Monday, April 19, 2004

Monday Evangelism Notes

Obedience and evangelism? During this past Lent 2004 I participated in a weekly Wednesday discussion of Lauren Winner's recent sensation, mudhouse sabbath. She points out the Jewish way is to do first, and as a result of doing, believe afterwards. . . as Christians we often think it needs to be the other way around. In his Biblical Perspectives on Evangelism: Living in a Three-Storied Universe,Walter Brueggemann argues for obedience before conviction, too, at least from those already *acquainted* with the Risen Lord of Life. "Run, come, see - the stone rolled away!!!!!" "Come and see...Go and tell!" And then the Word of the Lord, Word of Life: "I go before you."

Marian asked, "How hard is that, to do what Jesus has tells us to do? Apparently pretty hard at times..." Yes, difficult beyond description, since I have my own agenda I'd like to consider as being God's agenda (sounds like those politicos on the right and on the left, with both groups insisting their particular agenda is God's, as well, because how on earth could it ever be otherwise?). Truly open prayer and really seeking discernment is so hard because I gotta got me out of the way.

We've met the Risen One and we've seen and touched his wounds, that sensible, sacramental evidence of his willing brokenness unto death because of his faithfulness to God's passionate love for the world of God's creation. In Graham Kendrick's Philippians paraphrase, "To be found, my Lord, in a death like yours, so to live with you and never die!" We're well aware Jesus undeniably was "crucified, dead and buried." We've seen and touched the evidence, and though Jesus goes before us, not demanding we go it alone, it's more comfortable and comforting to think through this one more time, to lead and participate in another Bible study, because we know the high cost of obedient discipleship...

Before long we'll again celebrate the day and then the season of Pentecost, Feast and Festival of the Spirit's descent: without the Spirit there is no witness, but both within our gathered assemblies and out there in the world of God's creation and recreation we meet a whole lot of reassuring evidence of God-with-us, God-among-us and within-us, so indeed we can "Do all the Words, Perform the Word!"

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