engineers to do design and software coding. I needed linguists to verify results. And I needed people to train others how to use the software. Fortunately, everyone did their part – kept the ball rolling – and the project succeeded.
God doesn’t need help getting, or keeping, the ball rolling for His plan for the redemption of His creation. However, He’s eager to have His children involved. In the first chapter of John we see how eager He is as His Son’ ministry gets rolling. John the Apostle tells how his namesake, John the Baptist, recounts how the ball got rolling as Jesus came toward him one day. John the Baptist says, “I myself did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’” (John 1:33) God the Father starts the ball rolling by letting John the Baptist know which guy would be “the One.” Without God revealing this to John, it’s possible nothing would’ve happened … Jesus might’ve just kept on walking. But God made it clear to John who the Messiah would be … and that’s what happened … the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus and remained on Him. (Matthew 3:16-17)
And John kept the ball rolling as he pointed Jesus out to a couple of his disciples saying, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” And these guys went and followed Jesus (John 1:35-39). John did his part to keep the ball rolling, just as God had called him to do. Then God called on Andrew, one of the two disciples who followed Jesus, to do his part too. Andrew told His brother Simon about Jesus, “We’ve found the Messiah!” (John 1:41) Simon went with Andrew to see Jesus. There Jesus renamed Simon “Cephas” or “Peter” in English. Peter became a crucial part of Jesus’ inner circle of disciples; and a major part of God’s means to keep His ball rolling … proclaiming the Word of God in letters contained in the Bible today.
God got the ball rolling, but He uses His people to keep it rolling. Hearing from others, by the power of the Holy Spirit they become part of His family. They tell the story. They keep the ball rolling down through the generations. You and I have been made part of God’s family too. In our baptism He has called us to be the means to keep the ball rolling today. It’s become our privilege to serve God by telling His story in our lives so that one day God’s Word will be proclaimed to the ends of the earth. The ball is rolling … and through us, God keeps it rolling.
In Christ’s Love,