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Everyday Evangelism


Teaching people/encouraging disciples to talk about God in their everyday lives has been a significant challenge for this pastor in the last 9 years of ministry.  (Are we really that shy?) I tend to think it’s not just me that has a hard time motivating people to “share” Christ verbally in their day to day interactions with others.  Somewhere along the line that quip credited to St. Francis, “Preach the gospel always, use words if necessary” has been taken quite literally.  Too literally might I suggest?  Problem is, people who don’t know Christ don’t readily see our actions as the proclamation of the gospel, even if we think that’s what we are doing.

St. Paul nailed it when he wrote, “Faith comes by hearing.”  Luther was pretty adamant about that too insisting that the Holy Spirit does the preaching and that we should not neglect the hearing and studying of the Word, but gladly learn it.  How can people know Christ if they have never heard the good news?  (Age old question there!)  The truth about us humans is that we are apt to talk about just about anything else we can think of, like playoff games, fantasy football leagues, the latest gossip about our neighbor’s kids, how expensive everything has gotten, our latest craft project and so on.  But to mention God. . . well that takes some serious nerve, AND intentional practice.

One of the disciples at Trinity is in an incredible growth cycle in her faith these days.  She recently returned to the church after a few years of being away and it is such a joy to see the Holy Spirit grab ahold of her and take her deeper into this life with Christ.  She works at a meat market and recounts to me regularly how she inserts God into conversations with customers.  She’s taken this mandate to “preach the gospel” quite seriously and yet it’s very simple, really.  Thing is, she is highly intentional about it.  When she asks a patron how they are doing, if they give a lukewarm response she will say, “Well the good Lord allowed you to get up out of bed today, didn’t he?”  Every time she says that, she reports that a little light goes on behind their eyes as they realize that God has indeed given them one more day on this earth.  The greatest blessings in life are often the ones that go unnoticed.  Another day to live can be something we take for granted.

The thought of this exchange over the meat counter reminds me of a treasure we have at our disposal which is not really used all that often these days. . . Martin Luther’s Morning and Evening Blessings.  Here is the morning prayer for you to ponder today as a reminder of God’s goodness in your life. . . share it if it is meaningful for you this day.

“In the morning, as soon as you get out of bed, you are to make the sign of the holy cross and say:  God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit watch over me.  Amen.  Then, kneeling or standing, say the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer.  If you wish, you may in addition recite this little prayer as well:  I give thanks to you, my heavenly Father through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have protected me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you that you would also protect me today from sin and all evil, so that my life and actions may please you completely.  For into your hands I commend myself:  my body, my soul, and all that is mine.  Let your holy angel be with me, so that the wicked foe may have to power over me. Amen.”  (Martin Luther, Small Catechism)

God allowed you to get up this morning didn’t he?

Thanks be to God! Amen.


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