The Rector's Weekly Column

Rev. Victor H. Morgan


         Terrorist attacks, hospital and school shootings and political discord both here and abroad seem to have brought about a famine in the land of hope. Yet, hope is absolutely vital to human flourishing.

         Hope is what makes the world turn. It is what makes an individual get up in the morning and is vital to business, commerce and civic life.

         If there is indeed a shortage of this necessary commodity, can anything be done about it? One man, an English businessman, believes there can, and is doing his part to bring spiritual food to the famished in his country. His name is Howard Conder.

         Conder is behind the Quote Jesus campaign, which is now putting the words of Jesus on London buses. Some of the quotes being displayed include: "Blessed are the peacemakers," "In my Father's house there are many mansions" and "I am the way, the truth and the life." A number of those interviewed shortly after the campaign began responded positively and said these words of Jesus brought hope.

         A study showed that these advertisements were seen by 6.5 million people in the first three months of the campaign. This more than doubles the number of regular churchgoers in the United Kingdom.

         Conder considers this good return on the money going into the campaign but wants people to do more than read them. "Seeing is one thing, doing is another, and we pray that whether they're a bus driver, banker or politician, people's outlook will be changed because they know hope exists," he is quoted as saying.

         I have no way of knowing if the Quote Jesus campaign will catch on in the United States. Even if it does, it wouldn't be effective in North Georgia, seeing we have so few buses.

         Nevertheless, there is a way we can stage our own "Quote Jesus" campaign right where we are. It is by affixing the hopeful words of Jesus to our hearts and living them out in our lives.

         "You are the only Bible some people will read" was an oft-repeated saying in Christian circles when I was a boy. There is truth in these words. What "words" are you displaying on your 'bus'?

         Grant to us, Lord, we beseech thee, the spirit to think and do always such things as are right; that we, who cannot do any thing that is good without thee, may by thee be enabled to live according to thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Rev. Victor H. Morgan is rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Blue Ridge.

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