Since January 1st I’ve been following along with The Bible in a Year Podcast from Ascension with Fr. Mike Schmitz. Maybe you’ve heard of it? If you haven’t, I’d be shocked as it’s one of the top podcasts on iTunes every single week – beating news outlets, celebrities, and true crime dramas. It’s also quite simple. Jeff Cavins created a reading plan years ago to accompany his The Bible Timeline: The Story of Salvation Bible Study. It walks through the scriptures in a chronological fashion giving the reader an experience of the story of salvation (a great method of reading the scriptures that’s not just starting at page 1 and muddling through too Revelation).
Millions of people are listening each day, considering how the scriptures are newly relevant for their own lives. Many who have never picked up a Bible, or who are experiencing Christianity for the first time.
Each morning as I listen, I can’t help but think about the impact this 22 minute podcast might have on the world. The transformation that might happen in the hearts of the individuals listening; this becoming part of their own conversion story. The beautiful ways that the Lord is working in their lives this year.
Even more so, the transformation that might happen in the Church or the world, for that matter. How can it not? If just 1,000 people read the entire Bible this year – what difference could we make in the world? What about 10,000? How about HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of people. I searched for discussion groups on Facebook and the first three, not even affiliated with Ascension, have membership of over 20,000 who are reading, listening, and discussing together. The “official” discussion group (moderated by the publisher where Jeff Cavins and Fr. Mike answer questions) has more than 55,000 members.
There are also thousands, like myself, who are listening on their own. Thousands of people rooting their days in the Word of God – how can this not have an impact?
I write about this today because I’m wondering if you’ve considered the impact your small acts at the parish are having. The impact of 5 or 10 people attending a Bible Study. The impact of 25 people coming throughout the day for Eucharistic Adoration. The impact of a greeting to a young family who hasn’t been to Mass in a while as they walk in.
Fr. Mike is having a big impact – but it’s not him per say – it’s the Lord working through a medium none of us knew about 20 years ago. I’m working with a parish now who has a podcast – a short, weekly interview with someone about their faith story.
We don’t work to design the impact. The fruit of the tree comes naturally when the tree has been well planted, fertilized, and tended to. The fruit is evidence that we’ve done that work planting the seeds. Be aware of the impact.