Monday, February 18, 2013

Looking Forward to February 24, 2013 -- 2nd Sunday of Lent

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • Matthew 28:16-21
  • Mark 16:9-18
The Sermon Title is The Church in the World: Witness & Testimony  

Early thoughts: How do we tell the faith story outside of church?  Or maybe DO we tell the story of faith outside the church?

Part of the Christian Life is evangelism. Yeah, that's right, I just used the E word. Evangelism is one of those words that the mainline churches has not spent a lot of time on. The result has been that the Christian Right has been allowed to define what it means to be evangelistic (and now we are even more afraid to talk about evangelism for fear of being seen as the same as "them").

But really evangelism doesn't have to mean Jerry Falwell or Billy Graham on our TV screens. To be an evangelist means to be a bringer of good news. The writers of the Gospels were evangelists. Peter and Paul were evangelists, you can be an evangelist too. (somehow as I write this I have the old Dr. Pepper commercial running through my head "...wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?") If we truly believe that we have found Good News in our faith then why not share it?

"Oh but I could never do that! I couldn't stand around and talk about my faith." Well maybe not (and maybe it is easier to do that than many of us often think). But there are other ways to be evangelists. We can witness to our faith by how we act towards others. We witness to our faith when we stand up for an issue of justice. We witness to our faith when we challenge what is being said and done around us. And of course we witness to our faith when we talk about why we go to church.

Evangelism is not optional. Not only is it the way the church grows, but it is also part of how we integrate Sunday morning with the rest of the week. When we take the chance to be witnesses, to share testimony (however we do that) it allows our own faith to get deeper into our hearts and souls.

Oh and by the way...a big reason (probably bigger than the reputation of the minister) why people come to church is because a friend invited them. What do we have that we want to share with our friends and neighbours?

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