Written by Sherry
Saturday, 31 March 2007 07:15
I'm taking the weekend off blogging - things to do, places to go.
But I wanted to leave you with some images of Palm Sunday as it is celebrated around the world. With my background in missions, I just love the fact that the Church is truly global.
I have an atlas of Christian history. It is disconcerting to realize how geographically small Christianity was in say, 750 AD.
After the Muslim invasion had eliminated the great Christian centers of North Africa and the Middle East and covered Spain and halved the Byzantine empire and before monastic missionaries had brought the faith to Russia, Hungary, Poland, and Scandanavia. The Roman empire was dead. The Muslim armies were at the door. The Vikings were about to make their debut. Chaos reigned. A small island in the west - Ireland - was one of the few bright spots. That time is often referred to as the "dark ages" for a reason.
And yet today, one out of three human beings on the planet is a Christian. All 2.15 billion of us and 51% are Catholic.
Catholics alone number more than any faith on earth, except Islam. There are more Catholics than Hindus, three times as many Catholics as Buddhists. And for that matter, three times as many Catholics as historic Protestants.
Can any of us really take in what it means to be part of a truly global 1.1 billion member communion?
A communion in which the majority no longer lives in the embattled western Europe of 13 centuries ago but in Latin America and Africa and Asia? That when you and I receive the Eucharist this weekend, we are assenting to and nurturing a mystical, sacramental bond with members of the body of Christ in Doha, Mumbai, Jakarta, Nairobi, and Columbo? What difference does it make?
"If I am lifted up, I will drawn all men to me".
What difference does it make?