I am not a street front evangelist, nor do I believe that all are called to that particular expression of proselytizing. Yet, I do believe that all need to embrace the scriptures and to immerse themselves in its truths. As the people of God, we are called to share the good news – the active offering of the truth expressed in Christ yet lived out through our lives. By communicating our story, the love of God becomes a real entity to a hurting and broken world.
So often though I see a church that gets bogged down in the legalities of its functioning; a church that wants to proclaim only certain facets of the truth; a church that is judgmental of another Christian’s faith, a church that wishes to compartmentalize the spiritual expressions of its members. I feel pain over such human failing. At times I get frustrated and angry and compound the fabric of an already fragmented church.
At such times I look to the scriptures, for they provide a mirror through which to see life. Through the recorded events, I can see myself and recognize my failings. I can also see the sins of the church, while acknowledging its purpose as an instrument of God’s love. It is precisely through the stories of scripture that I can see those moments when I have hidden in a cave like Elijah; when a bush has exploded into flames to acknowledge the presence of God; when the sea has parted and I have walked dry shod into an unexpected future. Indeed, when things are the darkest, it is the word of God that liberates me and the church and sets us free to be as Henri Nouwen proclaimed “the wounded healer”.
The church’s mission, regardless of how we proclaim the message, whether it comes from the street corner, the pulpit, or from our personal stories, it needs to come from the heart. It is from our wounds, and from God’s healing power that we become vessels through which others can see the forgiving love of God, the grace that allows us to be set free.
So I pray for you, be passionate about the scriptures, for Christ’s sake, for therein lies the pathway to salvation.