I am not a marketing person, however I do know that the method and context used to communicate a message matters. Different purposes and different audiences require different methods of communication and really, very different words, sentence structure, tone.

In this week's readings we see a couple of different methods employed to share the message of Jesus in those early years after his death and resurrection.

In the gospel of John we see the most direct connection between Jesus and anybody after his resurrection. He appears to some of the disciples behind closed doors, shows them his wounds, and offers them a teaching. He even gives Thomas a personal follow up visit later just to make sure Thomas was paying attention to what was happening. Why would Jesus make such an intentional visit to the disciples? It seems he wanted to make sure that the people who had been closest to him were able to go forward from that moment and testify to what they had seen without any doubt. Jesus knew that these folks would be his primary sources and he invested a lot in them.

In the next generation of the story of Jesus being shared we see in the letter labeled 1 John some folks who were obviously followers of Jesus as they are a few years removed from his earthly presence. They are telling the story to people who they know will not have the chance to physically meet Jesus, and so they are sharing their eye-witness accounts. They are sharing the teachings they received and that they are super excited to pass on to others now.

At a similar time we see the one of the early Christian communities being formed in the stories related in the book of Acts. There we see how folks were coming together to live together and share their resources in an attempt to live out the message of Jesus in a slightly different way. And again, what we see is a group of people with a message they desperately want to share with the world, and they are finding their way to share it.

All of this was written within one or two short generations of Jesus' ministry on earth.  What is the message that we can share, particularly within the context of our Christian communities, about Jesus today.  Our eye-witness accounts are generally something very different.  And yet, can you imagine telling an account similar to that in Acts today? And I bet you can also imagine sharing some of the same experiences as in 1 John.  Hmm.  Maybe our eye-witness account ISN'T all that different after all. 
Give it a try - what is your experience of the Risen Christ? What is our shared experience of the Risen Christ?
Sometimes my rational mind
wants to discount my experience
with the Holy.
Because, You know, I'm enlightened.
I'm savvy. 
I'm a thinker.
Thank you for community
that is a reminder
of how much I share with others
that is felt
Thank you for experiences
of the Risen Christ
in our midst.

© laura & matt norvell 2012 www.settingourstones.org  - We share
this with you and hope you'll share with the world; we simply ask that
you let people know where you found these words. May Grace & Peace be
with you.

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