If you were in church on Ash , you heard me talking about (as per Pope Francis) taking on a Lenten Fast from “indifference towards others”. I think we in the church are often guilty of being so self-absorbed about ourselves and “our” mission that we forget that that mission is necessarily all about other human beings and the love of God!
It is important to me to be available and open to conversation with others while I am in the church building, so if you have stopped by the office, you have probably heard me calling out—“Who’s that?” and coming out to chat for a minute. I also like to be out and about in the hallways to greet those who are coming to our church for recovery meetings, yoga, scouts and Jazzercise, as well as our own members. I believe this is an important part of God’s mission for the church-one of hospitality and welcome. This year I have extended this to our community through “Free Prayer” sessions at Teddy’s in Cranbury and Theology on Tap at The Americana Diner in East Windsor.
Believe it or not, being “available” for conversation is a big part of being a disciple in today’s world. In my homily on Ash , I suggested having “curious conversations” with the people in your life, work, community and your church. During these conversations, wonder to yourself what God might be doing in their lives. As Christians, we believe that Jesus is active and involved in the life of every human being. Creating, Redeeming, Blessing…everyone. That is the work of Jesus. We don’t need to worry about that…but we can help Him on HIS mission to reconcile the world to God. Small conversations can be a big step. Conversations in which we show genuine caring and interest in another person’s life can be life-changing for all involved. Wonder what God might be up to and then ask yourself the question “How can I help?” Practice on your family members!
This takes the pressure off the word “evangelism”, something we often struggle with. If we truly believe that Jesus is already active in the world, that it is not up to us to “save” anyone…we can be free to create life-giving relationships without an agenda. Isn’t that a relief?? No agenda is necessary other than genuine interest and caring. Ask Jesus to help you to see how you can help Him on His mission and you will be surprised by what happens.
Are you intrigued by this idea? Is God calling you to investigate what discipleship can mean in your life and our church? Please speak to me about becoming a part of our new St. Paul discipleship team. I promise it will be life-giving for YOU as you deepen your faith and trust in God and join Him on His mission in our world.