I have been on a bit of a pause and change of direction related to where life has led in the past few weeks. Today I hope to resume where I left off. In this past number of weeks I have brought a message about the gifts of presence to the 3 churches that I serve in our area, and my last post before this change of direction was connected to that message. This practice of presence (God’s presence in our life and our presence with others) seems to need to be something that inhabits our days on this earth. I don’t feel it is any mistake that our celebration of thanksliving is right on the heels of celebrating the best gift ever. I also think that it is in these high points in our culture and society’s life that we have been given platforms to practice presence in our culture. A presence that will give the gift of His presence, that is of the one who is the best gift ever!!
In a book titled Beyond Maintenance To Mission by Craig L. Nessan in a chapter on evangelizing and speaking the kingdom, the author wrote about the importance of speaking faith conversationally. Not a way of speaking faith formally into teaching opportunities, but rather a natural way of speaking faith into daily living.
Think about how we as a church have tried to use these important holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas to evangelize people. We use big attractional events, or we boost our worship services during this holiday season in hopes to “catch” some people with that. We encourage our folks to invite our friends and neighbors to come to these things. But I feel there is an undue pressure on these gatherings to do the work that speaking faith conversationally would do so much better. Instead as Christians I see us getting upset because of efforts to do things like take Christ out of Christmas. But couldn’t we just simply represent that by how we speak faith conversationally. Instead of just inviting people to an event or worship service… invite them into your life. In fact with these efforts to change how these holy days are trying to be represented now in our culture… doesn’t it give us a format (not in a defensive way) to speak about this with folks around us. Speak from our own experiences and faith stories!!
This season of celebrating Immanuel … God with us!! Let’s take the pressure off and simply speak faith conversationally into the opportunities we are given to do so!!
Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. I Peter 3:15 (msg)