My husband Jan and I took our first get-away in fourteen months to my chosen location; the Santa Cruz/Monterey, California area where my Spanish California ancestors lived. I had heard from relatives in the past that my great-grandmother’s uncle, Jacinto Rodrigues, served as one of 48 Californians who together, created and signed the original California State Constitution. It was approved by the U.S. Congress and California became a state in 1850.
The Constitution starts with this statement: “We the people of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings, do establish this Constitution.” Included in their new government cornerstone were laws regarding voting, women’s rights to own property, and the prohibition of slavery; all founded from the writer’s understanding of the Holy Bible. I do believe though, that many who came to California in the late 1700’s and 1800’s were God-fearing men on a mission to share the love of Jesus on the West Coast.
In this California history lesson, I must also mention Junipero Serra, a Franciscan educator in Palma, Spain who answered God’s call in his thirties to become a missionary to Mexico and then to present-day California. Serra established nine churches in California sharing the love of Jesus from 1769 to 1782.
God’s word hasn’t changed over the centuries. The Great Commission convicted the hearts of many in the past as it convicts many hearts today.
Jesus came up and spoke to them saying,
“All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20.
I understand that not all who proclaim to be a Christian demonstrates faith well and that corruption can be found in any century. For certain, we all fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:22-24
During these confused and difficult times, may we continue to reflect His joy, purpose, and unfailing love. With God’s help, we will learn from those who have gone before us, move forward in our faith, and continue to proclaim the truth of His word!