Grace Notes 2021-05-19
And now, after mentioning that we should focus our evangelistic efforts on those to whom we have been put in close proximity, I will embark a little in the “how to” of sharing the faith.
Our mindset is important. We need to keep in mind that we are called to give witness and to share the faith. In our consumerist society we can easily succumb to thinking we need to make a sale, or sign a new recruit. This way of going about it is actually warned against in Scripture. The Apostle Paul insists, “For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ” (2Co 2:17).
Think of it terms of sharing. We hope to be able to share the reason for our hope and joy. That is, we hope to speak about Jesus, share who he is, and what we have discovered as his disciples. The Apostles’ Creed with Luther’s explanations can prompt us on important things to share. This includes Jesus’ unusual birth and identity. It includes the centrality of his death on the cross, and what that accomplished. It includes the hope his resurrection gives, and the connection his death and resurrection has on the forgiveness of sins. And it certainly includes his promise to return at the end of the age.
We hope to come to that point. But commensurate to sharing this amazing love in words, we first begin to share our lives in compassion and genuine interest in others. Again, Paul put it this way, “We were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us” (1Th 2:8).
In short, begin your witness by taking a genuine interest in those around you. Show compassion. Take chances now and then to share about Jesus, but respect whether a person is ready to listen to what you have to share.
Since You Asked…
What is the significance of the Day of Pentecost?
A principal Festival, The Day of Pentecost (Jewish harvest festival) was the occasion when the promised gift of the Holy Spirit was sent and poured out on the expectant church. It accordingly marks the culmination of the Easter Season. It occurs 50 days after Easter Sunday. Jesus had promised his followers that when he departed from them (the ascension, not the crucifixion) that he would not leave them as orphans. In fact, until his return at the end of the age, it would be to their advantage that he was departing, for then he would send the Holy Spirit as one called alongside them to comfort them, teach them, guide them, and empower them, even as the Holy Spirit continued to sanctify them (to make holy).