Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Looking Outward:Sharing Light by Linden Malki

I went to a small Christian college that had women's dorms with closing hours.One year there was this guy who would hang around in the bushes near the front door of a dorm just before closing, and as people were coming up the walk, he would jump out, shine a flashlight in someone's face, and ask "Are you saved?"  I'm sure he thought he was sharing light, but it was not an effective method of evangelism! Yes, we are supposed to tell the story; in fact, we who know Jesus were told by someone who told someone, who told by someone. going back to the original witnesses of Jesus' earthly life, death and resurrection. Look at Jesus' final instructions: " will BE my witnesses..".(Acts 1) He didn't talk about what to do, but rather what we ARE. St Frances of Assisi, whose life in the context of radically following Jesus is remembered eight hundred years later, said "Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." The world sees our lives before it listens to what we say. Again, we cannot separate the love and knowledge of God in our lives from our love for the people we touch.
We are each called to reach out in different ways to different people. Jesus told his followers to be witnesses in Jerusalem, then Judea, then Samaria, and then to the uttermost parts of the world. We as a church support people who are called to Kazakhstan and Africa with our finances and our prayers. We as individuals are called to San Bernardino, or Highland, or whatever our own Jerusalem and Judea are. My own calling seems to be on Ninth Street, where God sends people, usually people who already know Him, who have something on their hearts to talk about and pray about. Some of them are long-time prayer partners, yesterday, one was a long-time customer who came by not to buy anything, but to see how I was doing, and we shared what God was doing in our lives--and I had not realized before that he was a Christian. When Peter challenges us to "be ready to answer when you are asked about the hope that is within you", this assumes that someone is seeing this Hope in our lives. We are like candles--we have to have Light first, and then we can share light with someone who does not have it, and strengthen the light of those who do.

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