Grace Notes 2021-06-23
Wrapping up our discussion on evangelism, this week I want to leave you with this: don’t keep your identity hidden.
Our vocations fall into three realms. They are the family, the community, and the congregation of God’s people – the Church. In each of those realms there are many particular vocations. For instance in the family we might wear the hat of the child, the hat of the spouse, or the hat of the parent. In the community we serve our neighbor variously in numerous different occupations. Likewise, there are a variety of roles in the Church. Even the term “lay person” is not at all equivalent with spectator or audience; but rather, it is a broad description of ministry.
The key to evangelism is that everyone in the realm of family and community know about our identity in the Church. We do not necessarily need to be overly ostentatious about it. We simply need to be sure we don’t hide the fact.
I may have missed it somewhere, but I don’t recall Biblically anything remotely approaching the vocation of being a secret agent! Instead, the encouragement is to shine the light, set the city on the hill, and go and publish glad tidings.
So if we are dutifully exercising the faith given us as a gift, therefore undeserved or unmerited, then we need to reveal our identity. We can say it simply. “I am a Christian.” We can say it humbly, “I consider myself a Christian.” We can make it churchly, “I belong to the body of Christ as a member at Gift of Grace Lutheran Church.” We can say it purposefully, “Having been claimed by Christ my Lord I have found my purpose in loving and serving others.” We can say it hopefully, “The promises of God made known in His Son, Jesus Christ my Lord, is where I am putting my hope.
Of course the big caveat here! That indeed I am exercising the gift of the faith…
Since You Asked…
What is meant by the term “liturgy”?
(from the Greek, “work of the people” or “public service”): more than a set form of service or one particular service, the liturgy is the whole body of texts and music used for the worship of God. The Lutheran Book of Worship is the liturgy of many Lutheran churches in North America. (from “Manual on the Liturgy” companion to the LBW, from Augsburg Pub.)
Our Lutheran liturgy involves the participation of all who are gathered: clergy, worship assistants, and laity. Worship is not a spectator sport. We have been gathered by God to receive from Him. And so in reverence, we give thanks by offering praise and thanksgiving to our Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Liturgical worship helps us all share in this.