Grace Notes 2022-03-15
I have lately been trying to write and share something that will be helpful to our task as evangelists, for we are all to point to Jesus by how we live, share, and talk. And I intend to keep up with this encouragement for quite a while.
This week it strikes me that a prerequisite for giving witness is that we have fostered a friendship with our Lord Jesus. In using the word ‘friendship’ I am a little hesitant. Indeed, on one occasion Jesus named His handpicked disciples ‘friends’ (Jn 15:14-15). Interestingly, the disciples never call Jesus “my friend”. Instead, they called Him Rabbi, Master, Lord, Christ, etc.
Part of my hesitancy has to do with the respect with great reverence that is always owed to God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We are not equals. We are not ‘buddy buddies’. And yet, we are called into relationship to and with our Lord Jesus. This is a familial relationship. It is intimate. It needs to be fostered. It involves growth. Although the relationship is not dependent upon our emotions, that does not mean that our emotions are not involved. Indeed, every aspect of our being is involved. And genuine interpersonal relations involve affection and warmth.
You may have heard it said of parenting that it is not the quantity of time you take with your children, but the quality of the time. Well, for the most part that is hogwash. Quantity becomes quality, and much time with conversation and shared experiences are necessary to build strong and good relationships. Things are no different with our heavenly Father, His beloved Son, and the Holy Spirit.
When it comes to sharing Christ with someone else, you can only share what you have. Christ establishes a relationship with us in Baptism, and He continues to nurture it with His Word and Sacraments. But we need time for listening, for conversation, and for walking with our Lord. The better ‘friend’ of Jesus we become the better witnesses we will be.
Since You Asked…
Are announcements necessary? And should they be included as a part of the liturgy?
Not all announcements are necessary! Nor should they be allowed to disrupt the rhythmic flow of the service. It is likewise important that announcements be kept to a minimum. But certain announcements are important. Information that will enhance participation in the worship, information pertaining to further Christian service, and information for regarding further opportunities for spiritual edification are such announcements of importance, and they are worthwhile to promote publicly to the assembly. We have chosen the beginning of the worship service as the most helpful and least disruptive placement for announcements.