We’ve journeyed through four weeks of hearing about St. Bartholomew and how his life and mission are the headwaters for a new vision for our church. We’ve heard that he was the son of a farmer; he exemplifies what it means to be a child of God, fully human, fully free; the prayer for his feast day asks that God would strengthen us to love what he believed and preach what he taught; he was from Galilee, a place overlooked and forgotten full of people that were the same. And this Sunday we’ll see that after the resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, he was sent east as a missionary.
In the days following Jesus’ death and resurrection the disciples, understandably in awe yet mystified, went back to life as usual. In John 21 we catch up with Bartholomew and his friends as they encounter Jesus in a miraculous catch of fish on the Sea of Galilee. We’ll also drop in on them in Acts 1 as, just before he ascends into heaven, Jesus promises they’ll receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on them, and that power will fuel mission: “and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). For some of the disciples, like Bartholomew, the ends of the earth would be their destination.
Not unlike Bartholomew and his friends, we have been sent out. Being planted from All Saints Dallas wasn’t a haphazard career move. It was a prayer-inspired initiative calculated and executed for the sake of mission. We, friends, have been sent out.
I hope to see you Sunday for this last installment about St. Bartholomew.