How Far For One Person?

Last weekend, I drove over 300 miles to visit a lady with Alzhiemer's in a nursing home. In the same town I was able to visit a young man who used to attend our youth group but is now in prison. I was able to make the trip because it was my turn to preach in two tiny congregations on the Kenai Peninsula. Total Sunday morning attendance at the two places was 9 people. By the time I get home, I wll have travelled over 600 miles to visit and preach to 11 people. Is it worth it? To be honest, I also had meetings this week in Anchorage so 400 of those miles were getting me back and forth to Anchorage. Still, the incredibly vast distances and small populations of Alaska make our ministry unique and challenging. It is very different that in the midwest where most churches have 700 or so Lutheran churches in a 150 mile radius of their Lutheran congregation. Mt. Drum Lutheran Church in Copper Center's closest Lutheran (Missouri Synod) neighbor is in Palmer--150 miles away. So how far should we go for one person? How much trouble should we go to make sure that people in isolated communities hear the Gospel? I think the answer lies in the Gospel itself. God created the universe. It is bigger than most of us can even imagine. Our closest star, apart from the sun is 4 light years away. Scientists say that the edge of observable universe is 46 billion light years from Earth. Still that God travelled into our little speck of rock and became a human because he loves us and wanted us to live with him forever. In the light of God's willingness to do that for us, travelling 300 miles for 11 people seems a pretty insignificant sacrifice. So we pray that the God who loves each and every person and is not limited by distance will supply all of our needs to share the Good News of Jesus in every community in Alaska.