Thursday, May 28, 2015

Telling our Good News

In my sermon last Sunday, I challenged our family at Redeemer to make “real” our call to spread the good news to the ends of the earth, and I suggested a Trinitarian way to do it. Here’s what I said: “I challenge each of us… to honor God our Creator and identify one mighty deed of God in our lives one time when God acted powerfully, miraculously, transforming our lives; then to
honor Jesus Christ our Savior, the author of the church on earth, let’s tell one other person in this church about that mighty deed and let’s do that sometime today; then (and here’s the challenging part) let’s honor the Holy Spirit who makes us all one by telling one person outside the church about that mighty deed of God in our lives and let’s do that sometime this week. Some of us work better with a deadline.”

I was gladdened and inspired by the number of people who shared with one another and with me amazing stories of how God had acted mightily in their lives. Our Pentecost picnic was filled with holy energy from our sharing of these stories. I was also impressed by how well and how easily people shared their stories. It’s clear that we know how to proclaim the Good News! Sometimes we just need a reminder to do it.

So this is our “deadline reminder” for the third part of that – to tell our Good News, the story of one mighty deed God has done in our lives, to someone outside of our church family, and to do that sometime this week. Have you proclaimed the Good News to someone out there yet?

Episcopalians tend to shy away from “the E-word” (Evangelism) because we don’t sync with the way we often see it done. We are not Bible thumpers, door-bell ringers, or shouters of fire and brimstone on street corners – and thanks be to God for that.

Threatening damnation, trying to control behavior, and wielding the Holy Scripture as a weapon just isn’t how we Episcopalians approach evangelism. For us, evangelism is as easy as telling our story – the amazing thing God has done in our lives as individuals and as a community of faith. We have a story to tell – an amazing story of life, death, resurrection, reconciliation, and forgiveness - and any one of us, EVERY one of us can do that.

Let me know how it goes when you tell your story “out there” this week. Maybe we can make time to share those with one another too. My guess is, these experiences will surprise and delight us.

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